Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

Burgruine Rossstein

Nestled in the hills a stone’s throw from the American enclave of Hohenberg lies Burgruine Rossstein.  We chose to visit these castle ruins on a sunny, snow covered Sunday afternoon because they were a short 25 minute drive from our home.

If you are coming from Hohenberg, it is just a 13 minute drive.  From Hohenfels the drive is 25 minutes and from little America one and two in Parsberg and Velburg, just 35 minutes.

Hiking and visiting places of interest in Deutschland is very different than in the United States.  There is normally no designated trailhead nor trailhead parking.  This makes perfect sense as the Deutsche exercise in a very different way than Americans.  For the average German, it’s not about joining a gym.  It’s about getting outdoors and walking.  Walking to the grocery store.  Walking along the river.  Walking through the woods.  As much as Germans love fine automobiles, their society is not centered around the automobile the way it is in the United States of America.

Visiting Burgruine Rossstein was no exception.  There was no designated parking area.

My fallback plan is always to find a place to pull off the road when the GPS states I am 1.0 mile away from the castle ruins.  Generally speaking most ruins are located in rural areas so neither pulling over nor walking along the road pose any problem   For Burgruine Rossstein I pulled over and parked here.  Like many narrow Deutsche roads there are sections spaced out along the road slightly widened in case you meet an oncoming car.  I simply parked in one of these wide shoulder spaces.

However if you wish to make this a shorter hike, I suggest you park here where day walkers utilizing the area paths park their vehicles.

For us castle hikes are a great family activity and a great opportunity for the kids to exert their energy.  Our kids were happy to run in the field below the road in the snow as we made our way toward the castle.  Had their been no snow they would have been equally happy to run through this field that straddled a steam.

Like many Deutsche trails, this one went straight through a village of maybe three homes, making it appear you were actually trespassing on someone’s farming compound.  After crossing the bridge in this small village, turn right and up the hill.  Although there are numerous signs where you turn, oddly enough, none direct the way to the castle ruins.

After a short two minute walk you will enter the forest.  At this point you will start to see the castle through the trees above you and to the left.  After maybe 50 yards in the woods you will come to a fork in the road.  Stay to the left and it will wind around and come back up to the castle.

Our children decided to go straight up the hillside from the fork in the road to the base of the castle ruins.  They are 8, 9, and 11 years old and had fun romping through the woods.

The day we visited, the ground was covered in snow and the final 3 meters were the most difficult.  I’m from Vermont and have no problems traversing ice and snow but I have to tell you.  Those last few steps into the ruins were very difficult on the sloping snow covered dirt.

A number of castle ruins in Bayern have constructed stairwells behind their facades that sometimes go to the second or third floors.  Unfortunately, this castle ruin is basic and does not allow this option.  However if you are feeling adventurous, there is always a way and we found a way to climb up to the second story.

We decided to do a little bushwhacking on the way back by following a straight line to the car as the crow flies.  This required traversing down the hillside and into the field next to the road we had previously walked alongside to get to the castle.

This is a great hike close to most communities at Hohenfels and doesn’t require much time commitment.

This hike is rated easy to moderate

The pathway is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Total Walking Time Including Photo Time At Top: 1 hour 19 minutes

Total Walking Distance: 2.0 miles

Total Incline: 366 feet

Strollers: Only jogging strollers recommended

Drive Time from Hohenfels: 26 minutes

Drive Time from Parsberg: 35 minutes

Park here or here.

The field below the castle & along the road where we parked.
The trailhead ‘parking lot’.
Entering the ‘town’ just outside the forest below the castle.
Leaving the ‘town’ into the forest.
View of the castle up and to your left from the trail.
Trail marker.
Take the left fork in the road.
The snow covered pines were magical.
The route we took from the car to the castle and back.

Quiet homebody.

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