Deep in the Pfaelzer Forest there is the little village of Nothweiler from where one can start various hiking trips in the surrounding wild forrest. In the area there are many things to be seen such as the ruins of hundreds of years old castles.
View of the "High Rock"
Nothweiler is the perfect spot in the south west part of Germany for everyone who is interested in nature and outdoor recreation like hiking, mountain biking. Also guided tours with the local nature reserve wardens are highly recommended. If you are lucky you may see even a Bobcat which of a small population has been recently set out in the wild of the Vosges mountains across the French border. Impressive castles like the Wasigenstein are absolutely a must see! I recommend to take a tour going up to the Wasigesntein, then crossing the close border to France hiking up to the castle of Fleckenstein and end up the tour at the castle of Loewenstein. This will take presumably 5-6 hours but you certainly will enjoy the beauty from the high lookouts on the castles. If there was no forest, one could imagine to be in Monument Valley, AZ because of the dramatic rock formation in red limestone which is in the plenty very rare seen elsewhere.
It is about a 45 minutes hike from Nothweiler to the Gimbelhof, a very good French restaurant, providing cuisine of the area but also B&B. The close Village of Fischbach has something special to offer. At the UNESCO House of Nature with the one and only tree top track in Germany you can basicaly walk on ropes and swinging bridges high up in the tree tops and see rare birds and other animals living up high in the trees which you normally never see on the ground. It's great fun to do the tour because of the various views and different links between the trees. The end of the track is a long slide in a tube which is very much appreciated by the kids. On weekends I recommend to avoid this place becasue of the tourists coming in from everywhere... If you cross the close border to France you certainly will like the so called Tarte Flambe which seems to be some type of pizza but made with onions and cream. Just to say C'est tre bon! Best travel time is Spring and the begin of fall.t
What's really great:
My favourite place is certainly the castle of Wasigenstein. It's a steep way through the forest but you will be rewarded by the beautiful view from the rocks in the castle. It has taken incredible efforts to built this stronghold in ancient times.You can imagine what power of work it has taken for men and horse to carry all the stones up the steep ways through the forrest once you have mastered the normal hiking up to the ruins.....
View from the Wegelnburg
See the beauty of the raising mist on a summer evening over the hills and the forests. You will certainly like also the view from the Gimbelhof to Dragons Rock. In the valleys there are lakes with all kind of fish and beatifuly king fishers which are rare seen elsewhere in Germany are quite common.
The Hotel Wegelnburg and the Gimbelhof provide budget accomodation with excellent service. For detaills about bed and breakfast in Nothweiler see their Webpage at http://www.nothweiler.de/
A group of hikers after a long day coming to the Wengelsbach, France
You will be tired after all your daytime activities. So there are no clubs to mention beside a couple of local pubs. But a happy dinner with a group will pay off after a long days hiking.
The Restaurant Zur Wegelnburg http://www.zur-wegelnburg.de/
The Gimbelhof in France http://www.gimbelhof.fr/
The Cheval Blanc in France http://www.au-cheval-blanc.fr/