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 massage. Perched right over the delicious Cafe Luise.


WWII Bunker St Wendel
WWII Bunker Sankt Wendel

Starting at the city parking lot, come above ground and wind your way through the Altstadt and out of the main part of the city going past the main square.


You’ll be headed towards the hidden little chapel in the woods under the St Wendel’s Basilica.

You’ll see old grand homes that remind you of Boston with gorgeous details and fine gardens and amazing colors.

When you come to the chapel take a moment to read the signs in English about the history during so many different time periods in this land that switched back and forth. St Wendel is pretty popular around these parts. A hermit, a Scotsman...



free yoga and hiking

Sculpture Path all the Way to Russia

Watch out for the many sculptures, even randomly in the forest. There’s a path going to Russia with similar sculptures. Crazy.

Go uphill and walk around to the left of the gorgeous Basilica. Then go uphill towards Wendlinushof. It’s a whole ecosystem of organic farming, yoga studio, cafe, market and a place where people with disabilities work and earn their living and independence.

Then carefully cross the highway and turn into the forest onto the Tiefenbachpfad - this trail is really cool. A 10k loop that’s worth doing - but the entire thing isn’t good for a stroller.


Just after you pass a nursing home on the left, continue about 200 meters and there’s a rad overlook of the city of St Wendel that’s built into a natural bowl with gentle farms surrounding the city.


Siegfried Line Bunker

Then if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss the WWII bunker on the same overlook. It’s part of the Siegfried line or Westwall. Hitlers last defence. It’s creepy and interesting at the same time. It’s easy to see why this hillside was important.

After turn left and wind your way down through the farms, housing and back into the city and to the main Altstadt of St Wendel to finish the loop.

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


Komoot App with GPS Tracking:

https://www.komoot.com/tour/547929339


 

Most Impressive Dragon’s Teeth Hike - Orscholz Höckerlinie Westwall

Dragon’s Teeth WWII Walk - Siegfried Line & Nähe Bunker : Westwall Hike Series

This flat easy hike is for you if you want to walk in the steps of WWII soldiers on impressive dragon’s teeth anti-tank lines, ruined bunkers, ruined tunnels, and long trenches.


Make it a full day and see the famous “Saarschleife” view and treetop walk just a few miles away. The photos here will not disappoint and the playgrounds are amazing.

Trail Guide: Dragon’s Teeth WWII Walk - Siegfried Line & Nähe Bunker : Westwall Hike Series


(Click here to learn how to use this map)


Location: Orschultz -- 60 min from Landstuhl

Type of Hike: 1 Loop

Distance: 3.4 miles

Elevation: 300 ft up, 275 ft down

Duration: Approx. 1.5-2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Start/end point: Höckerlinienweg Parking Lot

Kid-friendly: yes

Stroller-friendly: no, but this Hiking Child Backpack will carry toddlers up to 48 pounds with pressure relief for your comfort.

Dog-friendly: yes

Fees: No

Camino de Santiago: No

Something Good to Eat: Vesperstübchen - Open Wednesday to Sunday with lunch hours and dinner hours. Indoor and outdoor dining options.


Where to Stay: Make it a WELLNESS trip at the Landhotel Saarschleife. Sauna, spa and massage with the hotel located directly on the riverbend.



This hike starts with all the drama right up front! The dragon’s teeth hit you immediately. Walk through and soak up the history. You’ll walk on many pieces of lumber set down to protect against mud and the first stop is lunch at the super cute Vesperstübchen.

Backtrack a bit to the trail and then make a nice long loop around the ruined bunkers which are entirely climbable. There’s also long trenches throughout the hike to view. Cross the highway and then turn left into the forest toward “bärenfels”.

Then a long line of ruined tunnels await. Then turn into the enchanted forest, this may be hard in summer as it’s quite overgrown with nettles but certainly beautiful before coming back to the main highway. Walk 200 meters back to the access road where you parked.

Dragon’s Teeth WWII Walk - Siegfried Line & Nahe Bunker : Westwall Hike Series Trail Guide


Komoot App with GPS Tracking:

https://www.komoot.com/tour/556184749


 

Best Westwall Hike for Strollers - Kindsbach Bunkers & Ziplines


Kindsbach WWII Walk - Bunkers & Ziplines: Westwall Hike Series

This hike is for those who want a quick trip to walk by WWII history or even schedule a private tour inside the bunker. The hike starts at the Bärenloch playground with a great pond, playground (with it’s own zipline), and rejuvenating “kniebad” - a cool water plunge to ease your tired feet.


For less of a history hike and more of a super kid friendly hike near Ramstein Air Base, the Käfer Safari hike offers an interactive, touchable outdoor exhibit for the little ones.

