The challenging 62 km South-West Palatinate Tour takes cyclists from the heart of the Palatinate Forest over Sickingen Heights, with stunning views, to the Glan-Blies Cycle Route at Zweibrücken.
Starting from the centre of the Palatinate Forest Nature Park, the classic South-West Palatinate Tour takes riders across Sickingen Heights to Zweibrücken and to the Glan-Blies Cycle Route near Einöd. The forest landscape of the Palatinate Forest gives way to stunning panoramic views from Sickingen Heights. From the high hamlet of Johanniskreuz, the route uses cycle paths, forest tracks and agricultural roads to reach Heltersberg and descend deep into the Moosalbe valley as it heads to Waldfischbach-Burgalben. This is followed by a steep climb up to Hermersberg with another long descent into Wallhalben. A final ascent takes riders to Schmitshausen and to the high point in Battweiler, before the last third of the route heads down into the Auerbach and Schwarzbach valley through Zweibrücken, before linking through to the Glan-Blies Cycle Route.
The 180,000-hectare Palatinate Forest Nature Park is the largest contiguous forest region and the most impressive Bunter sandstone landscape in Germany. To begin with, the landscape around the cycle path is dominated by dense beech trees. The scenery on Sickingen Heights is quite different, with sweeping views towards the mountain peaks, into Alsace and Lorraine, and over to the North Palatine Uplands. Enjoy a seamless transition between wooded areas, meadows and farmland with stunning views of the hilly landscape. Finally, the urban valleys of the Auerbach and Schwarzbach rivers define the region around Zweibrücken.
Two distinct peaks and the high points of the Palatinate Forest require plenty of energy. Cyclists who start the South-West Palatinate Tour in Johanniskreuz save themselves the uphill climb onto Johanniskreuz heights, which cyclists coming from Zweibrücken have to conquer. The next climb from the Moosalbe valley to the Wallhalb valley has around 180 m of ascent, with peak gradients in excess of 8%, while the climb to Battweiler Heights is around 150 metres with a steep section out of Wallhalben, and before and after Battweiler. Cyclists will be relieved to know that, with the exception of the climb up to Battweiler (on a quiet district road), the other ascents are on cycle paths and agricultural roads undisturbed by vehicles.
Summary: Although it has some significant climbs, the quiet, off-road South-West Palatinate Tour is suitable for all cycling enthusiasts who have plenty of time and stamina.
Cyclists must obey the German highway code (StVo).
Please wear a helmet. Touring bicycle or bike with multiple gears, weatherproof clothing, drinks and supplies.
Feedback, errors or omissions? Contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.radwanderland.de (responsible for infrastructure and route description).
When travelling by car, any town can be chosen as the starting point of the South-West Palatinate Tour. The (South) Western Palatinate is easily accessible by car from The north via the A6, A62 and B270 The south and east via the A65 and B10 The west via the A6, A8 and A62 There are a large number of websites which you can use to plan your journey. The South-West Palatinate Tour is well integrated into the greater cycle network. In Waldfischbach-Burgalben, it joins the Palatinate Forest Tour, in Weselberg the Sickinger Mühlen Cycle Route, and in Zweibrücken the Pirminius Cycle Route. A cycle route planner can be found at www.radwanderland.de
Parking is available mainly at the rail halts or in Johanniskreuz.