Situated between Kaiserslautern and Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, the paths near Weidenthal offer some easy day hiking through the Pfälzerwald. In addition, the Waldhaus Schwarzsohl offers forest enthusiasts an opportunity to grab something to eat and drink, rest, and park -- whether it's a car, a bike, or a horse! With beginner-friendly trails and a comfort station, this area allows one to hike without making many preparations.
Some friends and I took a day trip to the area. The hardest thing about the trip was finding the place - but once I knew a key piece of information, it was very easy to find.
When driving from Kaiserslautern:
-Take B37 east;
-In Frankenstein, head south on B39 (staying to the right);
-In Weidenthal, turn right on Langentalstraße (the Evangelical Church is on the corner);
-Follow this road for 3.5 miles and Schwarzsohl will be on the right.
Parking is available at Waldhaus ("forest house") Schwarzsohl. In fact, the restaurant's website gleefully announces that there is room to park cars, bikes, and even horses on the property! There is a covered pavilion area for the latter two modes of transportation.
Trails radiate from Schwarzsohl. Our group crossed the road to wide, well-maintained gravel paths. There were plenty of markers and some signs as well. The terrain made for an easy hike with gradual ascents; it's a suitable trip for beginners. It is important to pay attention to the path markers since there are so many converging.
After the hike, join the mountain bikers, hikers, and families at the Schwarsohl. It's a small restaurant that offers seasonal main dishes, regional fare, drinks (including beer, wine, and soft drinks), cakes, and light snacks. Most of the seating is outside, whether in the Biergarten area, under the pavilion, or on the front porch. Children can play on the playground located near the seating area. Those wanting to warm up after a chilly hike can find limited seating in the heated building.
We entered the ordering area by turning left in the foyer. Staff gave us a beeper and our food was ready quickly. To pick it up, we entered the door on the right of the foyer. Give your empty dishes back in the center.
Easy hiking, regional specialties, and a short drive (half an hour) make a day trip to Weidenthal and Schwarzsohl an attractive destination for a day out in the forest.