Römerpfad Hike: How to Visit Rome Without Ever Leaving Germany
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
This Hike Was Like a German Walk in the Clouds.
We first learned about the Römerpfad hike on the KMC Outdoor Adventures Facebook page. If you're looking for a community of hikers and adventurists, then this is a great group to join. In fact, this is one of the first places I visit when I'm looking for a day hike. There's GREAT information in this group, and the hikes are often easy to find.
The Römerpfad trail was one of our first hiking adventures here in Germany.
We've been so hesitant to get out hiking here because of.... THE TICKS!
Unfortunately, German trails are infamous for their two evils: ticks and stinging nettle.
How fair is it that if you just *happen* to be bitten by an infected tick you *could* end up with lyme's disease? Yeah, that's motivating to get out and go camping...hiking... and ahem, **living**
Still, we just couldn't resist this trail. The week prior to taking this hike, I had just seen the Porta Nigra--the Black Gate from the Roman Empire dating back to 170 AD! Did you know, you can have a Roman experience without ever leaving Germany? North of the Alps, the Porta Nigra is the best preserved Roman city gate. You can even book an actor to take you on a journey into the past. You can become Roman soldiers and band together to defend the Porta Nigra from invading barbarians!
So, when I saw that this hike passes by the underground mine used by the Romans to build the Porta Nigra, I knew I immediately wanted to hike it!
A Diverse Trail
The trail begins deep set into the German forests. As you continue, you'll be greeted by fields of wild flowers, ancient staircases, walls from Roman ruins, waterfalls, bridges, sandstone caves, and even a castle!
Underneath rays of sunshine, we began walking through these GORGEOUS golden fields. I couldn't help but feel as if we were in the movie A Walk in the Clouds. Ryan pulled out some Joaquin Sabina music and then the mood was really complete. At one point we even burst into song "Amor... si me llamas amor."
We were walking through German fields listening to a Spaniard sing, and all while we felt like we were in a Heaven on Earth.
Know Your Course
The trail is really well marked, but someone we managed to get lost. I still don't know how we managed to get off course... though I suspect it might have had something to do with the distraction of all that glorious Spanish music.
All along the trail there are wooden posts showing the trail marker--the Römerpfad aka Roman Coin.
One thing to know about German trails is that they are diverse and wind through fields, villages, forests, and nature parks. It's pretty normal to need to pass along farmer's fields or to need to walk along a paved street in a village to continue on your trail. Keep following your map and you should be just fine.
Pro Tip: Know a few way points along your trail. As you come upon each one, you'll know if you're on course, or if you've made a wrong turn somewhere. The Römerpfad has 8 clear way points. So, if you're new to Germany or new to hiking, this is a great trail to start on.
Römerpfad Way Points
You'll begin your hike at the Butzweiler, Wanderparkplatz Ramsteiner Weg (or the Burg Ramsein Parking Lot). From the Butzweiler parking lot, follow the signs "Römischer Kuperbergwerk / Pützlöcher". You'll start into the forest, and the first way point will be the Roman mine.
1. The Roman Quarry Pützlöcher - Check out your first stop! This is an antique Roman copper mine from the middle of the 2nd century. Azurite and Malachite were mined here. Later, the large quarry was used for the construction of the Porta Nigra in Trier. The mine can be visited by appointment May 1st through October 31st. You must call +49 (0) 651 4355436 or +49 (0) 6505 8950.
Another fun fact: Stone from this quarry was also used to build the Cologne Cathedral and Berlin's Reichstag!
2. Roman Wall Ruins Spätrömische Langmauer - 72 km long reconstructed Roman, protective wall. Dates back to the time of Valentinian I 364 -375 AD
3. Celtic Stronghold Hochburg - Celtic refugee castle with caves on the south side, about 50meters high. Danger: be careful near the edge of the rock to not fall off.
4. Genoveva Cave - Erosion and wind blasting has created this shell-like cave that has been used as a shelter for many people throughout the ages. There have been stone axes, spearheads, flints and shards found in this cave from the Stone Age, suggesting this area was settled over 7000 years ago!
5. Red Wall Caves Klausenhöhle - These caves that were inhabited by hermits some 200 years ago. It is believed that the caves were carved into the rock to evict evil. It is also believed to be a place where monks once lived to carry our pious lives of solitude.
6. Geyersley - A ledge created by erosion. This is a great look out point!
7. Burg Ramstein - This feudal castle lies in ruins atop a sandstone cliff. In 1689 this castle was blown up and has not been restored. The 25 meter high residential tower, however, has been preserved, and can be toured. To tour the tower email email@example.com. You can still see the remains of chimneys and spiral staircases. There is also a hotel with a restaurant at Ramstein Castle that has been operating since 1798 in the former castle house.
8. Waterfall Wasserfälle - waterfalls continue along the rocks and streams, footbridges, ladders, and eventually leads to a 30m suspension bridge.
This Was a Great Hike to Introduce Us to Germany
... and none of us ended up with any ticks!
Tail At A Glance
Trail name: Römerpfad Distance: 6 miles (10 km) Duration: Approx. 3 - 3.5 hours Difficulty: Moderately Challenging (I think families with kids older than 8-9 years would be fine on this trail) Start/ending point: 49.8206N 6.6290E or 54309 Butzweiler, Wanderparkplatz Ramsteiner Weg.
Parking: In Butzweiler at the Klaus-Pauli-Platz follow the signs "Römischer Kuperbergwerk / Pützlöcher". The street Ramsteiner Weg leads you just outside Butzweiler onto the signposted parking lot.
OR you can park at Burg Ramstein Kid-friendly: Yes Stroller-friendly: No
When to visit: year round Dog-friendly: Yes. Note: there are several grates crossing the River. You may have to carry your dog across them. Fees: None
The hike is approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes from Landstuhl.