Take a hike
Your guide to volksmarching in and around the U.S. Army Garrisons Baumholder and Wiesbaden
By Donald Seltzer
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Volksmarch Editor
F This column says a fond farewell and Godspeed to the Herald Union’s longtime editor, Karl Weisel. He’s been patient, understanding, and encouraging, as well as a friend, over the many years that this writer has produced Take a Hike, even though the deadline got pushed back a little more often than it should have been. He will be greatly missed by all.
F The calendar for volksmarching in Germany, Terminliste 2015, is available for €3 in the start hall at most events. This useful booklet lists dates, locations, points of contact and other information for each of the scheduled events in Germany. Also provided is an extensive list of permanent trails. Kaiserslautern- and Spangdahlem-area wanderers may also want to pick up the 2015 volksmarching calendars for France, Luxembourg, or Belgium; some or all of these may be available from the DVV Awards Officer when present at an event.
F Got a comment? Found something you’d like to correct? Want to change ‘unknown’ to a useful trail description? Write me at email@example.com with the subject “Feedback.”
F Interested in volksmarching but not sure how things work? Send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Getting Started HU.”
F Many thanks to readers Pat and Cheryl Patterson, Barbara MacDonald, Johnette Scott, Lew Harrison, James Meredith, and Dale Robinson for providing event brochures.
F Take a moment to grab a set of brochures from the Werber table and send them via no-cost MPS to Donald Seltzer, PSC 2 Box 10684, APO AE 09012.
F The postal code is included in the listings for readers using navigation devices. Autobahn exit numbers are being added for those without such devices.
F Would you like to receive Take a Hike at the same time as the newspaper editor? The complete, unedited version of the monthly volksmarching feature is available in its original Word document format by sending an email message to email@example.com with 'Subscribe HU' in the subject line.
Weekend of Nov. 22-23
Bettendorf, Luxembourg (L-9353) -- This event is southwest of Bitburg and about a 45-minute drive from that community. Participants will find a variety of trails, including 42 and 50 kilometers. From Bitburg, use B-257 to Echternacherbrück and the border. Cross the Sûre river into Luxembourg and connect with N10, following that as it parallels the river to Reisdorf. After crossing the river again, continue on D19 to the start at Bettendorf.
Start: Centre Culturel et Sportif on Rue Neuve Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6 and 12 km), 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (20 km), 6:30-11 a.m. (30 km) and 6:30-9 a.m. (42 and 50 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None or patch and certificate (marathon trails).
Holz/Saar (66265) -- This Saarland event is north of Saarbrücken and west of Neunkirchen. From the KMC area, use Autobahns 6, 8 and 1 toward Saarlouis and Saarbrücken. Exit at Quierscheid (144) to follow IVV signs to the start at Holz.
Start: Glück-Auf-Halle on Glück-Auf-Weg Saturday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6, 11 and 20 km) Sunday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (6, 11 and 20 km) Trails: Unknown Award: None.
Wiesenfeld (Karlstadt) (97753) -- This Sunday walk is due east of Aschaffenburg and requires about a 90-minute drive from Wiesbaden. It’s a long drive but, once off the autobahn, should be rather scenic. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 66 toward Frankfurt and 3 toward Würzburg. Exit at Weibersbrunn (63) to use minor roads toward Neuhütten in order to connect with B-26 toward Lohr am Main. Once at Lohr, take minor roads through Steinbach that will lead to Wiesenfeld. Definitely pay attention to IVV signs as you leave Autobahn 3.
Start: Waldsassenhalle on Hausener Straße Sunday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6 and 10 km) Trail: Expected to be somewhat hilly, woods Award: None.
Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27
Ramstein-Miesenbach (66877) -- The Ramstein Roadrunners club plays host to its 30th annual Thanksgiving Day volksmarch -- quite the milestone! Wanderers will find the event to be a friendly and relaxing family activity. Ask about becoming a club member -- information is available at the start hall. Consider making reservations to enjoy the Thanksgiving buffet at the Officers' Club on Ramstein Air Base. Spend a night or two in guest lodging -- contact Central Reservations at 06371-454920 to find out if Space-A rooms are available. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 643, 60, 63 and 6 and the Landstuhl/Air Base exit (13), then follow IVV signs to reach the town of Ramstein-Miesenbach. From the KMC, well, drive over to Miesenbach and look for parking.
