Pfälzer Bergland Easy Hike
Sometimes I just can’t believe where I live and how simply gorgeous it is. The Pfälzer Bergland quiets your soul with it’s simple, gorgeous beauty and lack of busy. This area presents oodles of trails where you may only come across a lady riding an Iceland pony, even wearing an Iceland wool sweater to match.
Idyllic valleys and charming hills with a mile long tree and animal exhibit, perfect for training your dog off lead. Also great for elementary age kids wanting to learn about the local flora and fauna.
Each hike includes detailed GPS guidance so it’s simple and not frustrating to find your way, food recommendations, and history highlights.
How This KMC Trail Guide is Organized
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Trail Map Henschtal Squirrel Hike - 5.3 miles or 8.5 km
This hike is for you if you want a quiet place to soak in Nature with rolling idyllic hills. Sport stroller friendly in the non-uber wet months. There’s some mud that might make you think twice during the winter.
Trail Name: Henschtal Squirrel Hike
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Getting to the Henschtal Squirrel Hike & Area Guide
The trailhead and parking is very close to the cemetery in Henschtal.
Friedhof = Cemetery and almost every village, no matter how small in this part of Germany has one. They are immaculately taken care of and usually planted with seasonal flowers all year long.
Weather in Henschtal
This long valley starting in Glan Munchweiler has it's own little microclimate. It could be snowing in Ramstein and sunny and bright here or vice versa. It's really weird and cool.
The easiest way to get there is to use a car and park in the parking lot.
This area is known as the Pfälzer Bergland, or Palatinate mountain country. It feels set back in time with roads you wished you had a porsche to wind around and local shooting houses, iceland pony riding stations and hidden holiday homes. Here’s a German trail guide of the area if you’d like to explore more, your phone can translate pretty easily if German isn’t your jam.
Who is This Guide NOT for and What are the Alternatives?
This guide is not for city strollers. You’d need a sport stroller, however the hike would be great for backpacking your kid with a comfortable Osprey Baby Carrying Pack. For a more mellow hike, consider the Sculpture Hike in Steinwenden with it’s multitude of playgrounds.
If you're looking for more of a scenic hike with dramatic hills less than an hour away consider going to the Moselsteig hike, near the Mosel river close to Trier.
Henschtal Squirrel Hike Trail Guide
Komoot App with GPS Tracking: You get one free zone with this free app and it will give you turn by turn directions with voice. https://www.komoot.com/tour/631452179?ref=wtd
Location: Henschtal, Germany - 10 minutes from Ramstein Air Base
Trail Guide: Henschtal Squirrel Hike
Type of Hike: 1 Loop
Distance: 5.3 miles
Elevation: 525 ft up, 500 ft down
Duration: Approx. 1.5 to 2 hours
Start/end point: Parking lot
Stroller-friendly: Yes, Only Sport Stroller
Camino de Santiago: No
Something Good to Eat: Il Pirata is just a few miles away and delicious with family run hospitality.
Coming from Out of Town? Best Places to Stay
This homestay is located just a few kilometers away in the gorgeous village of Herschweiler-Pettersheim.
Going budget and have an SUV? It’s completely legal to sleep in your car (but only one night in each place) in Germany in a parking lot with a comfy SUV air mattress.
Tips for Hiking Henschtal Squirrel Hike
This trail is essentially one big loop on mostly dirt roads. Just follow the squirrel, it's really well marked.
The first half is open with great views, then it turns wooded and follows the Hodenbach (Hoden creek) and can be pretty wet and muddy, so bring an extra pair of shoes for the car. I’d hold off on sport strollers until Late April due to the mud. If I were a homeschool mom with k-4 kids, I’d definitely bring them here for a flora and fauna lesson as there are great placards you can use your phone to decipher with the local critters.
There’s even a hütte with a bunch of different birds’ nests and designs so you can learn what each bird likes best.
If you can score a pony lesson up the road at the Sangerhof, it’d be a great thing to do at the same time. They have icelandic ponies.
Of interest is another intersecting trail called the "Jewish Trail." I will have to explore this one more. And also of interest is a local celtic burial ground. There's so much history.
Despite being in the forest, please ensure proper sun protection during the summer months and protect your eyes from the damage inflicted by the sun.
Bring your own water as the spring water is questionable and buying water in Germany tends to be rather expensive both at restaurants and at convenience stores.
Beyond the Best Hikes in Germany: Dolomites in Summer
If you’re looking for a summer vacation with kids ages 10+ that you’ll never forget, you’ll find some amazing mountain adventures with WWI history, check out the Alta Via 1 Hike in the Dolomites. Hike and scramble over the path of the Alpini soldiers and explore the bunkers, via ferratas and outdoor museums at Cinque Torri.
You’ll be immersed in the history of the Italian Front during this gorgeous hike. It's only possible in summer between mid-June and mid-September. It’s absolutely necessary to plan 6 months ahead of time to get lodging at huts directly on the high elevation trails.
It’s a 2-3 hour drive from Venice or a 7-8 hour drive from Ramstein Air Base. Here’s a detailed packing list of everything you would need to complete a 5 day hut to hut hiking trip to explore the Italian front of WWI.
Best Hikes in Europe
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy rambling around Pfälzer Bergland.
Have you experienced a cool trail nearby? We would love to hear how it was over on our facebook group European Adventure Travel Planning.
Recommended Books and Guidebooks for Exploring Hut to Hut Hiking and Dayhikes in Germany and in Europe
Headed to the Dolomites in Italy? Alta Via 1 Cicerone Guidebook
with 💖, Crave the Planet
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Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a passionate hiker and writer, physical therapist, and European Cornhole Commissioner. She is living near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and featured giving science-based hiking tips and advice.
When not out exploring the mountains or sea, she’s writing articles and gear reviews to empower Outdoor Journeys that include family and good food. She is actively involved in the community and advocating for connection and sustainability with her community projects at Cornhole Europa and Sustainable Investors Group.