Germany,  Travel

Karlstal Gorge Hike

Hiking in Germany is pretty popular, I mean, you can’t go wrong with the many trails in Germany, to me, they’re all great!  Due to Covid restrictions we have had in the past few months, we’re finally permitted to go on family hikes further out than our 100km radius!  So today, we decided to explore a favorite hiking location by many, Karlstalschlucht (also known as (Karst valley gorge in English) located near Trippstadt, Germany.  It was our Memorial Day Holiday and since we had been working on the house, we knew we needed to get the kiddos out and explore.

We met up with some of our closest friends (we are finally allowed to meet up with one other family), it’s always better when you explore with friends, in my opinion.  Parking can be found here which is a rocked parking area by the Klugsche Mühle restaurant. We passed a small pond after the parking area to our left and the start of the trail was directly after the pond (before the restaurant).  We followed the sign for the Karlstalschlucht, which was the trail to the left as you passed the pond.

Swans and babies by the pond at the entrance of the hike.
Take the Karlstalschlucht route.

Some quick information about Karlstal gorge, it is one of the most beautiful hiking locations in the Rhineland Palatinate Region of Germany in the Palatine Forest.  There’s history in this region dating back to the late 1700s to include a visit from King Ludwig I of Bavaria.  Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell, who founded the English garden designs in Germany, has been known to have said that Karlstal is, “One of the most beautiful valleys of this type that I have seen …, lying in the Barony of Trippstadt …, then known as the Karlstal”  (quoted in wikipedia).  You can find more historical information here and here.

Some of the famous historical names to have been able to stay near Karlstal.

Walking through the forest, the start of the trail was a nice, peaceful, beautiful hike.  We enjoyed the ambiance of the forest and listening to the water along the trail.  You can cross wooden bridges to get to the other side of the trail. The kids were able to lead the way and they seemed to enjoy the stream and easiness (is that a word?) of the hike. 

Hiking under the canopy of trees, the temperature was cool, so on hot days, it would be a nice hike.  The weather for the day was in the high 50s, so we had lightweight jackets with us.  I think we took so many pictures during our walk, it was that beautiful.  It almost reminded me of our hikes among the Redwood forests of Northern California when we visited there.  The highlight of the hike, this gazebo that makes Karlstal Gorge so popular, it’s the most picturesque area for this hike!  Here are a few photos from our hike.

The famed Gazebo of Karlstal Gorge.
My little one enjoying the hike.

The total mileage of the trail before we had to cross the main road to hike up to the town of Trippstadt was approximately 1 mile, very easy for kiddos.  You could probably take a stroller made for rough terrains, but I don’t recommend it as some areas are a bit more rocky and steep.  I would take a toddler hiking backpack for those kiddos not quite ready to walk just yet.

After crossing the main road, be careful as cars do pass by this road and there’s no crosswalk, the trail became more uphill.  We took the trail to where it lead us to the town of Trippstadt.  We were on the lookout for a restaurant that would be open for us to grab a quick bite (of course Covid style as we were only allowed, for our end, to eat outdoors). 

The town of Trippstadt was quaint and cute.  We passed by the Trippstadter Schloss (aka Trippstadter Palace), the palace that Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell was commissioned to design the garden.  Unfortunately, it appeared to have been closed when we passed through.  So much history in this cute town, we didn’t really get to explore it, but we did stop by the tourist shop to grab my friend and I a postcard (my souvenir for each location we visit, I’ll be writing a post about this hopefully soon).  Here are some lovely photos of Trippstadt during our brief passing through.

Trippstadter Schloss (Palace). The palace where Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell was commissioned to design the gardens.
I’m a sucker for old mailboxes.
The Trippstadt Tourist information site on Hauptstraße 26, 67705 Trippstadt, Germany

We found a pizza place in town that was open.  We weren’t able to eat inside due to take-out only option (darn Covid), so we ate outside by the restaurant.  This was definitely a Memorial Day to remember.  We ate our delicious pizza and continued on the trail (husband followed the AllTrailsapp, but there is also Komoot app you can follow).  Here is the AllTrails app route he followed (disclaimer: I am by no means an affiliate for AllTrails app or Komoot, I just want to share what we use to look up trail routes).

Pizzeria Restaurante Bell’ Aria our lunch spot for the day. We were only able to do take out for the time being (Covid restrictions).
We ate outside by the grass since take out was our only option.
The pizza was delicious!

The route we followed took us to a paved pathway along some open, beautiful fields.  We then followed an unpaved pathway to stay away from the main road to go up the Burg Wilenstein-Flörsheim castle.  This was a mistake, the path was steep and narrow, some areas were overgrown with shrubs and stinging nettles (this hurts a ton if you rub your skin upon it).  I would not recommend this pathway to families, just follow the paved road up to the castle. We finally made it up to the castle via this unpaved trail (again, don’t go that way).  Unfortunately, the castle was closed.  We then made our way back down the trail past the castle.  The downward trail again was slightly steep, but not too bad.  The trail ended right across from the restaurant that we saw in the beginning of the hike. 

Paved trail we followed after eating lunch.
Historical structures along the trail.
The unpaved pathway, it gets steep from this point forward.
Steeper than this.
Burg Wilenstein-Flörsheim, unfortunately, it was closed possibly due to Covid restrictions.
Burg Wilenstein-Flörsheim, unfortunately, it was closed possibly due to Covid restrictions.
End of the hike right across from the Klugsche Mühle restaurant, where we first started.

All in all, the hike was approximately a four mile loop.  It was a pretty easy hike (except for the trail going up the castle).  If you enjoy hiking, and are ever in the area of the Palatine Forest/Rhineland Pfalz of Germany, be sure to check out the Karlstalschlucht trail.  It is a favorite by locals and beautiful.  I would come back here just to enjoy the ambiance of the forest by the stream and also explore Trippstadt some more.  Bis zum nächsten Mal (Until next time in German)! Tschüss (bye in German)!

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