Start: Mehrzweckhalle at Am Kiefernkopf 22 Thursday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (5 and 10 km) Trail: Slightly hilly, fields and forests Award: Decorative neckerchief with pendant.
Weekend of Nov. 29-30
Ettelbruck, Luxembourg (L-9068) -- This event is southwest of Bitburg and about an hour’s drive from there. From Bitburg, use B-257 to Echternacherbrück and the border. Cross the Sûre river into Luxembourg and connect with N10, following that as it parallels the river to Reisdorf. After crossing the river again, continue on D19 to Diekirch and pick up D7 to Ettelbruck and the start.
Start: Lycée Technique d’Ettelbeck at 71, avenue Salentiny Sunday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6 and 10 km) and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (15 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None.
Kirchen-Freusburg (57548) -- Enjoy the scenic area southwest of Siegen at this event as the host club celebrates its 30th anniversary. Freusburg is marketed as “am Fuße des Westerwaldes,” or “at the foot of the Westerwald” area. Children will receive a free waffle and drink. Maps indicate a castle at Freusburg, a town of interest for tourists. Expect a one hour and three-quarters drive from Wiesbaden using Autobahns 66 toward Frankfurt and 3 toward Koblenz. Near Limburg, take the B49/B54 exit toward Siegen and continue on B-54 to Langendernbach. Connect with secondary roads passing through Langenhahn, Nister, Kausen and Kirchen to reach the start at Freusburg. From Giessen, use Autobahn 45 toward Siegen and exit at Wilnsdorf (23). Follow a secondary road to Neunkirchen and Betzdorf, then B-62 to Kirchen and Freusburg.
Start: Bürgerhaus Freusburg on Siegtalstraße; parking is at Industriestraße 4 Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (5 and 10 km) and 8 a.m. to noon (20 km) Trail: Hilly trails, woods Award: None.
Ketsch (68775) -- This Sunday event is roughly midway between Speyer and Heidelberg -- both cities worth a visit themselves -- and about an hour’s drive from Wiesbaden as well as the KMC. From Kaiserslautern, use Autobahns 6 toward Mannheim, 61 towards Karlsruhe, and exit at Hockenheim (64) toward Ketsch. Take minor roads to the start at Ketsch. From Wiesbaden, take Mainzer Straße to Autobahn 671, 60, and 67 toward Darmstadt. Continue on A6 south toward Basel, then exit at Mannheim/Schwetzingen (28) in the direction of Mannheim-Rheinau. Connect with B-36 and exit toward Ketsch to use secondary roads to the start.
Start: Rheinhalle Sunday: 6:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. (6 and 10 km) and 6:45 a.m. to noon (20 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None.
Neustadt (Hessen) (35279) -- This Sunday walk is northeast of Giessen and requires about a 90-minute drive from Wiesbaden. Nikolaus, the German version of Santa, will visit the start hall after 11 a.m. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 66 toward Frankfurt, 5 toward Hannover, 45 toward Giessen, and 485 toward Marburg. From the end of A485, continue on B-3 past Marburg to connect with B-62 to Kirchhain and B-454 to Neustadt and the start.
Start: Haus der Begegnung at Querallee 11-13 Sunday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (6 and 11 km) Trail: Hilly, mostly woods Award: Cookbook.
Schwarzenholz (66793) -- This event is northwest of Saarbrücken in the Saarland area; the drive from both the KMC and Baumholder areas is a little less than an hour. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6 and 8 toward Saarlouis and exit at Schwalbach/Schwarzenholz (15). Follow IVV signs on minor roads to the start at Schwarzenholz. From Baumholder, head to Freisen to pick up Autobahn 62 toward Trier. Connect with Autobahns 1 south toward Saarbrücken and 8 west toward Saarlouis. Exit at Schwalbach/Schwarzenholz (15) and take minor roads to Schwarzenholz.
Start: Schulze-Kathrin-Halle at Dorfstraße 16 Saturday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (6 and 10 km) Sunday: 7 a.m. to noon (6 and 10 km) Trails: Unknown Award: None.
Spabrücken (55595) -- This event, in the Naturpark Soonwald-Nahe, is northwest of Bad Kreuznach and southwest of Bingen, and should be easily reached. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 60 and 61 past Bingen, then exit at Waldlaubersheim (47). Follow a minor road through Schweppenhausen and Schöneberg to reach the start at Spabrücken. From the KMC, expect a 70-minute drive using Autobahns 6 toward Mannheim, 63 toward Mainz, and 61 toward Koblenz. Exit at Bad Kreuznach (51) to pick up B-41 toward Idar-Oberstein. At Rüdesheim an der Nahe, take the exit off of B-41 heading toward Stromberg and use secondary roads leading to Spabrücken and the start.
Start: Soonwaldhalle Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (6 and 10 km) Trail: Hilly, fields and woods Award: None.
Weekend of Dec. 6-7
Hüttigweiler (66557) -- This Nikolauswanderung event is southwest of Baumholder and north of Saarbrücken in the Saarland area. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6 and 8 toward Saarlouis and Autobahn 1 toward Trier. Exit at Illingen (142) and take secondary roads through Hosterhof to reach Hüttigweiler. From the Baumholder area, use Autobahn 62 toward Trier. Connect with Autobahn 1 toward Saarbrücken and exit at Illingen (142) to follow the same minor roads to the start.
Start: Illtalhalle on Pfarrstraße (at Verzy-Platz) Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (5, 10 and 20 km) Trails: Unknown Award: From previous events.
Staudernheim (55568) -- This event, about a 50-minute drive from Baumholder and Wiesbaden, and an hour from the KMC, reminds wanderers that Christmas is fast approaching as it offers a Nikolaus-Wanderung. From Baumholder, head to Idar-Oberstein to pick up B-41 toward Bad Kreuznach. At Bad Sobernheim, connect with a minor road to the start at Staudernheim. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 643 toward Mainz, 60 toward Bingen, and 61 toward Ludwigshafen. Use the Bad Kreuznach exit (51) to pick up B-41 toward Idar-Oberstein. At Waldböckelheim, connect with secondary roads through Oberstreit to reach Staundernheim. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6 toward Mannheim and 63 toward Mainz. Exit at Winnweiler (13) and pick up B-48 north toward Rockenhausen. Connect with B-420 at Alsenz-Obermoschel, then at Obermoschel use secondary roads through Lettweiler to the start at Staudenheim.
Start: Turnhalle at the Sportplatz Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5, 10 and 15 km) Trail: Hills and fields Award: None.
Weekend of Dec. 13-14
Arlon, Belgium (B-6700) -- This Saturday event is east-northeast of Luxembourg City, and about a 70-minute drive from BitburgFrom Bitburg and Spangdahlem, use B-51 south to Neuhaus and Autobahn 64 to the border. After crossing into Luxembourg, continue on Autoroutes A1/E29 and A6/E25 to drive around Luxembourg City to the south. Continue on A6 to the border; once in Belgium continue on A4/E25 past Arlon’s IKEA store to the Arlon exit (31). Use N82, N83 and N40 to Arlon and the city center to find the start.
Start: ISMA at rue de Bastogne 31 Saturday: Noon to 5 p.m. (5 and 10 km) Trail: Unknown Award: Certificate.
Bockenau (55595) -- This event is due west of Bad Kreuznach on the year-round, permanent Hunsrück trail system. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 643, 60 and 61 toward Bingen and Bad Kreuznach. Exit at Bad Kreuznach (51) to use B-41 toward Kirn. Pick up a secondary road at Waldböckelheim to head northwest to Bockenau. From Baumholder, use the minor road bordering the training area to reach B-420. Head toward Bad Kreuznach to connect with B-270 toward Idar-Oberstein and B-41 through Kirn to Waldböckelheim. A minor road will lead to Bockenau.
Start: Bockenauer-Schweiz-Halle on Waldböckelheimer Straße Sunday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (5 and 10 km) Trail: Fairly hilly, woods Award: None.
