Baden - View from the Texas Pass
An absolute must is to stop in the parking area on the Texas Pass and take in the sweeping views of forests and vineyard slopes. Old vine terraces alternate with orderly, larger flatter ones, where the vines are lined up in straight rows. This is due to the land consolidation of the 1970s, when many of the smaller terraces were reshaped into larger ones, more conducive to efficient production.
If the church steeple, occasional rooftops and the radio mast on the "Totenkopf" don’t catch your eye, then for a short moment you may think you have landed in the Garden of Eden. Revel in the happiness and anticipate the delicious glass of wine from the renowned Oberbergener Baßgeige vineyards, that awaits you in the valley below.
The Oberbergen winegrowers' cooperative is the start and finish of the zig zag route through the vine-laced volcanic mountains to the Texas Pass. From here, the route heads 500m along Badbergstrasse through the bustling wine town, before turning into Kirchstrasse. Here you can see the St. Mauritius Church with its steeple, which you will be able to see throughout most of the circular route. Less than 100m after the church there is a small pedestrian path on the right, where the Badberg path is shown on a signpost. Follow this, and after another 100m, you will reach the bike path between Ort and Rebberg, which gives you a first impression of the loess escarpments typical of the Kaiserstuhl, rising to the left.
Approximately 650m along the bike path, you will reach the junction of Rebenstrasse where it heads steeply left up into the vineyards. The 500m long climb has it all, so take it slowly for there is a lot to discover along the way, for example, the nest holes of the wild bee in the loess walls. Turn around for a breathtaking overview of the heart of the Kaiserstuhl.
The first resting place is about a 45-minute walk further along. Down in the valley is Oberbergen where you began, and on the horizon is the silhouette of the Vosges mountains. The landscape now turns into cool deciduous forest. There is another sign on a large oak tree indicating the ‘Baßgeigenhütte’ (Bass Violin Hut), which you now head towards. At the edge of the forest, take in the wonderous 360-degree panoramic landscape, you have now crossed the Texas Pass. Once you get to the Baßgeigenhütte, relax as most of the walk is done.
For the final stretch, the road serpentines down through the vineyards, back to the place where the hike began, the winegrowers' cooperative in Oberbergen. To quench your well-earned thirst, try a drop or two from the surrounding vineyards.