Kloster hornbach Germany – France Border Hike: From Mud to Michelin

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kloster hornbach germany dog sitting in front
The day after Thanksgiving we made a post turkey trip to Hornbach to burn off some calories, but I’d wished we skipped turkey and went to this exclusive restaurant instead. Bring a change of clothes if you want to pop in here for dinner, it’s fancy.

Located about one hour from Kaiserslautern, this gentle loop hike offers total seclusion and simplicity & elegance.

Author’s tl;dr: The Kloster Hornbach hike is along the border of France and Germany and includes mainly soft wooded trails with a moderate amount of elevation gain. Located near the Bliesgau UNESCO Biosphere reserve and Zweibrucken.

Dog friendly. 7.8 miles and there are shorter loops possible. Signs are okay, you’re following the Paradisegarten sub trail with white sun on re-orange background.

Make a weekend out of it: Stay at Kloster Hornbach with 3 restaurants, wellness area and luxury accommodations.

cute dog running in fields
Those ears!

It’s not usual in Rhineland Pfalz (or Saarland) to accidentally run into boutique style hotel and restaurants at the end of woodsy hikes, but I will be back (with a change of clothes in my backpack).

  • What I really loved was the spa hotel that I WILL stay in someday after this hike.
  • What I thought was rough were the muddy low-lying areas near the ponds.

Morgan’s Hiking Video Near Hornbach (in Kirkel)

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Kloster Hornbach Germany Hike Overview

✨Exclusive Culinary Hike

  • Location: Hornbach Germany, Zweibrucker Westrich Region
  • When to Hike: Year Round – mud will be a factor in winter
  • Distance: 7.57 mile loop
  • Up/down: 800 feet
  • Time: 3:30 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Points of Interest: Hornbach Kloster, Becherweiher pond, Hornbach Gimpelwaldhütte
  • Transport: Parking is here at Wanderparkplatz – Felsenweg (Waldhölzbach)
  • Stay: Kloster Hornbach Hotel and Wellness
The signage on this trail is mediocre. Follow the white sun on orange background.
Trail Sign Rating = 2+/5

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Hiking in Hornbach Map

How to Use This Map:
Click on the icon on the top left-hand corner. You will now see an interactive list.

For more info on each, click on the map icons.

To see the map in more detail, click on the [ ] in the top right-hand corner. This will open a larger map where the details of each point can be found by clicking on the location point name in the list on the left.

You can also save the map for your own use by clicking the next to the map name. This will save the map to your Google Maps, where you can make a copy and use it for your own trip planning.

To view the saved map on your phone, open Google Maps, click “saved” on the bottom, and then “maps” on the lower right.

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various trails in hornbach germany

My dog Ruby and I hiked it on a cold day after Thanksgiving and I’ve NEVER been one to avoid a hearty meal in a restaurant after a hike.

But here, it’s so exclusive-feeling I was too intimidated to walk in and spend my money unlike nearby Drachenfels hike or the Gimbelhof Four Castles hike.

Parking Lot – Meander Around Hornbach – Kloster Hornbach – Town Gate (:35)

cute dog hiking on road between germany and france in hornbach

The trail starts off from the parking lot near a sportshalle and camping ground where you can dry camp. You’ll find yourself meandering through the village and wanting to spend time exploring this uber cute village.

We ran into a local school having it’s pre-Christmas celebration so the cars were jammed packed when we left, but none there at the beginning. I cannot remember if I paid to park, but I doubt it.

Get across the stream into the village and explore a bit. Wander through the really cool town gate and it’s basically an out-and-back to see the Benedictine monastery. If I had more time I wished I could have seen the gardens but I didn’t.

The real way to do this hike is to book a hotel room there and start at the hotel after a nice breakfast. Hike – explore, chill and get back in time for your 5 course dinner.

Town Gate – Becherbach (1:50)

This trail is muddy in November and I imagine year round after a rain.

After walking back to the town gate, take a right (do not go straight), then after you pass the sign to Bitche, France and take a hard left.

signs to bitche france

It’s a farm road, one of many. It gets muddy. Maybe not in summer, but in November it was def a bit moist.

There are expansive lovely views and it feels so peaceful. Turn right to stay on trail heading toward a restplatz.

Then you’ll wind around forested areas to get to the pond Becherbach.

Becherbach – Gimpelwaldhütte – Parking (3:30)

dog running on side of farm field with dead tree
See the signage?

The trail from here is a mix of paved tiny roads and hard packed tractor roads, typical of this part of Germany.

paradiesgartenweg signs

The views are sweet.

I absolutely loved walking back into town after sunset with my headlamp.

It’s historic and cute and not over-touristy like so many places, but with amenities like a Michelin starred hotel, it’s really strange and nice to feel taken care of and get to be in a place that is natural and not overrun.

I did notice that there are a lot of opportunities to camp here if you like that kind of thing.

💗 Hiking in the German – France Borderland? Read👉Dahner Felsenland Hike

Things to Know About Kloster Hornbach

Herb and Beer Garten, Upscale Restaurant and Michelin Star Hotel

dog in front of kloster hornbach germany

Kloster Hornbach is a historic hotel located in the southwestern German town of Hornbach founded by bishop Pirminius in 742.

Set in a former monastery with roots dating back to the 8th century, this luxurious establishment seamlessly blends rich heritage with modern comfort.

Guests can immerse themselves in the tranquil ambiance of the meticulously restored cloisters and indulge in the hotel’s gourmet cuisine, which celebrates regional flavors.

horbach germany at night

The hotel’s rooms and suites are each uniquely designed, offering an elegant retreat with views of the serene monastery gardens or the picturesque Palatinate countryside.

With its combination of historical charm, contemporary amenities, and attentive service, Kloster Hornbach provides a unique and memorable stay for those visiting the region.

You will also like my related hiking guide: The Kirkel Germany hike in Saarland is located on the northern side of this same forest and also has a Michelin Guide restaurant nearby as well.

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Food and Hutten

it's magic sign on brick

You’ve got your choices on this trail to go michelin style or rustic hutte. There’s also various restaurants in town you can choose from and a grocery store to grab snacks or a salad.

Hornbach Gimpelwaldhütte

It’s hard to find opening hours for this place, but it does have good reviews. It was closed when I hiked there.

Am Gimpelwald 1, 66500 Hornbach

Saturday2–8 pm
Sunday11 am–6 pm

Fancy – Kloster Hornbach Restaurant

high end restaurant in middle of tiny village of hornbach germany

This is a very nice hotel and restaurant.

It’s reported that in summer the beer garden is quite active and might be easy for a stop over.

I said it earlier, when I went in November I did not feel comfy brining my stank hiking clothes inside and my muddy (having swam in the pond goldendoodle Ruby) dog.

So I don’t know what it tastes like, but the ambiance was pretty rad. Very understated and not trying to be hipster.


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Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy rambling around Hornbach and catching some outdoor history and culture with this border walk between France and Germany. How cool is that?

Have you experienced a cool trail nearby? We would love to hear how it was over on our facebook group Plan Hiking Adventures in Europe.

We hope this guide about the Kloster Hornbach Germany – France hike has given you some helpful information to plan your next adventure.

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.