Bikeleasing on tour: Sebastian’s MTB-tour through the Palatinate Forest

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Spring is in the air and the weather is just right for touring. Reason enough to provide you with a new route tip from the Bikeleasing team. This time, you’re in for a more challenging ride – but your effort will be rewarded in the end!

Sebastian, head of Dealer Support at Bikeleasing, will show us his stomping grounds on this tour. Enjoy the fragrance of blossoming almond trees and cypresses, while vineyards flourish on the hills all around, as far as the eye can see. No, we’re not in Italy, we’re in the Palatinate. Sebastian’s tour through the pine forest starts in Neustadt an der Weinstraße – the gateway to the Palatinate Forest. This area, where the hilly forest transitions into the flat bed of the river Rhine, is locally known as the “Haardtrand.” It marks the eastern edge of the hilly Palatinate Forest.

“Mild temperatures, as many hours of sunshine as Italy, great single trails and a Mediterranean lifestyle. But be aware: ascents and descents can become addictive around here,” warns Sebastian. We are excited and can hardly wait to get going. First let’s briefly review the key data for today’s route, which is more suitable for advanced bikers, because it requires quite a bit of fitness and advanced riding techniques. 


  • Bike type: mountain bike
  • Model: Santa Cruz Hightower
  • Degree of difficulty: difficult
  • Distance: 39 km
  • Ascent: 1150 m
  • Descent: 1160 m


Starting at Neustadt an der Weinstraße

Let’s go! We’ll start in beautiful Neustadt an der Weinstraße. Just a few meters after the start, we’ll face the first climb. The single trail winds its way up the mountain and leads us in the direction of a historic structure of national siginficance: Hambach Castle is considered the cradle of German democracy. For it was here, in May 1832, that the black-red-and-gold flag flew for the first time on the Kastanienberg near Neustadt.

After a short break, it’s back to the single trail that seems to stretch endlessly up the mountain. Each laboriously earned meter of altitude rewards us with the spectacular view across the vineyards to the Black Forest. After about an hour of gaining height, we’ll reach the first summit called “Hohe Loog” and the shelter hut of the same name – the perfect opportunity to get off your bike and treat yourself to a bite to eat.

Back on the bike, we will soon reach the Palatinate trail network – a technically challenging trail with a difficulty rating of S2/S3 – leading us downhill this time. High-speed sections alternate with wild drops, and in between a mighty red sandstone boulder blocks the edge of the path. The narrow, sloping path winds its way through the forest.

It’s all uphill …

Rattled by the bumpy descent, we will face the next slope waiting to be climbed. In the direction of Totenkopf, we will continue through the fragrant, dense forest: pine cones lie on the sandy trail, pine trees provide pleasantly cooling shade, and a few beech trees and stately oaks line up to greet us.

We ride past the Totenkopfhütte at the summit on the left and reach a fairytale-like forest section. The flow trail leads up and down in a steady rhythm, gradually narrowing down. With a broad grin, we reach the end of the so-called “soup bowl trail.” Past shelters, we continue through the forest on less trodden paths towards Lolosruh.

… and downhill in the Palatinate Forest

Time to roll downhill on and plunge into the next descent! A deserted path leads us into the deep green forest. We’re gaining speed at a tremendous rate, our heartbeat getting faster as we fly over carpets of criss-crossing roots down into the valley.

Once we’ve reached the end of our descent, the famous Palatinate hospitality invites us in for a break. Those who need to regain energy are welcome to get some refreshments here. Because now it’s time for the final dash! We pedal hard to climb the last 500 meters. The path winds steeply up the Sankt Martiner Valley, past the “Haus an den Fichten” in the direction of Taubenkopf. Arriving at the last summit of the tour, the Palatinate panorama view opens up before us. Enjoy the rewarding 360-degree view that reaches all the way to the French Vosges Mountains, which, by the way, are only 20 km away.

Rewarded by a rapid descent

Now that we have conquered the last meters of altitude, pure downhill fun beckons once again. Through the pine forest, the last single trail of this tour winds down toward Neustadt an der Weinstraße and comes to a graceful end in the midst of vineyards. At a leisurely pace, with the vineyards in view, we make our way back at our starting point. Take a breath and hop off your bike, you did it!

Let’s thank Sebastian for this breathtaking tour. To wrap things up, he would like to share some mountain bike philosophy along the way: “It is important to me to be a role model in nature and on the mountain bike. Being considerate and respectful to others is key to getting along with everyone who visits the forest. #LoveTrailsRespectRules!”

Not tired yet?

Are you ready for more? Just check out Bikeleasing’s komoot profile. Here you will find pictures of Sebastian’s tour plus route recommendations from other colleagues from the Bikeleasing team who got on their bikes to share their favorite routes with you. More tips for great rides will follow, so be sure to revisit this space!

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