Wine, views, and world heritage – hiking in the Odenwald on the Bergstraße

Hiking Collection by
Odenwald

In the Odenwald on the Bergstraße, you can expect a gentle low mountain range with colorful deciduous forests, orchards, and flowering pastures, as well as romantic castles and palaces. In short – a hiker's paradise. In this Collection, we show you nine day routes, where you help you get to know the different sides of the Geo-Nature Park Bergstraße-Odenwald, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015. Immerse yourself in the hilly landscape of the Odenwald, learn more about viticulture along the Bergstraße, enjoy dreamlike views and let yourself be enchanted by the historic sites. The region is especially stunning in autumn, with its golden colors.

So that you know immediately what is in the foreground during the respective hikes, we have arranged the routes thematically: the first two hikes lead you to important world heritage sites, whilst the next two revolve around wine. Three day trips promise scenic views, and two more routes will teach you about the region’s myths and legends. This way, you can enjoy the varied hiking trips in Odenwald and on the Bergstraße. No matter which route you choose, fun is guaranteed. The level of difficulty and length of the hikes varies, including something for everyone. You can decide which one to choose depending on how you feel on the day.

The infrastructure in the Odenwald and on the mountain road is great for hikers. The trails in the area are well signposted and you will always come across quaint restaurants where you can enjoy regional food with a glass of wine or sparkling cider. The hikes usually start at large parking lots, so you can easily travel by car. If you are planning a longer stay in the region, you can use Darmstadt, Heppenheim or in one of the picturesque half-timbered towns as your base camp.

Do these day hikes make you crave more? You can get to know the region even more intensively on one of the three long-distance hiking trails: the Nibelungensteig, the Burgensteig or the Alemannenweg. More information can be found in the collections:
komoot.de/collection/893330/einfach-sagenhaft-7-etappen-auf-dem-nibelungensteig,
komoot.de/collection/893328/auf-ritterlichen-spuren-9-etappen-auf-dem-burgensteig-bergstrasse,
komoot.de/collection/893327/der-alemannenweg-wandern-im-odenwald.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    03:28
    7.93 mi
    2.3 mph
    550 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In this 13-kilometer hike, the name says it all: south of Darmstadt there are seven hills that make it easy to hike. You can expect only 170 meters in altitude, but you will still be rewarded with wonderful views over Darmstadt and the Odenwald. Start of the tour is at the Ostbahnhof in Darmstadt. Not far from the station is the first hill: the Mathildenhöhe, the center of Art Nouveau and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Right at the beginning you walk through the beautiful landscape park Rosenhöhe. Grand Duchess Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt had the green area at the beginning of the 19th Century create a landscaped style. You leave the park and enter the next one: The path leads you past the botanical garden and the Vivarium, the Darmstadt Zoo.You dive deeper and deeper into the forest area and walk from hill to hill. Buildings that were visible from afar, such as the Bismarck Tower built in 1906 by students from Darmstadt or the Ludwigsturm, which was 28 meters high and accessible since 1882, were erected on the elevations themselves. From the tower you have a magnificent view over the Rhine-Main area. In the Ludwigsklause you can then strengthen yourself and take a break.The path continues through the quiet forest and past orchards. Enjoy nature once again to the fullest, because you soon reach the tram at the stop "waiting hall", with which you can drive back to the city center.

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  • Intermediate
    04:00
    9.55 mi
    2.4 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This circular walk leads you over quiet and flat forest paths from Messel to the hunting lodge Kranichstein. Along the 15 kilometer route, you will find small ponds, the nature reserve Silzwiesen and a ducal hunting pavilion. At the end of the hike, you can look forward to a journey through the history of Earth's evolution 48 million years ago. Starting point of the tour is the station in Messel.The path leads you over quiet forest paths and over the Silz. You wander through the idyllic meadow valley and enjoy the fresh forest air. After about six kilometers, you are standing at the Backhausteich, which belongs to the complex of the hunting lodge Kranichstein. The impressive building from the 16th century is one of the few surviving baroque hunters farms in Germany.Continue through the forest, past the straw meadow pond. Soon you will reach the Dianaburg, a Grand Ducal hunting pavilion in Biedermeier style. A nice place to pause for a moment. Continue through the nature reserve Silzwiesen with its wet meadows and lowland moors. Here you can discover many rare plant species.Soon the forest opens and you are back at the starting point in Messel. Definitely worth a visit to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Grube Messel. The visitor center with its outdoor area gives you unique insights into the early evolution of mammals and documents the evolutionary history of the earth, as determined by the end of the dinosaur age explosive changes in the animal and plant world. More information about the pit and the guides can be found here: grube-messel.de.

