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Themed route

Pirminius Cycle Route

Themed route · Palatinate
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  • Kräutergarten Kloster Hornbach
    / Kräutergarten Kloster Hornbach
    Photo: Werbeagentur Kuntz, Tourist-Info Pirminiusland
  • Hochzeitspavillon im Rosengarten
    / Hochzeitspavillon im Rosengarten
    Photo: Archiv Kultur- und Verkehrsamt Zweibrücken
Routenlogo für den Pirminius-Radweg
Map / Pirminius Cycle Route
0 150 300 450 600 m km 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Rosengarten Zweibrücken Teufelstisch

This cycle route is named after the Palatinate missionary St. Pirmin, also known as Pirminius. The route takes cyclists through the area where he lived and worked, from the French border in the south-west of the Palatinate to the outer reaches of the Palatinate Forest in the south-east. The western half of the route is defined by the rolling Westrich countryside which opens out onto the Bliesgau region. Once you have conquered the peak at Pirmasens, you will see the eastern half of the route, which is shaped by the Palatinate Forest Nature Park with its deep river valleys. From Hornbach to Zweibrücken, the route follows an old railway line. In Zweibrücken, it leads directly past Schlossplatz square and the rose garden. After this, mostly designated paths transport the cyclist peacefully and effortlessly through the wide Schwarzbach valley to Thaleischweiler-Fröschen. The path ascends steeply here for several kilometres past Höhfröschen and on to Pirmasens. Next, you cycle through the Sommerwald district on the northernmost edge of Pirmasens. From the eastern edge of town, the path descends steeply on its way to Münchweiler in the Rodalb valley, which it follows through dense forest to Hauenstein, after which a short loop takes riders to Spirkelbach and then on to Wilgartswiesen.

moderate
75.2 km
5:15 h
988 m
1025 m

This cycle route is named after the Palatinate missionary St. Pirmin, also known as Pirminius. The route takes cyclists through the area where he lived and worked, from the French border in the south-west of the Palatinate to the outer reaches of the Palatinate Forest in the south-east.

The western half of the route is defined by the rolling Westrich countryside which opens out onto the Bliesgau region. Once you have conquered the peak at Pirmasens, you will see the eastern half of the route, which is shaped by the Palatinate Forest Nature Park with its deep river valleys.

From Hornbach to Zweibrücken, the route follows an old railway line. In Zweibrücken, it leads directly past Schlossplatz square and the rose garden. After this, mostly designated paths transport the cyclist peacefully and effortlessly through the wide Schwarzbach valley to Thaleischweiler-Fröschen. The path ascends steeply here for several kilometres past Höhfröschen and on to Pirmasens.

Next, you cycle through the Sommerwald district on the northernmost edge of Pirmasens. From the eastern edge of town, the path descends steeply to Münchweiler in the Rodalb valley, which it follows through dense forest to Hauenstein, after which a short loop takes you to Spirkelbach and then on to Wilgartswiesen. Pirminius, an itinerant monk and founder of many monasteries, is considered the main evangeliser of south-western Germany and Alsace. In 740, Pirminius founded Hornbach Abbey, where visitors can find his grave in an idyllic setting. In the Middle Ages, the abbey was the most important spiritual and cultural centre between the bishoprics of Speyer, Metz, Strasbourg and Trier. The cycle route connects these traditional cultural landscapes, passing through the region in which Pirminius worked.

The eastern and western thirds of the Pirminius Cycle Route are largely flat and do not feature any long climbs. In between, however, Pirmasens peak makes itself known: The altitude of the town of Pirmasens (380-440 m above sea level) requires riders to overcome 200 m of ascent with short climbs at gradients over 8%, both from the Schwarzbach valley (Thaleischweiler-Fröschen: 240 m above sea level) and the Rodalb valley (Münchweiler: 275 m above sea level). Both uphill sections use car-free agricultural roads with a few hundred metres on urban roads. This means that less athletic cyclists can also ride the Pirminius Cycle Route if they have sufficient time and stamina, as they can gather their strength both before and after Pirmasens peak, or take a break to recover from the effort.