Erstein, France (67150) -- This late afternoon and evening event is south of Strasbourg and northwest of the former Canadian airbase at Lahr, Germany. It’s way too far (almost 2.5 hours from Kaiserslautern) but some of KMC’s volksmarchers will make a day out of it with visits to Strasbourg, Lahr, Baden-Baden, Bad Dürkheim, etc. Make note that the start and end points are in different locations; participants will walk a bit back to their car. From the KMC, use A-6 toward Mannheim, A-61 south toward Karlsruhe, and A-65 toward Landau. Exit at Kandel-Süd (22) to follow B-9 to the border and connect with French Autoroute A35 toward Strasbourg. You’ll merge onto A4 briefly but continue southbound on A35 to use exit 6 toward Offenburg/Illkirch-Graffenstaden. Follow secondary roads past Fegersheim to the start at Erstein.
Start: Salle St Martin, Maison des Oeuvres at 9, quai du Convent (Finish is Salle Hérinstein at rue du Vieux Marché) Saturday: 3-7:30 p.m. (10 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None.
Hamm, Luxembourg (L-9068) -- This event is at Hamm, a town on the eastern edge of Luxembourg city. It’s a 95-minute drive from the KMC and about 50 minutes from Bitburg. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6 toward Saarbrücken; 62, 1, and 602 to Trier; and 64 to the border. Continue on A1 in Luxembourg, then take exit 7 to pick up N2 and CR225 to the start. From Bitburg, use B-51 south to Neuhaus, then Autobahn 64 to the border, continuing on A1 once in Luxembourg. Take exit 7 to use N2 and CR225 to reach Hamm and the start.
Start: Hall omnisports Sunday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 10 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None.
Metz, France (F-57050) -- A hugely-popular Saturday-only evening walk offers wanderers a tour of this historic city with many of its monuments and buildings illuminated; the trail also passes through a Christmas market. Go early to avoid crowds or later to enjoy the lights; dress warmly regardless. This event is well worth the time to reach it. West of Saarbrücken, this walk is easily reached via autobahn. Use German Autobahn 6 past Kaiserslautern, Ramstein and Landstuhl toward Saarbrücken; cross the border into France where the autobahn becomes A4/E50. As you approach Metz, follow signs toward Stade Saint-Symphorien and watch carefully for Metz Illuminée directional signs.
Start: Complexe Sportif on Boulevard Saint Symphorien Saturday: 2-6 p.m. (10 km) Trail: Flat, city streets Award: None Note: The highway between Germany's border and Metz is a toll road. An Esso station is located at a rest stop on the eastbound side (direction Kaiserslautern/Mannheim) of A-6 near Homburg/Saar (just past exit 9).
Weekend of Dec. 20-21
Luxembourg-Limpertsberg, Luxembourg (L-1750) -- A few years ago, this event was recommended by volksmarching enthusiast Kay Garsnett who especially enjoys “…December volksmarches that combine St. Nick or Christmas celebrations.” Last year, this writer participated in the event and can second Kay’s thoughts. This Saturday-only walk has its trails passing by the town’s Christmas market. It’s a long drive from the KMC (about 90 minutes) but, if you’ve got the time and the weather is nice, should be a worthwhile trip. From the KMC, use Autobahn 6 toward Saarbrücken. At Kreuz Neunkirchen connect with A-8 toward Luxembourg and continue across the border where it becomes A13. At the Croix de Bettembourg interchange, take A3 toward Luxembourg. Just past the Croix de Gasperich, the autobahn ends at a roundabout; take the second exit onto B3. Use N3, N50, N57, Boulevard Royal, N52, Avenue Victor Hugo, Square Edouard Andre and Rue Jean-Baptiste Fresez. Watch for IVV signs leading to the start at Limpertsberg. From Bitburg, expect slightly less than an hour’s drive. Take B-257 south to Echternacherbrück and the border. Cross the Sûre river into Luxembourg and continue toward Luxembourg City using E29 and E421. Once in Luxembourg City, follow IVV signs to Limpertsberg.
Start: Hall Victor Hugo at 60 Avenue Victor Hugo Saturday: 1-5 p.m. (6 and 12 km) Trail: Hilly in places, passing by the Christmas Market Award: None.