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  • Intermediate
    02:04
    4.39 mi
    2.1 mph
    625 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    70 stations, seven kilometers and lots of art - on the adventure trail wine and stone awaits you a lot of variety. Starting point is at Winzerbrunnen at Le-Chesnay-Platz in Heppenheim. There you will find out more about the track and the various stations on an overview board.You walk out of the village into the vineyards, past the Bergsträßer Winzer eG. How about a bottle of wine for the hiking breaks? Along the paved circular walk through several vineyards, you will always come across beautiful pause places with a wonderful panorama. All in all, you wander through five German wine regions. A highlight is the Winzerrast at Jägerhäuschen with the "Steinkopf-Webcam". Here you can take a souvenir photo, a great souvenir of your hiking day.Peach, almond and fig trees as well as Mediterranean plants line the path. On the way you will also come across great sculptures and artworks by local artists. There is plenty to do along the route, so plan plenty of time for the fun round trip.Again and again wine tours take place on the track. All dates and more information can be found here: weinundstein.net.

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  • Intermediate
    03:08
    6.96 mi
    2.2 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Ready for the island? The eleven kilometer-long Odenwälder Weininsel trail leads you through open landscapes and along the edge of the forest of the scenic vineyards in the northeast of the small wine town Groß-Umstadt. Starting point is at the parking lot at the Stadthalle in place.You walk past the entrance to juicy orchards, a little later you dive for a short bit in the goat forest. Then the path leads you down into the valley and into the vineyard Stachelberg. At the highest point of the vineyard is the Wendelinus chapel, from which you have a great view of the surrounding vineyards.In a gentle up and down you continue hiking through meadows, through forests and of course through other idyllic wine growing areas. Again and again you come to beautiful rest areas with a fantastic view over the Odenwald. Let the hilly landscape work on you and enjoy the tranquility of nature.Shortly before the end, the path leads past the farmhouse. In the restaurant you can have a culinary trip to Africa. If you are more into regional cuisine, then back in Groß-Umstadt you will find traditional wine taverns and restaurants serving regional cuisine and wines.

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  • Intermediate
    04:44
    10.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You will get to know Erbach and Michelstadt on this 16 kilometer round trip. You will enjoy beautiful panoramas of the two villages and let you drift away from the special charm of the historic half-timbered town. So the hike is wonderfully varied. Start of the tour is on the large parking lot at the bee market in Michelstadt.Right at the beginning you walk relaxed uphill and soon enjoy the first great views. At the top the path leads you past the airfield Waldhorn, maybe you can watch the one or the other plane while taking off or landing. You continue on to Silberbrünnchen where you can fill up your drinking bottle and soon reach the Sophienhöhe. Time for a promising break.Continue downhill to Erbach. You walk through the beautifully landscaped park in the heart of the city. If you are hungry, you will find several restaurants around the castle. Freshly strengthened, you are ready for the next ascent.Along the edge of the forest you walk back towards Michelstadt. En route, you will enjoy a great view of both cities and the surrounding countryside. From the Hermannshöhe offers you one last time a great panorama, before you descend and you are looking for a nice cafe in the beautiful old town.