Author’s recommendation

Alternative and connecting routes: Two top tips for less experienced cyclists: The elegant railway alternative: From Pirmasens Nord train station (= Biebermühle), the train covers the 150 metres of altitude in just 7 minutes (regular hourly services every day, bikes can be carried on all trains.) The valley alternative: Omit Pirmasens and its peak (you will regret it!) by taking the Palatinate Forest Tour route from Biebermühle to Münchweiler.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Julian Knacker
Updated: May 21, 2019

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
436 m
Lowest point
202 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Cyclists must obey the German highway code (StVo).

Equipment

Please wear a helmet. Touring bicycle or bike with multiple gears, weatherproof clothing, drinks and supplies.

Tips, hints and links

Feedback, errors or omissions? Contact us by email: radwege@lbm.rlp.de www.radwanderland.de (responsible for infrastructure and route description).

Start

Hornbach (255 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
49.185093, 7.371086
UTM
32U 381301 5449309

Destination

Wilgartswiesen

Turn-by-turn directions

Difficulty level: The altitude of the town of Pirmasens (approx. 400 – 440 m above sea level) requires riders to overcome 180 metres of ascent with average climbs at gradients of 5 to 12%, both from the Schwarzbach valley (Thaleischweiler-Fröschen: 240 m above sea level) and the Rodalb valley (Münchweiler: 275 m above sea level). Both climbs are mainly on agricultural roads with a few hundred metres on urban roads without a cycle path. This means that less athletic cyclists can also ride the Pirminius Cycle Route if they have sufficient time and stamina, as there are no more long climbs after Pirmasens peak.

Route characteristics: 
Route:

  • 41 km of forest tracks and agricultural roads
  • 6 km of cycle paths
  • 22 km on urban roads with no cycle paths
  • 7 km on rural roads with no cycle paths

Surface quality:

  • 70 km of asphalt
  • 6 km of crushed brick/stone surfaces

Route overview:

Hornbach - Zweibrücken, 10 km (10 m of ascent, 20 m of descent):
Leisurely cycle along the old railway line in the Hornbachtal valley

Zweibrücken - Thaleischweiler-Fröschen, 23 km (60 m of ascent, 45 m of descent):On a range of paths through broad valleys around Schwarzbach river

Thaleischweiler-Fröschen - Pirmasens - Münchweiler, 20 km (250 m of ascent, 220 m of descent): High loop (180 m of ascent, some at gradients over 10%) into and through Pirminius’ home town. Take the train to help with the ascent from Pirmasens Nord to Pirmasens train station – reduces the climb by 3/4!)

Münchweiler - Hauenstein - Wilgartswiesen, 21.4 km (190 m of ascent, 255 m of descent): On designated paths undulating gently through the Palatinate Forest.

 

The route in the cycle network: The Pirminius Cycle Route joins the Saar cycle path network to the west and also connects to France via the European Mills Cycle Route. In Hinterweidenthal it meets the Pamina Cycle Route and the Palatinate Forest Cycle Route. In Hauenstein it meets the Queich Cycle Route, which takes it as far as Wilgartswiesen.

Public transport

The South-Western Palatinate is well served by the two railway lines from Zweibrücken to Landau, and Kaiserslautern to Pirmasens. Trains run hourly, or more frequently, in all directions with precise connections to mainline routes. Services run daily, including Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. All trains have special bicycle and multipurpose carriages, and passengers can travel with bicycles free of charge from Monday to Friday after 9 a.m., and on weekends and public holidays. Great ticket offers, for instance Deutsche Bahn’s Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket, also make the train a cheap way to travel.

The route runs parallel with the Saarbrücken-Zweibrücken-Landau railway line between Zweibrücken and Thaleischweiler-Fröschen, and from Münchweiler to Wilgartswiesen. In Pirmasens, you can connect to the Pirmasens-Kaiserslautern-Bingen line.

Getting there

The South Western Palatinate is easily accessible by car from

The north via the A6 and B270
The south and east via the A65 and B10
The west via the A8 and A62

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

www.radwanderland.de (verantwortlich für Infrastruktur und Wegebeschreibung) Radwege in der Südwestpfalz, Maßstab 1:1200.000 Radkarte Pfalz Beide Karten kostenlos erhältlich bei: Südwestpfalz Touristik e.V.


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
75.2 km
Duration
5:15 h
Ascent
988 m
Descent
1025 m
In and out Scenic With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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