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Long Distance Hiking recommended route Stage 9

Pfälzer Waldpfad Stage 9: Erlenbach - Schweigen-Rechtenbach

· 2 reviews · Long Distance Hiking · Pfalz
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  • Burg Berwartstein, Erlenbach bei Dahn
    Burg Berwartstein, Erlenbach bei Dahn
    Photo: Kurt Groß
m 350 300 250 200 150 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Deutsches Weintor Burg Berwartstein
From Erlenbach, the last stage of the trail brings us past the impressive Berwartstein Castle to Schweigen, the most southerly town on the German Wine Route. We walk through Alsace (France) for a few kilometres and have a great view from the Rhine plain to the Black Forest.
Distance 17.2 km
5:15 h
524 m
511 m
304 m
178 m
The last stage leads on its way from Erlenbach to Schweigen-Rechtenbach, the southernmost point of the Deutsche Weinstrasse. Forest, streams, wine and history are the chemical composition which combine to create a remarkable blend characteristic for this region. On your way from Erlenbach the roof and battlements of the Felsenburg Berwartstein can be seen,  the only castle of the region which is still inhabited (guided visits available). The path continues to the Seehof-Weiher, which offers a welcome cooling-down on hot days. You now follow the Portzbach down river until you reach an elevated stage near the Wieslauter that takes you to the Waldgasthof St. Germanshof on the German-French border. Soon you will be wandering through the Bannwald forest in France , where the forest opens up in a southeasterly direction and gives you a view of the northern Black Forest. Between vineyards you then descend into Schweigen-Rechtenbach and the Deutsches Weintor. Alternatively, you can leave the Bannwald on a forest feeder path to the beautiful town of Wissembourg, where many restaurants and a railway station are to be found. The detour to Wissembourg is also possible from the Deutsches Weintor along the Weinsteig feeder path.


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.
Profile picture of Tobias Kauf
Tobias Kauf 
Update: January 31, 2023
Quality route according to "Wanderbares Deutschland"
Highest point
304 m
Lowest point
178 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Rest stops

Altstadt Wissembourg
Waldrestaurant St.Germanshof
Badesee Seehofweiher
Kiosk am Seehof
Burg Berwartstein

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



Erlenbach (204 m)
49.112556, 7.861448
49°06'45.2"N 7°51'41.2"E
32U 416911 5440592
Show on Map


Deutsches Weintor Schweigen-Rechtenbach

Turn-by-turn directions

The final stage of the Pfälzer Waldpfad trail brings us from Erlenbach to Berwartstein Castle (1), the only castle of the Wasgau area still inhabited today. Next we pass the Seehof-Weiher lake (2), great for swimming during hot weather, and follow the Portzbach downstream to just before it flows into the Wieslauter. The trail now leads us through the forest on curving paths on the slopes north of the Wieslauter to the St Germanshof inn (3), which lies directly on the German-French border.

A little later we reach French territory. Shortly after reaching the edge of the forest, there is an amazing view to our right (4) of the North Alsace town of Wissembourg. In clear conditions, this view can extend as far as the Hornisgrinde mountain in the Black Forest. We hike through the vineyards and back into German territory over an actual green border (an international border in the countryside) and down the slope to Schweigen, at the foot of the hills. Here we reach the German Wine Gate (5) which marks both the end of the German Wine Route and our hike. A walk around the historical old town of Wissembourg is highly recommended. And of course you shouldn't miss the opportunity to finish your trip with a visit to a winemaker. If you still haven't had enough of hiking, the wine tasting session can serve as a prelude to the Pfälzer Weinsteig trail.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Train to Landau or Bad Bergzabern, from there take the bus to Erlenbach

Getting there

A65 to the Landau-Nord exit, continue via Annweiler to Erlenbach / A65 to the Kandel-Nord exit, continue via Bad Bergzabern to Erlenbach


In Erlenbach


49.112556, 7.861448
49°06'45.2"N 7°51'41.2"E
32U 416911 5440592
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 22 Teilkarten, GPS-genau, sechs redaktionelle Seiten mit Ausflugszielen und Einkehrtipps. Weitere Hauptwanderwege enthalten. Preis: 11,99 €. Direkt hier bestellen.
  • Wanderkarte Pfälzerwald 8, 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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Christiane Brandt 
August 07, 2020 · Community
Ein wunderschöner Abschluss der Tour. Nach dem Paddelweiher schlängelt sich der Wanderweg entlang des Bachlaufes. Auf Waldwegen geht es dann in mäßigem bergauf/bergab teilweise durch Frankreich und dann nach Schweigen. Es ist schon ein erhebendes Gefühl, wenn man aus dem Bannwald tritt und sich die Weinberge mit Blick auf Wissembourg ausbreiten. Und noch schöner, wenn Du nach der Tour unter dem Deutschen Weintor stehst. Hier war auch der Höhepunkt meiner Erfahrungen mit den öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln Queichtal, Nach einem Unfall auf der B10 wurden Umleitungen eingerichtet von denen auch der Busverkehr teilweise betroffen war. Auch wenn die Strecke Dahn nach Bad Bergzabern frei zu befahren war, fielen hier gleich drei Busse 16:01 Uhr, 17:01 Uhr und der letzte um 18:04 Uhr aus. Also musste ich mit dem Taxi nach Erlenbach für 48,00 Euro. Rückerstattung Fehlanzeige, angeblich höhere Gewalt, obwohl das Taxi aus Dahn innerhalb 25 min auf der gleichen Strecke in Bad Bergzabern war. Eine Fahrerin der VRN sagte schon: Die schmettern alle Beschwerden ab, und so war es auch. Teure Wanderetappe und Lehrgeld, also nie mehr QNV.
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When did you do this route? August 04, 2020
V. W.
September 26, 2016 · Community
Von der Burg Berwartstein aus geht es lange Zeit in einem Tal entlang bis man wieder ein wenig an Höhe gewinnen muss. Leider fand heute eine Bike-Veranstaltung von Wissembourg aus statt, die fast die Hälfte des Pfälzer Waldpfades mit in Anspruch nahm. So mussten wir mehr darauf achten, nicht überfahren zu werden, als den Weg zu genießen :-) Allerdings ist die Aussicht von den Weinbergen aus auch erst auf den letzten zwei / drei Kilometern zu genießen. Wenn man dann wie wir, fast den ganzen Pfälzer Waldpfad am Stück gewandert ist, bekommt man ein wunderbar erhabenes Gefühl, wenn das Weintor in Schweigen-Rechtenbach ins Blickfeld wandert!!!
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When did you do this route? September 25, 2016

Photos from others

17.2 km
5:15 h
524 m
511 m
Highest point
304 m
Lowest point
178 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest


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