Franken - Red Wine Hiking Trail
With a total length of around 70 kilometers, the Franken red wine hiking trail can of course not be hiked in one day if it is to remain enjoyable.
As we are committed to enjoyment, we will content ourselves with the stage from Erlenbach to Großheubach, which has, nonetheless, many sights for us. This section of the route, with a length of 14.5 kilometers and only moderate height differences, can be easily mastered.
Thanks to the good signage, we can easily connect to our hiking trail from the Erlenbach swimming pool (Bergschwimmbad). Already at our starting point, we can see constantly updated information about the "Heckenwirtschaft" (temporary wine taverns) that are currently open, helping us to plan our rest spots. Via a narrow footpath starting at the swimming pool, we soon reach a viewing pavilion and from there we continue up to the Hohbergsweg. This leads across the Erlenbach vineyards to the Klingenberg vineyards, where we have a great view of the Main valley.
If you want, you can now climb up to the ruins of the Clingenburg, which Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa's cup-bearer had built around 1100. From the terrace you can admire a postcard view. The Burgweg leads back to the hiking trail. Before heading towards Großheubach, consider a detour down into the historic old town of Klingenberg, with its many outstanding half-timbered houses, a wine museum and excellent gastronomy. A visit to the Klingenberg winery (Wilhelmstraße 107) is also definitely worth it!
To get back on the wine hiking trail, we proceed as follows: starting from the Winegrowing Museum, the path leads via a staircase to the Schlossberg wine estate and then on via Burg- and Johannesweg to the Röllfeld district. There it finally flows into Urbanusstraße and then leads downhill via Oberlandstraße and Langgasse to Gartenstraße. We follow this to Himmeltaler Straße, to turn right onto a dirt road after the development.
After crossing the Röllbach, we hike through meadows and fields to the Rossbergsweg. At the junction we go a little bit to the left, but then immediately turn right again onto another dirt road. After about 200 meters, this leads us to a sharp bend to the right, which we follow until the confluence with the Restbergweg. Here we turn left and take the south course on the Restbergweg. It is worth taking a short breather here to enjoy the view of the Main Valley, the municipality of Laudenbach opposite, and the picturesque Odenwald Mountains.
Then we cross a vineyard, at the southern end of which is a shady piece of forest. This cool section of the trail is particularly refreshing, especially on hot summer days. The forest path leads us quickly to the gorge in the Lachental. Here we swivel to the right and walk down the steep path parallel to the gorge to the edge of the forest. Once there, we now turn left towards Großheubach.
Now our way slightly inclines, but without hardship. Soon we will pass a house standing alone, which we will leave on the right and walk past some vineyards that have become idle. After a good two kilometers we reach the vineyard of the State Winery (Staatlichen Hofkellerei) of Würzburg, which is anything but fallow. Only red wine grapes are grown on this area of approx. 4 hectares.
From here we can already see the Engelberg monastery and the wine town of Großheubach - our final goal. We now stay on this slightly downhill Höhenweg to turn right at the first house. We will soon reach the Dompfaffenweg. We continue to Finkenhain, where the road leads down to a footpath. Now we turn right into a dirt road, go to Frühlingsstraße and cross the Röllfelder Straße at the cemetery. Via Friedhofstrasse, Kirchstrasse and Mainstrasse we finally get to the historic town hall in the town center.
After the many turns, we understandably are now a little light-headed and in need of replenishment. Fortunately, the local gastronomy has everything you need for this - from culinary-Franconian delights to diverse, refreshing and wholesome wines, which are mostly grown by the hosts themselves. Try the hotel and restaurant "Rosenbusch" (Engelbergweg 6) and the inns "Zur Bretzel" (Kirchstrasse 1) and "Zur Krone" (Miltenberger Str. 1).
Hours walking time
Franken - Red Wine Hiking Trail
Erlenbach - Großheubach
Filled red wine glass on a white background with the outlines of the route
Beautiful hiking route through the vineyards with a view of the Main Valley. Numerous refreshments. Fully paved, easy-to-use trails.
Parking at the Bergschwimmbad
Historische Stadt Miltenberg
Aussicht und Entspannung
Museum am Schnatterloch
Schloss / Pompejanum
There are said to be between 100 and 200 ‘Straußwirtschaften’ or seasonal wine taverns in Franken, however the transitions to regular ‘Weinstuben’ or wine bars are fluid, which is probably why nobody can really estimate the number so clearly.
In Franken, the inns are also called ‘Heckenwirtschaften ‘ (hedge inns), which can possibly be derived from a ban on serving wine and beer in the 14th century, which led to many bars being hidden behind a hedge. It is more likely, however, that the term "hedge" comes from "Häcker", because this is how winegrowers used to be called in Franken.
In any case, as in other wine regions, the winegrowers had to empty their barrels shortly before the harvest, so invited guests to their living rooms. A bouquet of flowers was hung on the front door as a sign, and so the saying went: "Wherever the bouquet hangs, you will be served."
In Franken, as everywhere, strict rules apply to Heckenwirtschaften: they can only operate for a maximum of 4 months, usually divided into two sections, sometimes only at the weekend (for example in the Mainschleife region), sometimes continuously (as in the Untermain region). Also, only a maximum of 40 seats are allowed, only self-produced wines and simply prepared dishes can be served.
Franconian Heckenwirtschaften on the Internet: