europe quick trips
‘Devil's Table’ is a rock to remember in Rheinland-Pfalz
By BRIAN FERGUSON | Stars and Stripes | Published: March 18, 2021
At 46 feet tall, it stands high among the trees of the Palatinate Forest, next to the quaint town of Hinterweidenthal, Germany.
Teufelstisch, or the “Devil’s Table,” is an imposing, almost menacing, rock formation that seems to come out of nowhere. It’s also a great place to hike, and right now it seems deserted.
The story goes that the devil, tired and hungry from his trip through the woods, created a table and chair from two huge rocks. After finishing his meal, he took the chair for later, but left the table. The next day the villagers discovered the rock formation, as if it appeared overnight.
The real story, which is less cool, is that the sandstone rock formation was created by erosion over millions of years.
Hiking trails crisscross the deep forests surrounding the Devil’s Table, the most famous rock in the Palatinate. However, the playground and the restaurant next to the rock were closed the day we went due to coronavirus restrictions, so we were the only people on the trail.
The adventure playground at the bottom of the hill looked fun, and I was disappointed I didn’t get to go down the long slide. The park also has a miniature golf course, table tennis, a picnic area and lots of play equipment.
We spent much of the day exploring the forest and checking out the numerous trails that lead to and from the Devil’s Table. Several lead to other unusual rock formations. Each trail is marked and relatively easy to walk, and with no one around to get in the way, it was easy to get unobstructed photos.
Parking at the bottom of the hill, less than a quarter of a mile from the rock, is cheap, costing just 50 cents for one hour. When the lot is full, people sometimes park farther away along the side of the road.
The hike isn’t far, but it’s all uphill. The good news is that it makes the downhill trip back to the car easy.
For those who want something a little more demanding, the Eppenbrunner loop to the Devil’s Table, Hollow Rocks and Eulenfels is a nine-mile trail located near Eppenbrunn that features a river and is rated as moderate, according to Alltrails.com.
DIRECTIONS: Easy to find on Google Maps, the Devil’s Table is about 45 minutes south of Kaiserslautern. The app takes you right to a parking area close to the rock.
HOURS: The surrounding hiking trails are open year round.
COSTS: The Devil’s Table and playground are free. Public parking, close to the playground, is 50 cents per hour.
FOOD: There are restaurants in Hinterweidenthal that offer takeout service.