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  • Intermediate
    03:13
    6.99 mi
    2.2 mph
    850 ft
    825 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This eleven-kilometer round hiking trail leads you over promising dirt roads and through quiet forests. Again and again your eyes wander from the ridge Tromm over the Odenwald and the Rhine plain to the Palatinate. Start of the tour is at the striking "books well" in Wald-Michelbach.Soon the trail leads you uphill on the mountain trail to Tromm, the sixth highest mountain in the Odenwald. Along the mountain trail, you will always have beautiful views into the distance - but there is also much to discover in your area. Several sculptures line the path and provide even more variety.After almost six kilometers you have reached the Ireneturm, which stands on the 577 meter high Tromm. The tower was built in 1890 in honor of the Princess Irene of Hesse-Darmstadt and replaced in 1910. Since 2013, however, it is closed because the bark beetles feel at home in the softwood.From here you walk gently downhill. On the way you will pass some works of art and viewpoints. Relaxed, you return to Wald-Michelbach. In the lovely old town you will find several restaurants to eat.

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  • Intermediate
    04:53
    10.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This panorama trail takes you in 17 kilometers around the Sensbachtal. You wander a lot through the forest, but again and again, you also have beautiful views of the meandering in the valley Sensbach and the surrounding mountains - including the Katzenbuckel, the highest point of the Odenwald. Start of the circular hike is at the Waldgasthof Reussenkreuz.The path leads you on a relatively flat area over meadows and through forests. You will enjoy again and again fantastic panoramas in the Sensbachtal and the surrounding mountain tops of the Odenwald. After a good six kilometers, you hike down to Unter-Sensbach - to hike up the other side of the valley. The first climb is short and crisp. Then you can take a short breath on a straight stretch before you master the second climb up to the Sensbacher Höhe.From the hill overlooking the hill you can enjoy a fantastic view of the city Beerfelden, the Odenwald and up to the mountains of the mountain road. The last few kilometers you wander relaxed through the forest back to your starting point, where you at the end of the day in the Waldgasthof Reussenkreuz can comfortably return (closed on Mondays).

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  • Intermediate
    03:47
    8.24 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this twelve-kilometer circular trail you will discover the legendary Rodenstein Ruin, the Falling Stream, the rock landscape at Wildweibchenstein and enjoy wonderful views into the Odenwald - simply amazing! Start of the hike is in the center of Reichelsheim.The first three kilometers are uphill over meadows and forest paths. After just under five kilometers you reach a great rest area with great foresight. How about a first, promising break?Soon, the path branches off to the rock formations of the wild female stone - a mystical place around which many legends entwine. Once two herbal women are said to have lived here and still roam the surrounding woods. Continue downhill, soon you will reach the Falling stream and the Rodenstein ruins. The castle is, according to legend, one of the focal points of the Schnellertsgeists: This is to lead in the coming wars, a ghost army, which allegedly noisy from the ruin Schnellerts by a particular farm, then along the Gersprenz and through Franconian Crumbach to the ruins Rodenstein through the air.The trail leads you further down the mountain, on the way you can enjoy great views of the hilly Odenwald. Back in Reichelsheim, a detour to the regional museum is worthwhile. In the village you will also find several restaurants to eat.

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  • Intermediate
    03:05
    6.42 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This ten kilometer hike takes you to the Gotthardsberg with its impressive church ruins. From there you have a wonderful view of seven valleys. Start of the tour is at the Altstadtparkplatz in Amorbach.You leave the place and climb up the Sommerberg in serpentines. On the way you pass a few beautiful vantage points, ideal for breather and enjoyment. The serpentines lead into a hiking trail that leads past the Warzenstein to the idyllic village of Neudorf. Before entering the village turn left. You will pass a rest area from where you can enjoy a wonderful view into the Bavarian and Baden Odenwald.Continue through an idyllic mixed forest. Soon the trail drops off and leads you to the impressive Gotthard ruin. It is worthwhile to climb the narrow spiral staircase inside the church to the roof and to enjoy the unique view of the baroque town of Amorbach and the surrounding region.You continue hiking downhill and reach your starting point again. In Amorbach you will find a small selection of restaurants.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    9
  • Distance
    71.6 mi
  • Duration
    32:22 h
  • Elevation
    7,575 ft
Wine, views, and world heritage – hiking in the Odenwald on the Bergstraße
Hiking Collection by
Odenwald