Culture and nature from Rheine to Marsburg – Hermann Heights Trail
© Teutoburger Wald Tourismus | Foto: I. Bohlken
Giant sandstone rocks, legendary caves where dragons are said to have lived, castles that were once home to powerful commanders, narrow forest paths that wind gently up and down hillsides – the Hermann Heights Trail leads through wonderful landscapes and history. If you are looking for a hiking adventure that’s longer than a day, then pack your rucksack and set off to the Hermannshöhen (Hermann Heights). The 230-kilometre (143 mile) Hermann Heights Trail connects the classic Hermannsweg and Eggeweg ridge trails. With an abundance of cultural monuments and nature en route, the trail is a hike to remember.
From the tranquil town of Rhein, you explore the northwestern part of the long-distance trail and all its sights. At the so-called ‘Nasses Dreieck’, where the Dortmund-Ems canal and Mitteland canal meet, in Hörstel, you can relax and watch boats navigating the locks. Further south, the Dörenther Cliffs will impress you with their breathtaking views over the Münsterland’s lowlands. The route takes you to numerous castles, as well as the famous Hermann Monument which commemorates the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Equally as famous, but for different reasons, are the Externsteine. These beautiful sandstone formations reach up to the sky and reveal the earth’s geological history. You also hike over high plateaus, through deep green forests, flowering heaths and fragrant meadows.
The further south you go, the more natural the trail becomes. Around the Egge Hills, you leave civilisation more or less behind you as you walk along a green mule track over the Hermann Heights. Natural monuments appear suddenly along the route time and time again such as the impressive Teutonia Cliffs in the heart of the forest, which are sure to leave you speechless.
You can easily reach both the starting point in Rheine and the endpoint in Marburg by train. It’s up to you to decide which direction to walk the Hermann Heights. You can find local and long-distance public transport along the trail, for example in Halle (Westphalia), Bielefeld and Bad Driburg. This makes it convenient to hike the long-distance trail bit by bit.
By the way: the Hermann Heights Trail has been nominated in Wandermagazin’s quest to find the most beautiful hiking trail in 2021. The winner won’t be decided by a jury of experts, but by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts like you. You can increase the trail’s chance of winning by voting too. Votes can be cast until 30th June.
For a taste of the beauty that awaits on the Hermann Heights Trail, watch this video:
If you like the landscape around the mountains but don’t have time to hike the entire trail, you can explore the Teutoburg Forest‘s nature and culture on a series of day hikes. Check out 18 wonderful circular Tours, here: komoot.de/collection/1069742/dem-hermannsweg-ganz-nah-18-rundtouren-im-teutoburger-wald
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: December 14, 2021
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
Your first stage on the Hermannshöhen begins in Rheine. From here you hike a bit upstream along the Ems, which you cross at the so-called soldiers bridge. You have already left the city behind you and the Hermannshöhen meander through wide fields and small wooded areas in the direction of the Teutoburg…
The first mountain stage is on the second day of hiking. From the Nassen Dreieck, it goes parallel to the Dortmund-Ems Canal up to the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest. The name is deceptive here: This is not just a forest, but above all a pronounced and elongated low mountain range.
From the bank of the…
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The third stage on the Hermannshöhen begins in Tecklenburg. In the south you leave the city. The path leads you past the Königsseen, over the motorway and you are back in the middle of nature.
With small ascents and descents, the Hermannshöhen meander over the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest. In this section…
On the fourth stage, the Teutoburg Forest lives up to its name: starting from Bad Iburg, the Hermannshöhen run through quiet forests for almost the entire route. The first section takes you through the unspoilt Freeden nature reserve.
Afterwards you hike a bit along the edge of the forest and then climb…
You start your hike freshly relaxed in Dissen. First it goes uphill again and to the pretty town of Borgholzhausen - sun lounger with a view included. Then you follow the Hermannshöhen to Ravensberg Castle, the first big highlight of the day. The well-preserved small castle with its Hofschänke is located…
At the beginning of the sixth stage, you first climb uphill from your accommodation in Halle (Westphalia) to the signposted hiking trail. After one last look at yesterday's destination, the tour can begin right away.
Today's route runs entirely on a very narrow ridge. Without any significant differences…
The seventh stage of the Hermannshöhen begins in the city center of Bielefeld. After a detour to Sparrenburg on the mountain of the same name, it goes over a narrow green strip out of the city.
Bielefeld is soon behind you and you are walking gently uphill to the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest. The next…
On the eighth stage, the Teutoburg Forest shows itself again from its most beautiful side. As in the days of Arminius the Cheruscan, dense forests cover the ridge and its wide slopes. From Oerlinghausen it goes right at the beginning up to the Kammweg.
Then it goes slowly downhill through dense forest…
Your ninth stage begins again at the foot of Hermann, the Cheruscan. Here you descend from the Grotenburg and thus also leave the Teutoburg Forest. From the village of Berlebeck, the lowest point of the stage, the Egge Mountains join directly. You should definitely not be Europe's oldest and most species…
The tenth stage of the Hermannshöhen takes you gently up and down to fabulous views over the wide grass and forest landscape and right through the picturesque Natura 2000 area of Egge. The Lippische Velmerstot vantage point and starting point is the entrance portal to the extensive nature reserve. After…
Ten stages full of unique impressions are already behind you. And yet there is still plenty of new to discover. While dense mixed forests and fascinating ridge views are your constant companions today, small villages with their charm and at the very end an impressive tower beckon on the way.
The twelfth stage will demand a lot from you. With a length of almost 20 kilometers and around 300 meters of ascent and descent, it is challenging, but since you've already immigrated very well, you master it with your left hand. In addition, some optical delicacies ensure the perfect reward.
It feels like you've just started and the final stage along the Hermannshöhen is already on the agenda. Your destination is Obermarsberg on the leisurely flowing Diemel. The way there is characterized by an alternation between deep green forest, open fields and idyllic settlements. And at the very end…
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