At a glance:
Through a new landscape with all your senses
On a tree sculpture in the middle of a spacious meadow, you have a fantastic panoramic view and can listen to the sound installation. The artistic construction of the Eisenbaum (iron tree) near Flörsheim is symbolic of the entire tour in a recultivated landscape with a special emphasis on aesthetics.
Since the 1960s, many parts of the Main plain have been subject to extensive and largely unregulated sand and gravel quarrying – with considerable consequences for the surrounding countryside. The Regionalpark is the result of efforts to recultivate the area. New uses for the gravel pits have made a large area accessible again and provide a completely new experience. The unique resources – extensive areas, open sandy surfaces and diverse possibilities for landscaping – have been creatively exploited. One example is the spacious grounds of the Playground Hochheim. Today, the formerly inaccessible gravel pit offers picnic meadows and countless opportunities to play, and is a popular destination for all age groups.
In addition to the areas for leisure activities, new habitats have been created for plants and animals. In the Weilbacher Kiesgruben (gravel quarries), you can observe the unique ”second hand“ landscape from various viewpoints and paths. There is a lot of information about the backgrounds and the experiences on offer in the visitor centre of the Regionalpark Portal Weilbacher Kiesgruben as well as in the adjoining nature reserve house. The Gasthaus Zum wilden Esel offers refreshments. Directly opposite, the observation tower invites you to explore the region from above – as a landmark visible from afar, it has now become a symbol of the Regionalpark.
On the A3 viewing bastion near Weilbach, visitors can experience both the landscape and the vibrant metropolis at the same time. Several main traffic axes meet here, so that one can catch a glimpse of an ICE train thundering past, observe cars on the constantly buzzing A3 and watch an aircraft descending. The panorama of the surrounding fields and low mountain ranges as well as the skyline of Frankfurt are a worthy backdrop.
The contrast between the idyllic landscape and the impact of an economic region is particularly dramatic in what is known as the Flörsheimer Schweiz. Every few minutes, an aircraft flies over the nature reserve and heads to the nearby airport. The Kasteler Landwehr, a medieval defence complex consisting of a wall covered with dense thorny bushesand surrounded by ditches, ran through this old cultural landscape. The replica of a historic watchtower, the Flörsheimer Warte, is a popular destination for a break with a wine atmosphere. Typical for the tour are avenues with a wide variety of tree types, including Speierling (sorbus domestica), cherry, oak and maple trees. The Wasserwerksallee near Hattersheim with its old linden trees and historic cobblestone pavement is especially noteworthy. In the immediate vicinity, a magnolia avenue leads past the Rosarium Hattersheim, which is reminiscent of the more than one hundred year old rose-growing tradition of the city.
It is a tour that inspires reflection with its changing perspectives of the landscape. The Eisenbaum stands for this in a memorable and exemplary way, portraying how construction, nature and technology mirror and complement each other in terms of design.
1. TOUR START is at train station Hattersheim: On the south side, a sign points to the left towards the REGIONALPARK RUNDROUTE. After crossing the Schwarzbach, turn right and follow the signs for the Rundroute and the typical red triangles until you reach Hochheim, initially up to the Rosarium Hattersheim.
2. ROSARIUM: Continue straight on and turn left on the cobblestone Wasserwerksallee to the Nussbaumquartier in the main direction of the Regionalpark Portal Weilbach.
3. The Regionalpark Portal Weilbacher Kiesgruben: The RUNDROUTE winds its way through the park and past the viewing tower. The Haus des Dichters is soon reached – then the next main stopping off point is Der Eisenbaum.
4. A GRAVEL PATH leads left up to the Aussichtsbastion A3. After the visit, cross the motorway to head to the Park Bad Weilbach. The next passage leads past Stone sculptures, a vine arbour and the Flörsheimer Warte and offers stunning views of the Main river. The route goes up and down through the Flörsheimer Schweiz, and soon the Eisenbaum can be seen.
5. At the St. Anna Chapel, the signs on the left point to the EISENBAUM. Then back and – pushing your bicycle – down to the Wiesenmühle. On the Landwehrweg, your next destination is the playground Hochheim. The tour leads straight ahead past the playground, and then you have to pay attention:
6. Here, you leave the REGIONALPARK RUNDROUTE, which leads sharply to the right to the ”Fähncheskreuz“ (historical cross with a flag). Your path, however, leads to the right over a small bridge to the Mainuferweg towards Hochheim. This is soon reached across the motorway. After passing two roundabouts, take the Königsberger Ring – Attention: shortly before the end, turn diagonally left, then right into Wiesbadener Straße and follow the Regionalpark triangle to the Mainuferweg: stay on the outskirts of the town until you reach the church St. Peter und Paul, then turn sharp right down to the train station, through the underpass onto the Mainradweg (cycling path). It runs almost continuously along the riverbank. Keep left.
7. After approx. 15.5 km, it leaves the Main at the SCHWARZBACH. Shortly afterwards, at a small bridge, the Mainradweg leads to the right but you continue straight ahead and follow the signs to Hattersheim train station.