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Long Distance Hiking recommended route Stage 1

Pfälzer Höhenweg Stage 1: Winnweiler - Dannenfels

· 5 reviews · Long Distance Hiking · Pfalz
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Zum Wohl. Die Pfalz. Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Im Frühjahr blüht der Raps am Fuße des Donnersbergs
    Im Frühjahr blüht der Raps am Fuße des Donnersbergs
    Photo: Markus Balkow, Outdoor Wandern
m 500 400 300 200 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Keltendorf am Donnersberg Pfälzisches Bergbaumuseum … Imsbach Eremitenklause
On the first stage of the Pfälzer Höhenweg trail we are in former mining territory. The 16km long trail takes us from Winnweiler to the former mining village of Imsbach, the Celtic gardens at Steinbach and finally to the health resort town of Dannenfels.
Distance 16.6 km
5:20 h
640 m
457 m
458 m
237 m
From the train station in Winnweiler, right next to the historic centre, the path leads steeply upwards to the summit of the Kreuzberg. Here you will find the Kreuzkapelle, built in 1728  and a panoramic view of the vastness of the landscape. Through the Felswald with its beautiful views you will reach the former mining village of Imsbach. The Romans mined here for mineral resources, followed by the local inhabitants. The Palatine mining museum in the village and the two visitors’ mines "Weisser Grube" and "Grube Maria" bear witness to the formerly bustling mining activities. A dense forest area is followed by meadows and fields with slightly rounded hills. After a brief stopover at the "Erimitenklause" it is then worth your while to make a detour into the Keltendorf 6 and the Celtic garden in Steinbach. From Gasthaus Wildenstein, which invites you to stop for refreshments,  the last two kilometres run into the health resort of Dannenfels.


UFFBASSE! - Campaign for being considerate of others in nature

  • Always act in a proactive, friendly and considerate way towards everyone you encounter along the way.
  • Respect nature, do not destroy plants and always stay on the paths. Try to avoid excessive noise and leave the forest before dusk.
  • Remember to take a rubbish bag with you when you go out and take your rubbish back home.
  • Please keep your dog on a leash at all times. Other visitors and animals thank you.
  • For your own safety, observe all road closures, including at weekends.
  • Park only in designated parking areas. Leave space for emergency vehicles and agricultural machinery.

Please give priority to agricultural and forestry traffic.

Author’s recommendation

  • Ein Abstecher nach Steinbach zum Keltendorf lohnt sich auf jeden Fall
  • Ein Trekkingplatz befindet sich bei Imsbach unweit der Strecke. Hier kann man (nach Anmeldung) mit dem Zelt in der freien Natur übernachten.
Profile picture of Tobias Kauf
Tobias Kauf 
Update: July 25, 2022
Quality route according to "Wanderbares Deutschland"
Highest point
458 m
Lowest point
237 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 3.34%Dirt road 7.76%Nature trail 65.79%Path 20.90%Road 2.19%
0.6 km
Dirt road
1.3 km
Nature trail
11 km
3.5 km
0.4 km
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Rest stops


Safety information

 In light of recent events:

Coronavirus Guide from the German Hiking Association


In autumn in particular, it is important to remember that leaves lying on the ground can hide bumps, roots, stones and holes in the path. Trees can topple and branches can fall down after thunderstorms and rainstorms. Natural paths can become muddy and slippery, especially in poor weather conditions. Not all rocks and precipices are secured with ropes or railings. You need to be sure-footed in certain areas. Damage to paths of this kind is to be expected on hikes. If you feel that certain sections of the path are not passable for you, please avoid them.



We endeavour to announce all closures due to forest work or hunting parties on this platform. Nevertheless, sometimes there are situations where hiking trails are closed and we may not have been informed. If you unexpectedly encounter a road closure or diversion, please follow the instructions for your own safety.

Tips and hints







Winnweiler train station (236 m)
49.570286, 7.855916
49°34'13.0"N 7°51'21.3"E
32U 417279 5491483
Show on Map


Hikers' car park near the Kastanienhof guest house in Dannenfels

Turn-by-turn directions

We begin the first stage of the Pfälzer Höhenweg trail among the picturesque timbered houses of Winnweiler. The first ascent brings us to the Chapel of the Cross in Winnweiler (1), which is worth visiting. This pilgrimage church was built in 1728 and overlooks the beautiful town from the Kreuzberg hill. Taking the 'Donnersberger Bauernlehrpfad' (a path through farmland) we reach the former mining village of Imsbach, where a visit to the mining museum is recommended (2).

Leaving the village on the Grubenlehrpfad (mining trail) we see several information boards which tell us about mining in this region. If you want to learn more, visit the 'Weiße Grube' (3) and 'Grube Maria' (4) mines. The trail continues through thick forest to Steinbach and the Celtic gardens (5).

After a visit to the interesting Celtic village (6) we continue to Haus Wildenstein (7) for coffee and cakes to keep our strength up for the rest of the trail. The nearby rocks of the ‘Reißender Fels’ (8) are also worth a detour. Shady forest paths then lead along the eastern slopes of the Donnersberg, passing the Kastanienhof guest house, before arriving in the health resort town of Dannenfels, where the first stage ends.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Bus or train to Winnweiler

Getting there

A63 to the Winnweiler exit, then continue on the B48 to Winnweiler


In Winnweiler


49.570286, 7.855916
49°34'13.0"N 7°51'21.3"E
32U 417279 5491483
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Rother Bergverlag : Die Pfälzer Weitwanderwege Pfälzer Höhenweg, Pfälzer Waldpfad, Pfälzer Weinsteig. In 30 Tagen durch die Pfalz (Autor: Jürgen Plogmann). 140 Seiten mit 60 Farbabbildungen, 30 Höhenprofile, 30 Wanderkärtchen im Maßstab 1:75.000, eine Übersichtskarte. ISBN 978-3-7633-4401-7 

Author’s map recommendations

  • Public Press Wanderkarte Pfälzer Höhenweg im Maßstab 1:25.000, deutsch, Leporello Falzung mit 14 Teilkarten, GPS-genau, fünf redaktionelle Seiten mit Ausflugszielen und Einkehrtipps. Weitere Hauptwanderwege enthalten. Preis: 9,99€. Direkt hier bestellen.
  • Wanderkarte Pfälzerwald 2, NaturNavi Gmbh, ISBN 978-3-96099-104-5


We recommend the following equipment as standard for our hiking tours:
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Clothing suitable for the weather
  • Sun and rain protection
  • Sufficient quantity of food and drink, as refreshment stops or shopping facilities are not always available or open.
  • Although the paths are very well marked throughout, for safety reasons it is always advisable to carry a suitable hiking map so that you can quickly find your way to a safe area in the event of a thunderstorm or emergency.

Questions and answers

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Michael Werner 
March 12, 2022 · Zum Wohl. Die Pfalz.
Macht seinen Namen alle Ehre, Gasthof Pfalzblick. Ruhe gesucht und gefunden!
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When did you do this route? March 05, 2022
Photo: Michael Werner, Zum Wohl. Die Pfalz.
Jens Korn
November 21, 2020 · Community
Habe die Tour heute mit dem Mountainbike abgefahren das sie keine Rundtour ist. Ist aber eine schöne Wegstrecke zum Wandern.
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Tristan Brosch
July 22, 2019 · Community
Heute die Etappe 1 gewandert, sind einige knackige Anstiege drin.Was nicht so schön war das mehrfach Bäume über den Weg lagen, teils noch in anderen Bäumen in der Krone hängend. Die Beschilderung sollte mal wieder erneuert werden. Schade ist auch das man echt nur im Wald unterwegs ist und man fast nichts von der Region sieht. Naja und das das Gras teilweise Brusthoch ist das liegt eben an der Jahreszeit😂 Morgen gehts weiter auf der Etappe 2 , bin gespannt.
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Photo: Tristan Brosch, Community
Photo: Tristan Brosch, Community
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+ 7

16.6 km
5:20 h
640 m
457 m
Highest point
458 m
Lowest point
237 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights


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