Vanessa Kopp

Hiking the Egge Trail through the Lower Saxon hills in Germany

novofotoo (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Hiking the Egge Trail through the Lower Saxon hills in Germany

Hiking Collection by Vanessa Kopp
3-6 days
3-6 h / day
46.1 mi
4,225 ft
3,850 ft

If you are looking for a nice hiking weekend adventure then I full-heartedly recommend the Egge Trail (Eggeweg). Over 70 kilometers (43.5 miles), you hike through the Egge Mountains, exploring dense forests and enjoying peace and quiet in the beautiful nature and varied landscapes. This long-distance hiking trail takes you from the Externsteine rock formation in the southern Teutoburg Forest to the town of Marsberg or vice-versa. The Egge is a densely-wooded low mountain range that lies just to the east of the city of Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia. Once used by armies and as a trade route, today the mountains provide hikers with lots of fun!

In this Collection, I’ve divided the Egge Trail into three stages. At the starting point, the Externsteine, you’ll find yourself surrounded by thronging crowds. This comes as no surprise as the impressive rock formation is well-worth visiting. After starting your hike, you’ll be surrounded by fewer and fewer people as you walk through dreamlike heathland, breathing in the fragrant forest air and enjoying fantastic views over East Westphalia.

The path is peppered with historical sites such as Iburg Castle, Blankenrode deserted medieval town, and the Draken Caves near Marsberg. The Egge Trail was the first hiking trail in Germany to receive the ‘Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland’ seal of quality in 2004. The route is well-signposted with a white St Andrew’s cross marker.

The Egge Trail makes up part of the European long-distance hiking trail connecting the North Sea and the Mediterranean. You hike along the mountain ridge the entire way, which makes sense as ‘Egge’ means an elongated mountain ridge in German. You should pack plenty of provisions in your rucksack as you will not find many shops along the way. You also have to leave the actual trail for your overnight stays, but this is easy thanks to the region’s good infrastructure. I’ve listed accommodation tips in the respective stage descriptions. If you prefer to keep things more basic, you can also shelter in one of the numerous huts en route which gives an even greater dose of adventure. You can travel to and from the trail by public transport. Take a look at the stage descriptions for more information.

If three hiking days are too short for you then you can also combine the Egge Trail with the almost 170-kilometre-long (105-mile) Hermannsweg hiking trail and roam deeper into the Teutoburg Forest. You can find more information here: komoot.de/collection/204/8-etappen-auf-dem-hermannsweg

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Difficult
    06:28
    14.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    What an impressive start to your hike on the Eggeweg - the 70-kilometer long-distance hiking trail begins at the Externsteinen, very close to Horn-Bad Meinberg. The striking, around 40 meters high sandstone rock formation is one of the most famous natural and cultural monuments in Germany. So before you start the 23-kilometer stage to Bad Driburg, you can learn more about the unconventionally shaped stones and enjoy the view from above. Bus lines 792 (only on weekends) or 782 from Detmold will bring you to the starting point.Then you shoulder your rucksack and start your hike on the Eggeweg. The path through the romantic Silberbachtal offers a nice introduction to your hike, then you climb up to the Lippischen Velmerstot (441 meters). The Teutoburg Forest Nature Park merges seamlessly into the Egge Mountains. You walk through a beautiful heathland landscape, along the way you will repeatedly come across wonderful rest areas.Then you continue on the ridge of the Egge Mountains, beautiful forest paths offer you the best hiking pleasure. Every now and then you come across mountain huts where you can take a break. You enjoy the tranquility of the forest and you will soon reach the Iburg castle ruins, the destination of today's stage. The former fortress towers over Bad Driburg. Down in town (about two kilometers on foot) you will find numerous accommodations for the night and a train station.

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    Difficult
    06:38
    15.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The second stage on the Eggeweg takes you in a leisurely up and down from Bad Driburg to the Grunewald stop. On the almost 25 kilometers long route you hike on narrow paths over the soft forest floor and enjoy the quiet landscape of the Egge Mountains. If you have spent the night in Bad Driburg, you have to go a little way up the mountain to the Iburg castle ruins, where the actual hike begins.The path meanders through the beautiful forest towards Paderborner Berg (379 meters). Soon you will see the television tower of Willebadessen towering between the trees. There is a refuge directly at the tower. Then you cross the road twice and reach the Teutonia cliffs. This rock face is up to 15 meters high in the middle of the forest, at the bottom you can see the fallen rocks. The hiking trail leads you right along the edge of the cliffs and offers you wonderful views of the wild and romantic landscape.You walk a little further and you reach the 13.5 meter high observation tower "Bierbaums Nagel", the oldest observation tower in East Westphalia. If the visibility is good, you can discover the Hercules statue in Kassel and look far over the surrounding region. We continue through the forest until you can soon hear the road. Today's stage ends on the B68 at the Grunewald stop.With the express bus from Paderborn to Warburg (S85) you can go down to Scherfede or Warburg, where you will find accommodation. Or you can walk a little further through the forest (about 30 minutes) to Hardehausen and rent a room at the country inn there.

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  • Difficult
    07:23
    16.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 3 on the Eggeweg concludes your foray through the Egge Mountains with a good 26 kilometers. You hike from the Grunewald stop to Marsberg and add a few more meters of altitude with a detour to Obermarsberg. You can get to the starting point of the hike with the S85 express bus, which commutes between Warburg and Paderborn.The path leads you along the Hardehauser cliffs to the Nadel, where the border between Hardehausen and Kleinenberg once ran. You hike a bit downhill through the Schwarzbachtal and up again to the Blankenrode desert. There was once a city fortification here, but it was abandoned in the 14th century. Then you cross the place Blankenrode and soon leave the dense forest.You pass Oesdorf and Essentho, before going straight downhill to Marsberg on the banks of the Diemel. If you still have the time and inclination, then a detour to Obermarsberg is worthwhile: On your way up you walk past the Draken caves and earn a wonderful view of Marsberg and the valley of the Diemel.The 70 kilometer long Eggeweg ends in Marsberg. You will find several restaurants in the center for a final stop and you can start your journey home from the train station.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    3
  • Distance
    46.1 mi
  • Duration
    20:29 h
  • Elevation
    4,225 ft3,850 ft

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Vanessa Kopp

Hiking the Egge Trail through the Lower Saxon hills in Germany