24 KM I ALTITUDE 21 METRES I DURATION 6 HOURS I Level of difficulty Medium
This route is ideal for anyone who does a lot of walking and is keen to find out more about the history of the Bienwald. You will find yourself walking mostly along narrow paths beside meandering streams. Prepare to explore historical sites on the way from the middle of the Bienwald to the border with the neighbouring region of Alsace.
STARTING POINT AND HOW TO GET THERE
THINGS TO SEE
PLACES TO STOP
- Naturfreundehaus (Nature Lovers’ Cabin) in Kandel (closed on Tuesdays), “Gleis 3” restaurant at Bahnhof Kandel (Kandel Train Station) (closed on Saturdays), Bienwaldmühle guest house in Scheibenhardt (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and throughout January)
Follow the signs for the Naturfreundeweg (Nature Lovers’ Path) from Wanderbahnhof Kandel (Kandel Train Station). The Naturfreunde (Nature Lovers) logo – a green “N” on a white background with red arrows pointing to the right and left – will lead you to the Bienwald Naturfreundehaus (Nature Lovers’ Cabin), which is about 3 km away.
Follow the path to the south and cross the country road. After about 500 m, bear right and follow the green bars on the forest path signs until you reach the Gutenbrunnen Fountain.
We recommend that you make a quick detour (approx. 300 m) here to pay a visit to the Heilbrunnen Fountain (follow the signs along the way).
It is said that the springs had already been discovered in the Roman Era. Back at the start of the 19th century, an apothecary from Kandel called Wend discovered that the water had a healing effect. The pyramid-shaped memorial was erected by General Wurmser during the Revolutionary Wars in 1793. His officers used the springs as a safe place of retreat and the water to heal their severe wounds. The Lourdes Grotte (Lourdes Shrine) is not located too far away. During the war, in 1944, Bernhard Brossart sustained major wounds and only survived thanks to his friend acting quickly. A shrine was set up as a sign of his gratitude. From this point, the route continues in a natural forested area that is not included in any forestry activities, meaning that the trees and all other nature there are left alone. Animals and plants can thrive without any human intervention. With that in mind, you should be aware that access may be restricted here at times. In these instances, signs will point you in the direction of an alternative route. Carry on along the meandering Saugraben Stream and the Aschbach Stream, passing the Hirschbrunnenhütte cabin and through the “wet” Bienwald until you reach the Weißes Kreuz (White Cross), where you can have a rest on the benches. Legend has it that poachers tied a woodsman called Johann W. Alwens to an oak tree in 1838. To show his gratitude for being untied, he cut the shape of a cross into the trunk of the tree. His successor is said to have created the Weißes Kreuz (White Cross) using the wood. After around 4 km, you will have made your way through the delightful beech grove to arrive at the Bienwaldmühle guest house, where you will find a range of specialities from the local Palatinate region.
Keep following the green bars on the signs in a northerly direction until you come to a car park, where there is a path leading to the Redoute (Redoubt). In the area surrounding the Lauter River, there are lots of these old French fortifications that were set up in moats. For example, an interconnected system of artillery redoubts with locks (Lauter Line), which the French could use to flood the whole area, was created in 1706. You will complete the remaining 4.5 km on a lovely narrow forest path with a natural surface. At the end of this stretch, you will reach Bahnhaltepunkt Kapsweyer (Kapsweyer Train Station), where you can take a train every hour to get back to Kandel in just under 20 minutes with a change at Winden.
SÜDPFALZ-TOURISMUS LANDKREIS GERMERSHEIM E.V.
Luitpoldplatz 1, 76726 Germersheim
Tel.: +49 (0)7274 – 53 300
info (at) suedpfalz-tourismus.de
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