Felsenmeer – Free Climbing Spot in Odenwald
Felsenmeer is the one of Geo-Natureparks in Germany with a bed of rocks and boulders on the slope of the Felsberg hill surrounded by forest. It is located in Lautertal (Odenwald) in Hessen which is about 50 kilometers south of Frankfurt am Main and 33 kilometers north of Heidelberg.
You can easily submerge yourself in a million year old geological formation for a rock climbing natural workout and enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Odenwald. It is a popular destination for families with children. You will certainly have fun climbing the boulders.
It is perfect for a day trip from Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Mainz or Heidelberg.
Formation of rocks in Felsenmeer
An old story from the legend of Felsenmeer says that there were two giants, one lived in the Felsberg and other lived in the Höhenstein. One day, those two giants had a fight and started throwing huge stones and boulders at each other. The giant of Höhenstein had more boulders and won the fight. The poor defeated Felsenberg giant was buried underneath all the boulders thrown by the Höhenstein one. That’s how the ‘Sea of rocks’ tumbled down the Felsberg and became Felsenmeer as we see today. It is said that if you step hard on the bottom of the Felsberg, you can hear the groaning of the giant lying underneath.
Ofcourse, there is a rational, scientific reason behind the formation of the Sea of rocks.
Felsenmeer is the result of the geological processes that began 340 million years ago. Today’s Odenwald lies where the continental plates collided to form the super-continent of Pangea. Because of the resulting humongous pressure, the rocks melted and rose to the surface as magma. On the mountains, the magma congealed into a granite-like igneous rocks called quartz diorite. In the upcoming million years, weathering of the crystalline basement rock exposed these large boulders. Over the time, the mountain broke down and further exposed the rocks to the water, ice and soil leaving them in the positions as we see today.
How to get to Felsenmeer
You can get to the Felsenmeer in Lautertal (Odenwald) conveniently by car or by bus.
Reach by Car:
By Car, you can take the autobahn A5 and reach Odenwald via L3103/L3098.
There are two parking lots located directly just a few steps from the rocks. One at the foot of hill and the other one on the top.
- Find the parking at the bottom of the hill nearby the Felsenmeer Information Center using the addressSeifenwiesenweg 59, 64686 Lautertal (Odenwald)
- You can park at the top of the hill at Felsenmeer 3, 64686 Lautertal (Odenwald)
For cars, the parking cost is 4 € per day, for motorcycles 3 € per day, for buses 15 € per day and for mobile homes 8 € per day. These fees contribute to the maintenance of the infrastructure of the sea of rocks.
If the above two parking lots are full, you can also use the following places for parking:
- Lautertalhalle car park: Am Fischweiher 100, 64686 Lautertal (Odenwald)
- Aldi car park (B47 towards Gadernheim): Nibelungenstraße 349, 64686 Lautertal (Odenwald)
Reach by Bus:
The parking lot is often full when the weather is nice and on Sundays and public holidays. You can take the bus 665 from Bensheim Hauptbahnof to Reichenbach Markt. From the bus stop, walk about 1 km to reach the Felsenmeer Information Center. Check your connection at the DB portal.
Things to know before you go
Climbing and hiking in the Felsenmeer is free of charge. You can either climb rocks or hike on the trail path.
It is rather a steep climb up on mountain with huge boulders, than the river bed with stones as it appear on the images. If you are not trained, you can start with the uphill climbing which is easier and safer than downhill. You can take the trail path to hike downhill.
It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes with grip to climb on the boulders. Try to carry only minimum things with you for easier climbing.
On weekends, you can arrive at Felsenmeer early in the morning to avoid crowd and get parking spots.
Dogs are allowed on Felsenmeer. However, you need to keep your dogs on a leash.
The Felsenmeer Information Center and its permanent exhibition are free for all visitors. You can find the toilets and kiosks at the bottom of the hill nearby the Felsenmeer Information Center.