Take a hike: A guide to volksmarching in the Kaiserslautern/Wiesbaden area

New this year, and replacing the worldwide IVV calendar, is the IVV-Europa 2015 Calendar. This volksmarching calendar provides event information in 19 European countries, to include Germany, and is available for €10 from the DVV Awards Officer. Small, pocket-sized calendars for France, Luxembourg, and Belgium may be available for €2 or €3 at events in those countries.

• This writer bids a fond farewell to another of my longtime editors, Chrystal Smith, as she moves to a new position in the United States. She was always quick with a smile and a friendly comment even when I pushed my deadline a bit too far. Thanks for all of your support.

•  Send a comment, correct a listing or submit reader feedback by writing me at volksmarch@gmail.com with the subject “Feedback.”

•  Many thanks to volksmarcher James Meredith for providing event brochures.

• Take a moment to grab a set of brochures from the Werber table and send them no-cost via MPS to Donald Seltzer, PSC 2 Box 10684, APO AE 09012.

•  Look for additional event choices at www.wiesbaden.army.mil/hunion/Takeahike.htm.

Weekend of Feb. 28-March 1

Greifenstein-Beilstein (35753) — This Sunday-only event is west of Giessen and a bit distant for all but the most dedicated wanderers. Those seeking a challenge will find it here with a 42-kilometer trail, Germany’s second marathon of the year. From Giessen use B49 west to Biskirchen and an unnumbered road north through Greifenstein to the start at Beilstein. When using Autobahn 45 take the Herborn-Süd (27) or Ehringshausen (28) exits to follow IVV signs to the start. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 66 toward Frankfurt and 3 toward Koblenz. Use the Raststätte Limburg-West/B54/B49 exit, and take B49 toward Wetzlar. At Löhnberg, pick up a minor road to Niedershausen and Odersberg to reach Beilstein.

Start: Sportheim und Sportgelände on Sportplatzstraße Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 10 km), 6:30-11 a.m. (20 and 30 km), and 6:30-9 a.m. (42 km) Trail: Fairly hilly, woods Award: None (shorter trails) or patch and certificate (marathon).

Hermesdorf (54636) — If in the Bitburg area, then consider participating in this event northwest of the base housing area and near Stausee Bitburg (Bitburg Reservoir). Readers making the drive will find four trails of various distances winding through the picturesque area. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 3, 48, 1 and 60 toward Koblenz and Wittlich, exit at Landscheid and take B50 to Bitburg. Follow IVV signs and roads toward Wissmannsdorf and Hermesdorf. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6, 62, 1 and 60 toward Trier and Wittlich. Exit at Landscheid, use B50 through Bitburg and connect with a road toward Wissmannsdorf and Hermesdorf. And from Bitburg, well, most of the trails are longer than this drive. Use B51 and B50 to make your way west of the city, then pick up a secondary road to the start at Hermesdorf.

Start: Westeifelwerke at Unter den Birken 2 Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6 and 11 km) and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (15 and 20 km) Trail: Expect hilly, wooded areas; 6-km trail is stroller-friendly Award: None.

Weekend of March 14-15

Grolsheim (55459) — This walk is just south of Bingen and offers a variety of trail lengths, to include a Saturday marathon celebrating the club’s 60th event. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 671 (as 643 is closed to Mainz) and 60 toward Bingen, take the St. Goar exit to connect with B9, and then the Gensingen exit to pick up B50. From there, head south toward Bad Kreuznach and follow IVV signs to the start.

Start: Nahelandhalle at Aspisheimer Weg 32 Saturday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 10 km), 7 a.m. to noon (20 and 30 km) and 7-9 a.m. (42 km) Sunday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 10 km) and 7 a.m. to noon (20 and 30 km) Trails: Shorter trails are mostly flat, longer trails are hilly; fields, local neighborhoods and some woods Award: From previous events or certificate and patch (marathon).

Weekend of March 21-22

Hahnstätten (65623) — This event is directly south of Limburg and offers a marathon trail for challenge-seeking participants. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahns 66, toward Frankfurt, and 3, toward Koblenz. Exit at Bad Camberg (44) and follow a secondary road through Beuerbach, Ohren, Kirberg and Kaltenholzhausen and Hahnstätten. IVV signs will take you through the nearby town of Lohrheim to the start.

Start: Bürgerhaus at Austrasse 5 Saturday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5, 11 and 20 km) and 7-9 a.m. (42 km) Sunday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (5 and 11 km) and 7 a.m. to noon (20 km) Trail: Fairly hilly, woods Award: None (shorter trails) or patch and certificate (marathon).

Kirn-Sulzbach (55606) — This scenic walk with a variety of trail lengths is literally just down the road from Idar-Oberstein and easily reached. From Baumholder, use minor roads to reach Idar-Oberstein and B41, continuing toward Bad Kreuznach to reach the start at Kirn-Sulzbach. From Wiesbaden, use Autobahn 60 to Bad Kreuznach and continue west on B41. From the KMC, use Autobahns 6 and 62 toward Trier, and exit at Birkenfeld (4). Take B41 through Idar-Oberstein to reach Kirn-Sulzbach.

Start: Gasthaus Collet at Oldenburgerstr. 2 Saturday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (6 and 10 km) and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (20 km) Sunday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (6 and 10 km) and 7 a.m. to noon (20 km) Trails: Hilly, fields and woods Award: None.

Rhaunen (55624) — This walk is in the Hunsrück region west of Bingen, an area well-known for its scenic beauty and year-round series of walking trails. Trail lengths of 42- and 50-kilometers are offered to challenge-seeking wanderers as are three mountain bike trails (which do not offer IVV credit). From Wiesbaden, take Autobahns 60 and 61 toward Bingen and Koblenz. Exit at Rheinböllen (45) and follow B50 and B421 to Kirchberg, then continue through Dickenschied, Rohrbach and Woppenroth to reach Rhaunen on a secondary road. From Baumholder, use the minor roads skirting the training area to reach B420. Head in the direction of Bad Kreuznach to B270 and B41 to Kirn. Connect with a secondary road through Hahnenbach and Bundenbach to Rhaunen.

Start: Idarwaldhalle at Am Sonnenschlicher 5 Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6 and 10 km), 7-11 a.m. (21 and 30 km km), 6:30-9 a.m. (42 km), 6:30-8 a.m. (50 km) and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (25, 35 and 50 km mountain bike without IVV credit) Trails: Hilly, mostly woods Award: From previous events (shorter routes) or patch and certificate (marathon trails).