komoot
  • Discover
  • Route planner
  • Features
Discover

Long-distance hiking in the heart of Germany — Rothaarsteig

Rothaarsteig e.V. | Klaus-Peter Kappest

Long-distance hiking in the heart of Germany — Rothaarsteig

Hiking Collection by Top Trails of Germany

7-14

days

3-6 h

/ day

98.5 mi

10,000 ft

10,625 ft

Dense forests, ridges covered with heathland, and the sources of the Ruhr, Sieg, and Lahn rivers – the Rothaarsteig hiking trail leads from the small town of Brilon in the Hochsauerlandregion southwards to Dillenburg in Central Hesse.

The trail guides you 154 kilometres (95 miles) over a total of almost 4,000 metres (13,123 feet) in altitude across eight daily stages. Hiking along the main ridge of the Rothaar Mountains means you are also always moving along a border. The trail leads from the Sauerland over the Wittgensteiner Bergland and Siegerland to the Lahn-Dill-Bergland in Hesse.

You hike back and forth in the border region between North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, following the Rhine-Weser watershed that runs across the Rothaar Mountains. Some areas along the Rothaarsteig are so remote and unspoiled that bison have been reintroduced and now roam freely through the forests.

However, even in the seemingly very remote regions along the Rothaarsteig, you come across traces of human activity from time to time. You pass ridges with railway tunnels cut into the rock and aqueducts built at the beginning of the 20th century. For a few kilometres, the Rothaarsteig runs along the historic Iron Road which was used to transport iron in the Middle Ages. On the way, cosy huts tempt you to take a break from the path and enjoy life to the full, especially around holiday regions such as Winterberg.

Well signposted, not far from the centre of Germany and with largely gentle ascents and descents, the Rothaarsteig is an ideal trail for anyone looking for unspoiled nature or simply wanting to try out whether they enjoy long-distance hiking.

On The Map

loading
loading

Do it yourself

Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.

Rothaarsteig

96.5 mi

9,550 ft

10,325 ft

Last updated: November 17, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

Learn More
komoot premium logo

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    06:59
    14.4 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,275 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The Rothaarsteig starts at the historic town hall on the market square in the old town of Brilon. From there the official route first leads to Drübel with a beautiful view of the city and the provost church of St. Petrus and Andreas. The hike through the Drübel nature reserve can also be shortened by

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View
  • Difficult
    06:19
    13.8 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today it goes high! After starting in Willingen, the path leads through wooded area up to the 843 meter high Langenberg, the highest point of the Rothaargebirge, the Sauerland and all of North Rhine-Westphalia.

    

    The ascent to the summit always offers very beautiful views of the Hochsauerland, the summit

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Difficult
    05:10
    11.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,125 ft
    950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the center of Winterberg the path leads past the St. Georgs ski jump and the ski mountains Poppenberg and Bremberg with their lifts up to the unwooded panoramic mountain Kahler Asten, which you reach after about six kilometers. With more than 840 meters and a wonderful panoramic view, it is the

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View
  • Difficult
    06:12
    14.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After spending the night in Schanze, you can choose between the ridge and valley variants of the Rothaarsteig. If you choose the valley variant, you walk in a south-westerly direction through the ravine-like Grubental and over the village of Latrop to the so-called million bank, where the two variants

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View
  • Difficult
    05:09
    11.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fifth stage begins high up on the Rhein-Weser Tower. From here the path leads into the romantic and densely wooded Schwarzbachtal. After about six and a half kilometers you will hike through the landscape of the Heinsberger Hochheide. A sporty detour down to the Heinsberg aqueduct and a walled-up

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View
  • Intermediate
    03:57
    8.98 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The stage from Lützel to Lahnhof takes you through the headwaters of the Eder, Sieg and Lahn rivers. The path is mainly determined by forests and heathland. From Lützel, it's about two kilometers to the southeast. Then the path follows the Eder for six kilometers to its headwaters in a moor. Then a gravel

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View
  • Intermediate
    04:56
    11.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    775 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the Lahnhof, the Rothaarsteig leads on the penultimate stage for around four kilometers in a southeast direction to the Ilsequelle. From there you continue on the Eisenstrasse, a medieval trade route, through forests, heathland and on ridges, always in a south-west direction. Much of the route follows

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View
  • Difficult
    05:57
    12.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,250 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    If you start from the town center in Wilgersdorf, the last stage begins like the penultimate one ended: You walk around two kilometers back the way you came and then continue your tour on the Rothaarsteig in a southeastern direction. After a kilometer on new paths and through forest and heathland, you

    translated byView Original

    by Rothaarsteig

    View

Like this Collection?

Questions and Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    98.5 mi
  • Duration
    44:38 h
  • Elevation
    10,000 ft10,625 ft

You Might Also Like

Wildlife parks — safari in Germany

Hiking Collection by komoot

Spectacular suspension bridges

Hiking Collection by komoot

Castles and lakes – cycling through the western Hohe Mark region

Bike Touring Collection by Münsterland

Cross-border cycling in South Limburg – the alternative routes

Road Cycling Collection by Limburg Cycling

Discover

Long-distance hiking in the heart of Germany — Rothaarsteig

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint