12 KM I ALTITUDE 30 METRES I DURATION 3.30 HOURS I Level of difficulty Easy
Explore one of the few wetland landscapes in the world that is protected and still ecologically intact as you follow in the footsteps of the “towers”. This walking loop follows the Michelsbach River and the Rhine, passing by fields of yellow irises, areas covered in grasses and reeds, and no end of fishing lakes. Plus, you can expect to be mesmerised by some incredible views along the way.
STARTING POINT AND HOW TO GET THERE
THINGS TO SEE
PLACES TO STOP
- Rucksack provisions. There are plenty of places to stop outside of the Naturschutzgebiet Rheinaue (Rhine Wetlands Nature Reserve) – check out the local restaurants in Hördt.
The route starts next to the information board in the car park for walkers in Hördt. Start off by taking a right turn onto Rheinstraße. Go past the municipal construction facility and head towards the Hördt Rheinaue Naturschutzgebiet (Rhine Wetlands Nature Reserve). After a few short metres, you will arrive at a bridge over the Michelsbach River. Cross over the wild waters and come to a fork in the path. Take a direct left turn and walk straight on alongside the Michelsbach River. You will reach an intersection when the path comes to an end. Go straight over here and head onto an earthy forest path. As you carry on, the woods become wilder and you will also be able to spot areas of swamp all around the edges of the woodland. When you come to a fork in the path, carry on straight ahead. Just stick to this earthy path, ignoring any other turnings.
When you come across an intersection at a Wander-Pavillion (Walkers’ Pavilion), go straight over. You will eventually come to a wide forest path, which you need to follow round to the right. After around 200 m, you will come to a big intersection in the middle of the woodland. You should turn left here. The next intersection is situated next to a little lake. Carry on straight ahead and look out for a large body of water on the left-hand side. Upstream of this incredible natural paradise, keep on going straight ahead through the alluvial forest. The route then bends around slightly to the right. Upon leaving the alluvial forest, you will come to a cornfield in an open space. Take a left turn and walk alongside the field until you end up back in the forest.
Although the large body of water on your left-hand side remains obscured by a bank, you will pass by a number of Fischteiche (Fishing Lakes) on the right. At one point, your view to the left will suddenly be cleared and you will briefly be able to see the body of water that was hidden before. You will eventually come to a tarmac cycle/footpath that is raised up slightly on a dam. Follow this path to the right for around 400 m.
Leave the tarmac path by turning left at the intersection. Follow the soft dirt track back into the swampy alluvial forest. You will reach the Rhine River in a matter of minutes. Walk along the stunning bank for a while, heading right, until you come to the second fork in the path, at which point you should head into the alluvial forest. Carry on straight ahead until you find yourself back on the cycle/footpath along the embankment after a few metres. Head right straight away so that you are up on the embankment. Keep walking straight ahead. Don’t forget to take in the view of the branch of the Old Rhine on your right. After a few metres, a path bending round to the left will appear across the way at the edge of the forest. Get off the embankment, cross the cycle/footpath and follow this new path back into the forest. Continue on the wide forest path. Turn right when you come to the big four-way intersection. Cross the bridge over the Michelsbach River, heading away from the Eichen-Ulmen Forest. The route proceeds through large fields.
Turn right once you have reached the intersection in around 300 m. When you are right in the middle of the open fields, you will suddenly be able to see a wonderful pond surrounded by reeds on your right-hand side.
As soon as you are past the pond, you will come to a fork in the path. Carry on walking straight ahead and enter a small wooded area. You will soon come to more fields and meadows. Here, at the edge of the wooded area,
carry on walking straight ahead at the intersection, passing alongside an orchard area. You will eventually need to bear right on a tarmac path and then keep walking straight ahead. Go past the farmland at the edge of the wooded area. Take a left turn here and follow the bank of the Michelsbach River, which will be hidden by all the trees. When the path comes to an end, turn left. You will be back at the car park where the route started before you know it.
SÜDPFALZ-TOURISMUS LANDKREIS GERMERSHEIM E.V.
Luitpoldplatz 1, 76726 Germersheim
Tel.: +49 (0)7274 – 53 300
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