Story and photos by Jaqueline Samad
Enjoy a colorful fall day in the Pfälzer Wald (Palatinate forest). Whether with your partner, children, a dog or alone, this is the ideal place to recharge your batteries and relax in the tranquility of the forest. My dog and I started at Bremerhof, where you will find plenty of parking, a nice little restaurant with a wonderful beer garden and a big playground for children.
Bremerhof is over 200 years old and has been named one of most beautiful places in the Pfälzer Wald. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, the beer garden was added to the history books as part of the urban culture scene in Kaiserslautern.
For those who prefer walking without a backpack, there are places to eat before and after your hike, so you do not need to bring snacks if you don’t want to. Tip: enjoy a beer fresh from the tap or coffee and cake under a tent of leaves of an old chestnut tree in the beer garden.
From Bremerhof the hike continues to Pfaffenbrunnen. The Pfaffenbrunnen (Pfaff fountain) was once the water supply for Bremerhof’s residents. Water cascades over 57 colorful sandstone blocks on the Letzbergs slope. This fountain also serves as a water fountain for your dog on this hike. A small hut with seats offers you the first opportunity to take a breather. From there you will make your way to Dreieckstein (triangular stone).
On the three sides of the Dreieckstein, you will find displays of the coat of arms of the Electoral Palatinate, the coat of arms of the city of Kaiserslautern and the coat of arms of the Chapter of Canons. This stone marks the borders of the Stifts forest, state forest, and city forest.
Trenches were dug down the valley and a defensive fort was built during the battle of Kaiserslautern in 1793 to 1796 between Prussia and France. Here you will also find a comfortable seating area for a short break, especially if you are hiking with children. A bit of an incline awaits o your final stretch to Humbergturm. Route signs are on the trees to make it easier to find your way through the forest.
Once you have made it to the top, the walk up the hill is quickly forgotten. There is a big field by the tower that is a great place for kids or your four-legged friend to play catch, definitely a good reason to bring some outdoor games with you.
The Humbergturm was completed in 1900 and is 1,394 feet tall. Today this sandstone tower, “Grosses Humberg” (big Humberg) is a classic hiking destination that lies south of Kaiserslautern. Once you have made the 162 step climb up to the breezy observation deck, you are able to look over Kaiserslautern and surrounding areas. The way back to Bremerhof is clearly marked.