Weekend of Dec. 27-28
Allendorf (56370) -- Expect a pretty walk in the Naturpark Rhein-Taunus northwest of Wiesbaden on this end-of-2014 walk. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 66 toward Frankfurt and 3 toward Limburg, exit at Bad Camberg (44) and follow a secondary road to Beuerbach, Ketternschwalbach and Panrod. Change roads to head toward Burgschwalbach and Zollhaus and connect with B-274 to reach the start.
Start: Dorfgemeinschaftshaus at Hauptstraße 67 Sunday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 10 km) and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (15 km) Trail: Fairly hilly, fields and woods Award: From previous events.
Beringen, Luxembourg (L-7590) -- This Sunday event, north of Luxembourg City, is about an hour’s drive from the Bitburg area and two hours from Kaiserslautern. From Bitburg and Spangdahlem, use B-257 south to Echternacherbrück and the border. Cross into Luxembourg and connect with N11 to Lauterborn, then pick up D118 to Larochette. Briefly use D119 in order to connect again with D118 to Berschbach, and D123 to Beringen. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6, 62, 1, and 602 toward Trier, then 64 to the Luxembourg border. Continue across the border on Autoroute A1 to the Potaschbierg exit (13). Connect with secondary roads N1, N14, N11, and N14 to Larochette, then pick up D119 and D118 to Berschbach. Use D123 to the start at Beringen.
Start: Hal Irbicht on rue Irbicht Sunday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6 and 11 km) and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (16 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None.
Weekend of Jan. 3-5
Bretzenheim/Nahe (55559) -- This event is just up the road from Bad Kreuznach in the direction of Bingen. You'll enjoy the walk as long as you watch for the trail markings -- it's easy to make a wrong turn here. From Bad Kreuznach take B-48 north to Bretzenheim. From Wiesbaden and points east take Autobahn 60 toward Bingen, continuing at its end on a two-lane road to Gensingen. Follow IVV directional signs to Langenlonsheim and Bretzenheim.
Start: Kronenberghalle on Winzenheimer Straße Saturday and Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 10 km) and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (15 km) Trail: Somewhat hilly, vineyards Award: None.
Leudelange, Luxembourg (L-3361) -- This event brings volksmarchers southwest of Luxembourg City on the first Sunday of the new year. It’s a long drive from the KMC (about 1 hour 45 minutes) but should be easily done using autobahns. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6 and 8 past Saarbrücken, Saarlouis and Merzig to the border at Perl. After crossing into Luxembourg, continue west on Autoroute A13 to connect with the A4 toward Luxembourg City. Use the Leudelange Sud exit (2) and follow secondary roads to the start. From Bitburg and Spangdahlem, use Autobahns 60, 1, and 602 to Trier. Use the Trier-Ehrang exit to connect with A-64 to Luxembourg City; after crossing the border, the autobahn becomes A1. Bypass Luxembourg City to the south using B1 to connect with A4, then exit at Leudelange Nord (1) to follow secondary roads to the start. IVV signs should be available after exiting the autoroute.
Start: Hall Omnisports at 7, place des Martyrs Sunday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 10 km) and 8 a.m. to noon (15 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None.
Weekend of Jan. 10-11
Eppelborn (66571) -- This event is due north of Saarbrücken and easily reached by autobahn from the Kaiserslautern Military Community. From Baumholder, head south to pick up A-62 in the direction of Neubrücke and Trier. Connect with A-1 southbound toward Saarbrücken and exit at Eppelborn (141). Follow IVV directional signs to the start. From the KMC, Autobahns 6 and 1 toward Saarbrücken. Exit at Eppelborn (141) and follow the IVV signs.
Start: Realschule on Hellbergstraße Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (6 and 10 km) Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to noon (6 and 10 km) Trail: Unknown Award: None.
Runkel an der Lahn (65594) -- The walk is north of Wiesbaden and east of Limburg. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 66 toward Frankfurt and 3 toward Köln. Exit at Limburg-Süd (43), use B-8 through Lindenholzhausen and Niederbrechen, then pick up a secondary road to reach the start at Runkel.
Start: Stadthalle at Am Sportplatz 3 Saturday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6 and 11 km) and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (20 km) Sunday: 7 to 1 p.m. (6, 11 and 20 km) Trail: Hilly, woods Award: Set of two Latte Macchiato tumblers and two tealight holders.
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