November rediscovered

Table of contents

Hiking in the sunshine anyone can!

The weather app shows cloudy and rain-free in the morning. OK, that will have to do for a short hike. Starting point is the free parking at the Nickel Garden at the entrance of Westhofen in northern direction. Especially for Motorhome vacationer who would like to make a detour in the wine-growing community and start from here directly into the vineyards for a hike.

From the Command Center to the Chinese Heisje to the Love Nest

Now we are off! Only a few meters after the outskirts of the village, the view opens onto the Westhofen district, where you can already see some of the most diverse vineyard cottages - affectionately called "Wingertsheisjer" in Rheinhessen - from afar. The paths are lined with cypress trees, which do honor to the landscape "Rheinhessische Toscana". I know the path from a summer hike and did not expect any special flora and fauna in November. But I should be taught better! The fog lies over Westhofen and the sun slowly fights its way through the thick clouds and conjures up a mystical atmosphere in the landscape. Well signposted, with the logo "Westhofener Wingertsheisjer Hiking Trail".I follow the grass paths steadily uphill.

The wet grass in November quickly challenges the water resistance of hiking boots - so on to pay attention to good footwear in autumn! Already the first Wingertsheisje "Rosa Heisje" is in sight. At each intermediate destination a sign is installed, with short information about the naming and history. A QR code supplements for the curious with interesting anecdotes about the Heisjer. These once served as shelters for vineyard workers, sometimes for equipment. Different architectural styles and materials show the structural diversity of the total of 54 shelters around Westhofen. The origin of the oldest structure dates back to 1766. Along the signposted tour, a total of 14 of them can be marveled at.

Pink Heisje
Julius Tower
Command center
Excellent Heisje
Chinese Heisje

The vineyard huts are to be found in the most different forms along the paths. Some are built into the slope, one even has two rooms. The name usually reveals the typical feature of the shelter. On the search for photo motifs, I discover the remains of a small wine tasting, which is can be found as a still life in a hut. There is always something to discover.

Still life

Pure nature - lush green in November

The trail leads mostly over grassy paths, past embankments, stairs and a hollow way. The morning dew lies on the lush green paths and rows of vineyards. The dewdrops pearl on the wild growing "Pimpinelle" (Poterium sanguisorb L.) and invite you to take pictures. The fresh green of the "Nettle" (Urtica urens L.) reminds spring. The idea is born: I would like to share with you my "November hike for all the senses" in Westhofen share...

Pimpinelle" (Poterium sanguisorb L.)
"Nettle" (Urtica urens L.)

With an alert eye I keep a lookout for beautiful photo motifs in the hazy November landscape. Seeded green manures bring colorful "Marigolds" (Calendula officinalis), which conjure up the sun in the landscape with their intense orange and yellow tones and drive away any gloomy thoughts. I am surprised at how intensely the colors shine in what is actually a dreary season. Also the "Mallow" (Malva arborea) proudly shines in the lines and blooms what the stuff. Even a "Dandelion" (Taraxacum campylodes) stands lonely by the path, as if it had mistaken the season.

"Marigolds" (Calendula officinalis)
"Mallow" (Malva arborea)
"Dandelion" (Taraxacum campylodes)

The "Common Viper's Head" (Echium vulgare L.) has spread on a wall as a source of nectar for all kinds of insects. Most often you can see the very decorative "Common Thistle" (Cirsium vulgare). Its intense purple inflorescence often shines by the wayside. Not recommended for a bouquet - really prickly! It serves as a medicinal plant, just like the "Noble Sheep Gift" (Achillea nobilis). A special eye-catcher is the "Borage" (Borago officinalis L.). The medicinal plant is also used in cooking and is now often found in our vineyards.

"Common Thistle" (Cirsium vulgare)
"Borage" (Borago officinalis L.)

Very famous is the popularly known "Rosehip". In the spring adorns the pink "Dog Rose" the paths, in autumn the red fruit stand serves as a popular decoration and harbors the well-known "itching powder". For jam fans, with a lot of effort, a delicious rosehip jam can be conjured up from it. The high vitamin C content distinguishes the well-known medicinal plant. Rather unknown and hidden peeps the purple flower of the "Musk Heron Beaks" (Erodium moschatum L.) sporadically between the "Chickweed" (Stellaria media) emerges and the "White campion" (Silene alba) stretches its white blossoms towards me unperturbed. The Westhofen theme trail has developed a whole new charm for me today. I would not have expected such lush fauna in November; I am really amazed what can still bloom at this time of year.

