Admittedly, I’m no history buff and my credibility would be called into question if I claimed to be a “hiker.” However, I do enjoy leisurely walks and I’m always open to learning a little more about the history in my own back yard. Regardless of your taste or activity level, you’ll find a little something for everyone on a trip to Spicheren, France.
Spicheren has a rich history as the site of battles in both the Franco-Prussian War and World War II (WWII). Memorials from each war can be found throughout the area include monuments to French and German soldiers as well as a dedication to US 70th Infantry Division Trail Blazers of WWII.
Walking through the woods unveils a number of other battle artifacts. At the start of the trail is a U.S. tank given to the city as a gift. Take any one of the turns to find other treasures, including old bunkers and dedications to war heroes. My tip is to take a photo of the map at the start of the trail so you can map out (and remember) your route. One path will lead you all the way to Saarbrücken, if you’re up for a 4+ mile challenge.
For me, no hike is complete without a beer and meal after to reward myself and negate all of the calories I just burned. Woll Retaurant, located between the tank and memorials, hits the spot. The menu is in French and German, so bring your adventurous spirit if you aren’t confident in your ordering abilities. Make sure to time your trip right if you plan to dine, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from 12-2 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. During warmer weather, there is a huge outdoor seating area perfect for taking in the country views and resting weary legs.
How to Get There
By car Spicheren is less than an hour drive southwest of Kaiserslautern, under two hours southwest of Wiesbaden and under three hours northwest of Stuttgart. Click on DB Bahn for train information.
The easiest way find the site is to use your GPS or map to get directions to the the restaurant: 80, Rue des Hauteurs F-57350 Spicheren. There’s free parking in front of the restaurant and on the street.
About the Author: Kelly is a DOD wife, devoted dog-mom, a mediocre cook, a whiskey connoisseur and an avid traveler who’s exploring the Kaiserslautern area with dog and husband in tow.