Location: Kindsbach -- 5 min from Landstuhl

Trail Guide: Kindsbach Westwall Series: Bunkers & Ziplines


(Click here to learn how to use this map.)


Type of Hike: 1 Loop

Distance: 4 miles.

Elevation: 375 ft up, 425 ft down

Duration: Approx. 1.5-2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Start/end point: Bärenloch Parking

Kid-friendly: yes

Stroller-friendly: yes - sport

Dog-friendly: yes

Fees: No

Camino de Santiago: Yes - Very Short Stretch

Something Good to Eat: Landhotel Schuff. I actually LOVED their liver. I normally hate liver. But it’s super delish. The Italian-Mediterranean menu normal food is amazing! Address: Kaiserstraße 58, 66862 Kindsbach


Kindsbach Bunker
Kindsbach Bunker

Starting at the Bärenloch parking lot, walk to the left around the zipline playground. You’ll follow the trail to the right and go uphill, when you come to an intersection turn hard left.


From here you’ll go up a wooded path and around some beautiful red “fels” or rock cliffs before coming to the overlook where you can see all of Ramstein Air Base. Then wind uphill through the secluded woods. You’ll turn hard left to start back downhill and end up eventually in a “neighborhood” of townhomes. Walk to the left and all of the sudden you’ll see the bunker!


Guided Bunker Tour

If you want to schedule a tour to actually go inside, contact Wolfgang at this email to book a date. He offers tours through the bunker for 10 or more people, 10€/ Person, ~1.5-2h. Or you can go alone without a time limit for 50 euros up to 3 persons, each additional person 15 euros.


In both cases: Flashlight necessary, no light in the facility. It’s weirdly massive.

To finish the hike, walk on the main street of town back to the Camino de Santiago and turn to the left back to Bärenloch.

Kindsbach WWII Walk - Bunkers & Ziplines: Westwall Hike Series Trail Guide


Komoot App with GPS Tracking:

https://www.komoot.com/tour/545500982

 

Closest Dragon’s Teeth Hike to Ramstein - Lambsborn


Lambsborn Dragon's Teeth Westwall Stroll: Westwall Hike Series

This easy stroller friendly village stroll delights family with an easy path going by a chicken farm, a goose farm, and horses. There’s a natural springs and a hütte to take a picnic. We even saw something that looked like a badger! My dogs were a bit foamy on this stroll, so if your dogs get crazy with farm animals maybe pass.


(Click here to learn how to use this map.)

Trail Guide: Lambsborn Dragon's Teeth Westwall Stroll: Westwall Hike Series

Location: Lambsborn -- 12 min from Landstuhl

Type of Hike: Out and Back

Distance: 1.9 miles

Elevation: 200 ft up, 200 ft down

Duration: Approx. 45 min to 1 hour

Difficulty: Easy

Start/end point: End of Waldstrasse Parking lot

Kid-friendly: yes

Stroller-friendly: yes

Dog-friendly: yes - many farmyard animals though

Fees: No

Camino de Santiago: Yes - Mostly

Something Good to Eat: Gaststätte-Zum-Kuckucksnest, Hauptstraße 18, 66894 Lambsborn


Dragons teeth lambsborn germany
Dragons Teeth

Starting at the parking lot, follow the wide path through the woods downhill. Follow Camino de Santiago signage and go past the Possbergquelle (springs) and Hütte. Go through farm area and turn left. Cross the main road and head towards the opposite side of valley and when getting to farm go hard right onto grassy path near the side of the field. Dragon’s teeth will be in the forest on your left. Return the same way back.

Lambsborn Dragon's Teeth Westwall Stroll: Westwall Hike Series Trail Guide


Komoot App with GPS Tracking:

This app has 1 free region so you can download and use offline if needed.

https://www.komoot.com/tour/557407393


 

More Adventures: Dolomites in Summer


Thanks for reading! I hope you have some time for remembrance whether it’s late in the Fall like Veteran’s Day, or really any other time of year. These trails are accessible and free and offer a chance for movement and reflection.


There are other locations with dragon's teeth in Rhineland Pfalz like this one. Share with us your experiences.

If history is your jam here in Europe, definitely check out the Italian Dolomites. It’s a 2-3 hour drive from Venice or a 7-8 hour drive from Ramstein Air Base. Here’s a detailed packing list of everything you would need to complete a 5 day hut to hut hiking trip to explore the Italian front.

Please share with a friend you think would enjoy it!

with 💖, Crave the Planet

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a passionate hiker and writer, physical therapist, and European Cornhole Commissioner. She is living near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and featured giving science-based hiking tips and advice.


When not out exploring the mountains or sea, she’s writing articles and gear reviews to empower Outdoor Journeys that include family and good food. She is actively involved in the community and advocating for connection and sustainability with her community projects at Cornhole Europa and Sustainable Investors Group.