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Kellerwaldsteig – hiking through one of Germany’s largest beech forests

Heinrich Stürzl (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Kellerwaldsteig – hiking through one of Germany’s largest beech forests

Hiking Collection by Anette

9

Tours

50:51 h

114 mi

13,325 ft

Forest bathing in a sea of beech trees sounds wonderful, and it is. The Kellerwald, a low mountain range in Northern Hesse, has one of the largest contiguous beech forests in Germany and is one of the best destinations for forest bathing. The Kellerwald-Edersee National Park spreads picturesquely over 57 square kilometres (35 miles) of hilltops, cliffs, gorges, streams, valleys, and farmland. The deciduous forests are no longer forested and are allowed to develop wildly. In some places, they even have similar characteristics to primeval forests.

The national park is part of the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park, which covers an area of about 600 square kilometres (372 miles).The 156-kilometre (96 miles) Kellerwaldsteig trail showcases all the sights and natural beauty of the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park. In the north, Lake Edersee and rustic stunted forests await. In the central area, you hike under huge beech trees and past bizarre growth formations in the national park. The south offers a harmonious combination of forest, fields, and meadows. Time and time again, you’ll be surprised by the wide views over the Waldecker Land’s, especially from the Kellerwald Tower on Wüstegarten peak at 675 metres (2,214 feet), the highest point in the nature park.

The route alternates between wide and well-maintained hiking trails and narrow and overgrown paths. Sturdy hiking boots are the best choice for this terrain. You should also bring a picnic and plenty of drinks as you won’t always find places to stop for refreshments or they may be closed when you pass by.

I have divided the entire route into eight stages, including an additional leg that divides the Kellerwaldsteig into a northern and southern half. This way, you can easily decide on a full hiking week or a long weekend. You find accommodation at each stage destination, but it is always advisable to book in advance (waldecker-land.com/planing-and-staying-overnight.html).

Regardless of whether you start the multi-day hike from the town of Frankenau or prefer day Tours, the train stations Frankenberg/Eder, Korbach, Bad Wildungen or Wabern are ideal to arrive by train. From there, you can continue your journey with the buses or shared taxis of the Nordhessischer Verkehrsverbund (nvv.de).

You can look forward to a wonderful time ahead in a place where you can forget everyday life and let your soul breathe.

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Kellerwaldsteig

98.5 mi

11,450 ft

11,450 ft

Last updated: November 5, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    05:37
    12.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your first stage on the beautiful Kellerwaldsteig starts in Frankenau and is a good 20 kilometers long. It challenges you with a few short but steep climbs, but rewards you with wonderful views.

    

    The picturesque little town of Frankenau is known as the gateway to the Kellerwald National Park. It is believed

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  • Difficult
    06:34
    14.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,525 ft
    2,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first few kilometers of today's hike lead you over meadows and pastures with wide views over the Waldecker Land. A little later you follow the Mombeck valley through a beautiful forest area and finally reach one of the largest reservoirs in Germany, the Edersee, near Herzhausen. It is believed that

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  • Difficult
    05:14
    11.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In the course of today's stage, the Kellerwaldsteig will repeatedly meet the Urwaldsteig (komoot.de/collection/495), where you hike on narrow paths through forests with old gnarled beeches and oaks.

    

    Today it goes up and down again and one of the highest places is Waldeck Castle on the northeastern edge

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  • Difficult
    05:36
    12.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you leave the core area of the national park and now mainly hike through forest, field and meadow corridors. From smaller ones you follow the Wesebach until you meet the Dreisbach in Gellershausen. You follow it a short distance and then climb up to paradise. Before you reach it, you have a beautiful

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  • Difficult
    06:14
    14.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    You leave Odershausen and first hike a few kilometers through field and meadow corridors before you dive back into the basement forest. On this section you will find the rare Süntel beeches, a variant of the common beech. They grow more in width than in height and form tent-like crowns with their drooping

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  • Difficult
    05:32
    11.7 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,650 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Bad Zwesten is located in the valley of the Schwalm and while you are leaving the place, you can look far into the fertile, agriculturally intensively used valley.

    

    After about three kilometers you will reach the ruins of Löwenstein Castle, the keep of which was renovated in 2001/2002 and provided with

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  • Difficult
    05:26
    11.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,625 ft
    950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From Densberg today we go first south and then in a large arc to the north. The first kilometers lead you to the Hemberg ridge with the extensive forests.

    

    The Helenenquelle rises at the foot of the Hundskopf, a characteristic elevation of today's tour. This is where the Sondertal nature reserve begins

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  • Difficult
    05:22
    12.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your last stage starts in Battenhausen and first leads you through the famous beech forest. After about five kilometers, the valley of the Wohra opens in front of you and you can see the impressive monastery of Haina. The former Cistercian monastery is definitely worth a visit as it is one of the most

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  • Difficult
    05:17
    14.3 mi
    2.7 mph
    2,050 ft
    1,450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This route can be chosen instead of the fourth stage if you only want to hike the Nordschleife of the Kellerwaldsteig. This is perfect for a long weekend, because your destination today will take you back to Frankenau, your starting point, after a wonderful hike.

    

    Today you mainly hike through woods, fields

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    9
  • Distance
    114 mi
  • Duration
    50:51 h
  • Elevation
    13,325 ft

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Kellerwaldsteig – hiking through one of Germany’s largest beech forests

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