Westwall War History Hikes by Ramstein Air Base with Maps of WWII Dragon’s Teeth, Bunkers, Trenches

Get a close up of Germany’s dark history on foot & find cool places to eat on the Siegfried Line.

Höckerlinie Westwall
Höckerlinie Westwall

I'm a veteran and want to spend Veteran's Day in a way that fills my soul in remembrance for those who've given the ultimate sacrifice and appreciation for Nature, health and the joy of our more peaceful existence today.

It's really something to think of how much better things are in the entire world from just even when I joined the Navy in 1997. It's incredible and hopeful.

For me, there's nothing better than spending the day outside, with my family, friends and dogs.

So I've spent the week researching and creating this hiking guide with lesser known places to combine some war history and hiking and food - to honor my friends who've past or continue to walk on their journey with visible or invisible wounds from their service.

My hope is that this guide will empower you to do the same and have some fun exploring bunkers, tunnels, trenches and navigate through the infamous “Dragon’s Teeth” while wandering on the Höckerlinie Westwall in Germany.

Table of Contents:
(Click Here to Skip Directly to Hikes)

1. What is the Westwall (Siegfried Line) History

2. Who is this Westwall Hiking Guide For

3. Alternatives to Hiking for Westwall History

4. Most Scenic Westwall Hike - St. Wendel

5. Most Impressive Dragon’s Teeth Hike - Höckerlinie Westwall

6. Best Westwall Hike for Strollers - Kindsbach Bunkers

7. Closest Dragon’s Teeth Hike to Ramstein - Lambsborn

8. More Hiking Adventures : Dolomites in Summer

Ruined Bunker
Ruined Bunker - Climb inside and on Top

What is the Westwall?

Also known as the “Siegfried Line”, the Westwall acted as the nazi defense line during WWII. Originally constructed during WWI it was massively expanded in WWII and used for propaganda and defense with over 22,000 bunkers and pillboxes.

Climbing under and on bunker ruins, going into dark tunnels, hopping across trenches and seeing the creepy green walls of half buried bunkers will delight history buffs. This website goes into great detail.

Dragon's Teeth: 390 miles

However, the most interesting war history outdoor relics are the “dragon’s teeth”. These concrete barricades were erected as Nazi propoganda and anti-tank protection in 1936-1939.

They were placed over 390 miles, stretching from Kleve near the border with the Netherlands all the way to Weil am Rhein near the Swiss border.

They were like the precursors to retractable barricades in pedestrian zones, except they stopped tanks--not cars.

dragons teeth in germany
No Dragon's Teeth Can Stop My RubyGirl!

The dragon’s teeth now have mostly been destroyed, but the remaining ones stand like imposing moss covered artifacts of a day long gone. They are covered in moss and small patches of them have been preserved for history, sometimes right in the middle of a horse paddock or an ancient apple orchard.

250,000 Allied Casualties to Take the Siegfried Line

The contrast of these war relics next to the tranquility of the German countryside is difficult to reconcile. It took 2,000,000 Allied attackers 6 months to take the Siegfried line during the Allied advance after D-Day. They suffered 250,000 casualties to overcome this defense.

This Westwall Hiking Guide & Maps are for:

This hiking and food guide is for people who want to not only to remember Germany’s tortured past, but immerse into their senses by walking on the Siegfried Line in places where history has been preserved like a sort of outdoor museum.

This guide also help you find something good to eat after the hike. The guide includes detailed GPS guided hikes, food recommendations, and history highlights.

Who is this guide NOT for?

This hiking guide explores the nazi line of defense during WWII. If this troubles you and you’re more interested in the Allies line of defense you can easily check out the Allied “Maginot line”. This post from Atlas Obscura has maps and directions to the French town of La Ferte-sur-Chiers with an intact fort on the Maginot Line.

Dragons Teeth

This guide is also not for people who want a full museum experience. These hikes have plenty of signage describing the history and landscapes, but for you history buffs that want more-- there are multiple indoor museums to get a little piece of history.

What are the Alternatives?

The town of Irel in Rhineland Pfalz hosts a volunteer-run indoor museum. It’s generally open Sundays, but as it's a volunteer organization please call ahead and make sure they will be open.

It’s near the border of Luxembourg so it would make a great combination to pop into the old town of Luxembourg and eat at many of the amazing restaurants.

There are many Portuguese immigrants that work in Luxembourg, so I’d recommend checking out an authentic Portuguese restaurant like Piri Piri.

And there’s no better location to stay than the Grand Hotel Cravat. It’s got a view of the Notre Dame and Gëlle Fra War Monument with an American Bar in the lobby.

If you want to go inside a tunnel museum, check out the Westwall Museum in Pirmasens. Located only 30 minutes from Landstuhl, you can walk inside the 5km of tunnels built for the Siegfried line.

Open on the weekends during the summer, it may not be open for tourists in November. If you are interested, the phone number is listed on their website and a private tour may be an option for Veterans day. Pair this with a visit to Die Brasserie, a Michelen star restaurant on the outskirts of Pirmasens.

WWI Outdoor History Hikes: Summer in the Dolomites

If you’re looking for some amazing mountain adventures with WWI history, check out the Alta Via 1 Hike in the Dolomites. Hike (not really walk) over the path of the Alpini soldiers and explore the bunkers, via ferratas and outdoor museums at Cinque Torri.

Cinqui Torri Italy
Check out the Outdoor Museum Here

You’ll be immersed in the history of the Italian Front during this gorgeous hike. It's only possible in summer between mid-June and mid-September. It’s absolutely necessary to plan 6 months ahead of time to get lodging at huts directly on the high elevation trails.

Most Scenic Westwall Hike - St. Wendel

St Wendel WWII Walk - Bunkers and St Wendel's Basilica : Westwall Hike Series

This hike is for you if you want a foliage-filled, sport stroller friendly, super WWII and Roman and Christian and Pagan historical + mystical path around probably the best city in this part of Germany. It’s worth spending an entire weekend here to explore all the fun things to do.

Trail Name: St Wendel WWII Walk - Bunkers and St Wendel's Basilica : Westwall Hike Series

How to use this map: Use your computer mouse or fingers to zoom in and out. Click on the icons to get more information. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the written index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your google maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open google maps, click the menu button, and go to “your places”/ “maps.”

Location: St Wendel -- 30 min from Landstuhl

Trail Guide: Westwall Series : St Wendel Bunkers & Basilica

Type of Hike: 1 Loop

Distance: 4.4 miles

Elevation: 450 ft up, 450 ft down

Duration: Approx. 1.5-2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Start/end point: CITY Garage, Mia-Münster-Straße 4, 66606 St. Wendel

Kid-friendly: yes

Stroller-friendly: yes - sport

Dog-friendly: yes

Fees: Yes, parking

Camino de Santiago: Yes - Long Stretches on Camino & the Good Shepherd Path of St Wendel

Something Good to Eat: Le Journal - Amazing food at Schlossstrasse 16 66606 St Wendel

Where to Stay: Wellness Right in the Old Town Center at Hotel am Fructmarkt. Bring your dog! Located right in the Old Town, an easy walk from the train station, and it offers massag