"Rosehip" or "Dog Rose" (Rosa canina)
"Musk Heron Beaks" (Erodium moschatum L.)
"White campion" (Silene alba)

Finally I discover a "White Poppycock" (Inedible!), which proudly stretches its white hat towards me out of the white hat against me. Autumn time is mushroom time! Beautiful to look at!

"White Poppycock"

There is something in the air...

But the fauna is also far from sleeping. The sun has meanwhile fought its way through the thick cloud cover and some Wild bees lured from their cover. Along the Kirschbühl hollow still buzzing sporadically the wild bees at the openings of the steep clay wall. What might be going on here spring or on warm summer days? One can only guess! A sign informs the hiker about the way of life of these harmless insects and arouses the interest to get more information.


Particularly impressive is the wild chirping from the now leafless undergrowth along the field paths. The "Yellowhammer" (Emberiza citrinella) likes to loudly chirp its song until autumn. The male with its splendid yellow head coloring and yellow underside is a real eye-catcher and can thus score points with the less colorful ladies in the bird world. In autumn and winter they are on the move in troops, but the resident bird (does not perform seasonal migration) is on the pre-warning list. In a rosehip bush at least ten songful yellowhammers cavort and cannot be overheard from far away. These beautiful birds can be seen in many places along the trail.

Finally, there's something for the sweet tooth...

When the grape harvesters or the industrious grape pickers have have done their work for a long time, individual small grapes still ripen ripen. Now is the right time here still a few delicacies in the vineyard to to "stubble" (collect). The birds don't miss this and like to peck the the isolated grapes as tidbits.

After the harvest: Treats for the birds

On the way through Westhofen the "Kneipp basin" is a must for tired hiking feet! The brave are not deterred by the cool November weather. it stimulates the immune system and activates the metabolism.

Now it's time to stop at one of the many Straußwirtschaften in Westhofen and enjoy a delicious droplet of Rheinhessen wine to enjoy.

Enjoy the hike and "Cheers"!

The most important info about the trail:
Trail length: approx. 8.8 km
Condition: approx. 80% grass paths
Not barrier-free, ideal for walking and hiking. Backpack food and sturdy shoes recommended. No refreshment stop in the field.
Many resting places with a beautiful view in the direction of Odenwald and Donnersberg.
The hike can be completed via two routes through the historical part of Westhofen and to the Kneipp facility. Stop at vintners or restaurants possible. Ideal starting point for motorhomes.

Information about the Heisjen along the way can be found on the website WineArtLand Wonnegau

Book Tip: "The 111 most beautiful vineyard cottages in Rheinhessen".

12 Responses

  1. Hello Katja,
    Congratulations on your first blog entry. Thank you for sharing your hikes with me.
    Greetings Simone

  2. Very interesting article, in Rheinhessen's somewhere always something to discover! And the Wingertshäusje are really attractive this way...

  3. Dear Ms. Zentel,

    what a beautiful report about the Westhofen Wingertsheisjer hiking trail.
    Personally, I am very happy, because I had the honor to conceive the path, of course, with a group, because alone it does not go. All the stories, stories, etc. have been researched by me since 2010 and incorporated into the path. Today I look after the path as a path sponsor. The SWR made 4 films about it.
    Michael Young

    1. Hello Mr. Jung!
      I am very pleased that you enjoyed my report about the Westhofen Wingertsheisjer hiking trail.
      The path is very well signposted and maintained. The idea with the QR code to the history of each cottage and nice anecdotes I find particularly successful.
      I will be happy to explore the trail again at another time of year. Thank you for taking responsibility for a beautiful trail as a trail sponsor.
      Many greetings from Nierstein

  4. Hello Katja,
    a very nice report, you would like to start running right away.

    Kind regards Inge Dibjick

    1. Dear Inge, thank you very much!
      At the next opportunity, off in the hiking boots and go 🙂
      Have fun hiking...

  5. Hello Katja. Now I have your contribution also read .... haste well made. Keep it up.
    Beautiful way by the way .

    1. Hello Inge, thank you 🙂
      Yes, beautiful path. In all seasons there is something new to discover!

  6. Hey Katja, very nicely written. Together with the pictures I gained wonderful impressions, which unfortunately I can't (yet) do actively, but who knows...
    Thank you for the great photos and the successful text.

    1. Hey Ulrik,
      part of the Wingertsheisjer can also be reached via asphalted paths - this opens up barrier-free opportunities for exploring together!
      Glad you like the blog article 🙂

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Always living in Rheinhessen, I still do not know all the corners of my beloved home. I am happy if you accompany me in the future with my new discoveries.

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