Three Graces in Zornheim
Name giver as well as starting and end point of the Hiwweltour Zornheimer Mountain is the charming wine village of Zornheim. Even on the way there, we notice that it is one of the highest wine villages in Rheinhessen. Our car covers quite a few meters in altitude; let's see how many more we will walk today. We park in the hikers' parking lot next to the beautiful Lindenplatz, which was completely redesigned just a few years ago.
In the center of the square is the large "Three Graces Fountain". Three young bronze women tread grapes to must with their feet. Five bacchants watch them attentively. They symbolize the five Zornheim vineyards: Vogelsang, Mönchbäumchen, Pilgerweg, Guldenmorgen and Dachgewann.
To the delight of playing children, the fountain is at ground level and accessible. And - this much in advance - we will also be happy about the little cooling for our tired feet at the end of our hike. But first we take the access road to the Hiwweltour and look forward to almost seven kilometers of varied hiking trail. By the way, the Hiwweltour Zornheimer Berg is the shortest of the Rhine-Hessian Hiwweltours.
Fruit trees and cows
We leave the outskirts of Zornheim behind us and dive into nature. Fruit as far as the eye can see! An unimaginable number of cherry trees, pear trees, apple trees and mirabelle plum trees line our hiking trail. Or rather, our hiking trail leads right through the endless orchards. The ripe fruits on the branches smile seductively at us and somehow there is a pleasant sweet scent in the air.
To make the happiness of nature perfect, we soon come across a herd of cows. The shaggy animals seem to enjoy the sun as much as we do, although they also have to fight with significantly more flies. The poor!
In honor of Rheinhessen
The first proverbial highlight of this Hiwweltour is the Hasenberg. We enjoy great views from the "Hiwwel" (hill) into the Taunus and reach the Rheinhessen Jubilee Forest a little later. Well, you can't really talk about a forest yet, after all, the 200 trees were only planted in 2016 on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Rheinhessen.
Small-leaved linden, European service tree, hornbeam and field maple - these and many other native tree species are now growing into a small forest not far from Zornheim. The sculpture "Wave of Life" complements the natural ensemble.
How we know so much about this anniversary forest? A total of ten extremely entertaining information boards accompany our hike and inform us about special features along the trail. In addition, they diligently reveal how much of the trail is already behind us and how many kilometers we still have ahead of us. A great incentive!
In the cane meadows
The next section of the Hiwweltour leads down to the species-rich biotope Rohrwiesen. Even before we can see the meadows, we can already hear them. The natural soundscape increases with every step. We hear it buzzing, humming, chirping and croaking. No wonder! The biotope with around 2,600 square meters of water is the habitat of various native animals such as dragonflies, birds, newts, toads and much more.
Vineyard with skyline
But as soon as we reach the vineyards, silence descends. No more colorful concert of nature, but a sea of vines that is no less impressive. Step by step we climb the next Hiwwel and any effort is blown away as we enjoy the view from the Wingert. The weather is glorious, the view is clear and so we not only look as far as the Taunus, we can even make out the skyline of Frankfurt am Main on the horizon. The skyscrapers are clearly visible. What a great contrast between city and country, civilization and nature!
The Wingertshäuschen "Auf dem Winkel" invites tired hikers to rest after the ascent, but we continue a little further through the vineyards. Next to old vines with gnarled trunks grow young vines with tender shoots and we observe the winegrowers who go about their work here in the vineyard and lovingly take care of each individual vine.
A piece of history
The Hiwwelt tour leads us further up the Selzer Berg. Here we pass the former Selzstellung, one of the most important fortresses of the First World War. The Zornheim fortress, like all the others in the Selz valley, was blown up after the end of the war. Large chunks of concrete can thus still be found under the ground on which we walk today. An exciting insight into the eventful history of the region!
Rest with a view
It goes downhill and immediately uphill again. The Hiwweltour really lives up to its name and despite the relative "brevity" of the route, the tour has it all.
Finally, we sweeten the last climb back with a rest at the Wingertshäuschen "Am Hohberg". While we are making ourselves comfortable on the bench in the sun, flocks of starlings keep darting out of the vineyard into the sky. An impressive picture - even if the birds themselves are the purest plague for the winegrowers, because they have it on the delicious ripe grapes. Now we also know for whom the creative scarecrows on the roadside are intended.
The end of the "dry spell
After our little picnic, we make our way back and Zornheim is indeed not far away. By the way, the information boards refer to the entire length of the Hiwweltour with a wink as "Durststrecke". If you are really thirsty (for wine) so close to the end, you can look forward to a nice stop in the wineries of Zornheim or right at the start/finish of the Hiwweltour in the Wine pavilion of the Zornheimer winegrowers stop in, if there is again Auschank.
More information about this and the chapel in the vineyards can be found at in another article.
Small but mighty!
The Hiwweltour Zornheimer Mountain may be the shortest of all Hiwwelt tours, but the species-rich nature, many hills and fantastic views provide a lot of variety. The charming wine village of Zornheim is the perfect starting and ending point of the hiking trail, which, by the way, is also wonderfully accessible by public transport from Mainz.