Blick auf das geistliche Zentrum Maria Rosenberg
Photo: Dieter F. Hartwig
Photo: Dieter F. Hartwig
Photo: Touristikbüro Holzland / Sickinger Höhe
The fourth stage of the trail leads us past the imposing Seelen rocks to the remains of a Roman castle named ‘Heidelsburg’, before bringing us to the place of pilgrimage at Maria Rosenberg and finally to the end point at Rodalben.
Distance 17.9 km
From Heltersberg you go under the shelter of the trees and reach on the back of the ridge the legendary Seelenfelsen which is dotted with weathered patches, notches and overhangs. The path winds its way up to the Drei-Sommer-Berg to the remains of the Heidelburg, considered to be one of the best preserved Roman hillside fortifications in Germany. Along the Schwarzbach valley you pass a former Wappenschmiede (blacksmith’s shop) before the pilgrimage town of Maria Rosenberg with its sanctuary and Mariengrotte comes into view. At lunch time the town also offers the possibility to stop and refresh. The way up now separates you from Donsieders and the monolith on the high plateau of Orleberg. Over meadows, fields and forest you will soon reach the Hilschberghaus in Rodalben, one of the Palatinate Forest huts that offer overnight accommodation
Despite the well-signposted trail markers along the premium hiking trails, we recommend for security reasons to always have an appropriate hiking map so that, for example when a storm occurs, you can quickly either find shelter or get out of the woods.
Especially in the autumn it is also important to remember that leaves lying on the ground can conceal irregularities, such as roots, rocks or holes in the path. Following storms, trees can have been uprooted or have branches hanging down. Such path impairments have to be expected when using such trails . Especially in adverse weather conditions, it may occur that the trails and paths turn into muddy and slippery passages. Path impairments of this kind have to be expected when you go out for a hike. Not all rocks or slopes are secured with ropes or railings and sure footedness is required. Should you be of the opinion that these are not accessible to you then you should try and get around them.
Heltersberg (434 m)
32U 406695 5462287
The fourth stage of our hike takes us out of Heltersberg and across the fields past Weststrichhof into the forest. From there, we have a fairly long hike over the hill before reaching the impressive Seelen rocks (1) high over the Schwarzbach Valley. We follow the trail past these rocks into a small side valley and then up to the remains of a Roman castle named ‘Heidelsburg’ (2), which once served as a defence against Germanic invasions. The trail then leads us through the Schwarzbach valley to a former smithy. We leave the valley here and hike over the hill through meadows and fields to the place of pilgrimage at Maria Rosenberg (3), with its pilgrim church and Virgin Mary grotto.
A short ascent from here brings us to Donsieders. Leaving the church of this small hamlet behind us, we follow the Höhgasse out of the hamlet and continue uphill to the Orleberg plateau. Here you can admire an imposing red sandstone monolith (4), surrounded by fields and accompanied by a plaque with a poem about the legend of Donsieders. The trail continues through the forest past some distinctive rock features to the outskirts of Rodalben, where we arrive at the Hilschberghaus rest stop. This hut, managed by the PWV (Pfälzerwaldverein - local association), is open from 12pm Monday - Saturday and from 10am on Sundays and holidays.
all notes on protected areas
Train to Kaiserslautern, then take the bus via Geiselberg to Heltersberg or take the train to Waldfischbach-Burgalben, then onwards by bus to Heltersberg
A6 to the Kaiserslautern-West exit, continue on the B270 to Heltersberg
32U 406695 5462287
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 22 Teilkarten, GPS-genau, sechs redaktionelle Seiten mit Ausflugszielen und Einkehrtipps. Weitere Hauptwanderwege enthalten. Preis: 11,99 €. Direkt hier bestellen.