The beautifully situated Adventure trail Bingen Forest can be reached by car from Waldalgesheim and Bingen-Bingerbrück via two well-maintained, asphalted feeder roads. Parking facilities are located at the Forestry house Heiligkreuz and at Bodmannstein (on the K29 / Weiler near Bingen), from where you can directly access the approximately 4.5 km long circular route of the popular family hiking trail. At both entry points, there are large information boards that provide a good overview of the total of 44 adventure stations and the highlights along the entire hiking trail.
Idyllic hike with dog: start at the forester's lodge Heiligkreuz in good weather
We start our hike with dog in nice weather at the idyllically located and well-visited Forsthaus Heiligkreuz - one of the three forester's lodges in the Lauschhütte, Jägerhaus and Heiligkreuz forest districts. The small inns, formerly run by the foresters' wives, have developed over time into popular forest inns and restaurants with a beautiful ambience. But before we have a vesper, we first set out for a hike.
Once on the circular trail, we find lovingly designed information boards for all experience stations, which tell children and adults a lot of interesting facts about the different tree species, their inhabitants and the history of the Bingen Forest. The "Bingen forest mouse and his friends" show the way through the forest and give hints for active experiences in nature at each station. At the purple-marked highlights, visitors young and old can become active themselves on the adventure trail and immerse themselves in the world of the forest with all their senses.
Unique sensory experience on the hiking trail: discover the 'sensory trail' and the 'humming stone'.
Right at the beginning of our hike we pass the so-called "sensory path". Here you can explore barefoot or with your eyes closed how different types of ground, such as bark mulch, sand, pebbles, stone slabs and woods feel.
At the "humming stone" you go with your head through the wall or better into the stone: If you put your head into one of its openings and hum with your mouth closed, this makes the stone vibrate. The sound is thereby amplified and you can feel the vibration of the sound on your own body.
Discover exciting stations in the forest: forest xylophone, children's high seat and long jump for the adventurous!
Only a few hundred meters further, we come across the station "Forest xylophone". Depending on the species of the different trees, the diameter and length of the pieces of wood, the sounds on the forest instruments sound very different.
The "children's high seat" is especially popular with the kids. With a view from above, they can explore the different colors and shapes of the forest in a playful way. Here it's worth taking binoculars with you to take a closer look at plants, trees and animals from a distance.
The "long jump," the next station on the circuit, also goes down well with children. Just like the animals of the forest that run, dig, climb and jump in their natural habitat, they can use the markings on the information boards to check whether they can jump just as far as rabbits, deer or squirrels.
Discover nature and history: from horse farm to Villa Rustica - an experience on the circular trail
Continue through the beautiful nature, past a horse farm, which is located very close to the "Bodmannstein parking lot", at a high point of the circular trail. From here it is also not far to the "Steckeschlääfer-Klamm", which is not directly on the adventure trail, but is definitely worth a visit. The nearly one-kilometer-long path in the gorge is adorned with hand-carved forest spirit faces by wood sculptor Franz Kellermeier.
Back on the circular route, after a short walk we reach the "Villa Rustica". A Roman farmstead was located at this station about 2,000 years ago. The farm and its surrounding residential and farm buildings were located very close to the Via Ausonius trunk road, which connected the two Roman cities of Mainz and Trier. During an excavation campaign from 1999 to 2004, the remains of the centrally located main building were excavated here. In the course of this, the foundation walls of the representative manor house, which are now under a protective roof, were also uncovered.
On the "forest footbridge" that follows, the landscape now suddenly looks quite different. In the shelter of uprooted trees, colorful herbs and shrub species bloom. In time, they will be overgrown by long-lived tree species and a new forest will emerge.
The upside-down "tree root" is also worth seeing. It makes visible what is normally not visible in a tree: the underground root system, which depends on the respective tree species and the condition of the soil, may well become as large as the above-ground crown of a tree.
Unforgettable hiking experience: crossing the suspension bridge and culinary delights at the Heiligkreuz forester's lodge
Almost back at our starting point, the forester's lodge Heiligkreuz, comes a last and at the same time our personal highlight: The long, free-floating "suspension bridge" leads over the Kreuzbach and the gorge-like notch valley. You should be free of giddiness, because otherwise it can quickly become queasy when crossing the slightly swaying bridge. But with a little courage and the dog in our arms, we mastered the challenge quickly and without danger.
But before you head back home, we recommend a stop at the Forsthaus Heiligkreuz, which is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 10pm. The menu leaves nothing to be desired and offers delicious meat and game dishes as well as tarte flambée and vegetarian specialties.
A must on the way back is a stop at one of the viewpoints located directly on the road with a magnificent view of the Rhine, Bingen and the Niederwald Landscape Park. Here, "benches with a view" invite you to linger and relax.
Our conclusion about the adventure trail Binger Wald: A beautiful and eventful destination in Rheinhessen all year round, where small and large visitors get their money's worth. Dogs are also welcome and have their fun on the circular trail. Definitely worth a day trip!
The most important at a glance:
Start and finish: Heiligkreuz forester's lodge or Bodmannstein parking lot
Length of the trail: officially 4.5 km, according to our estimation rather 5.5 km
Walking time: approx. 2 1/2 hours (without breaks)
Difficulty: easy (mostly asphalted trails, on a short stretch there is a narrow path through the forest)
Entrance fee: Hiking and visiting the stations are all year round. free of charge!