Following the Diemelsteig in North Hesse is the perfect opportunity to kick off the hiking season and breath in the countryside air for a few days. The 63-kilometre (39 mile) long Quality Hiking Trail leads you through green valleys, striking mountain ranges, and gentle hilly landscapes with fields, meadows and forests. It covers the whole region around the Diemelsee reservoir, the Adorfer Bucht bay and the Vorupländer hill country. With around 1,600 metres (5,250 feet) to climb, the Diemelsteig is one a medium-difficult rated hiking trail and is therefore also suitable for inexperienced hikers.
I’ve divided the multi-day Tour into four stages ranging in length from 15 to just under 18 kilometres (9.3 to 11.1 miles). You hike along the Diemelsee, passing its dam, visit an old mine, discover an almost forgotten monastery, walk along silent paths and enjoy wonderful views over the Sauerland time and time again.
As the paths are narrow and rocky at times, you should wear sturdy walking shoes. I also recommend packing plenty to drink and a picnic, as you won’t find restaurants or shops in every village along the way.
In all the planned stage destinations, you can find accommodation. To be on the safe side, you should enquire and book in advance as some have very limited capacity and might be fully booked already if you spontaneously drop by. You can also hike just one day and adjust the routes to your needs. The villages along the Diemelsteig can be reached by bus or you can book (in advance) a shared taxi (AST) from the bigger train stations in Korbach, Willingen or Bad Arolsen. Detailed information in German is available from the North Hesse Transport Association (nvv.de/fahrplanauskunft). Some accommodation also offers a pick-up and drop-off service on request.
You start today's stage in Wirmighausen and after a short distance you will reach the top of the Lenkenberg with its beautiful view. The Adorfer Bay with the forests, meadows and fields spreads out in front of you and in the distance you can already see the mountains of the Sauerland.The next section of the path leads you over a wooded elevation towards Flechtdorf and on the descent you can already see the basilica of the local monastery from afar. The former Benedictine abbey from the 12th century is one of the oldest preserved monastery buildings in northwest Germany. The double tower facade, the mighty hall structure of the church and the convent building are well worth seeing. You can visit the facility on every second and fourth Sunday in the summer months and the monastery café is also open on these dates.
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Right on the outskirts of Schweinsbühl you enter a high path that takes you past the 600 meter high Winterscheid. Boundless views of the beautiful landscape and the surrounding mountain ranges await you here.From the Winterscheid it goes down into the Diemeltal. At the small hamlet Deisfeld you cross the Diemel and follow it over meadows, through small forests and over fields to Hemmighausen. There the path climbs up again and at the Hohen Egge already offers a view of the Diemelsee.We continue towards Dommel. A detour to the summit of the mountain (738 meters) is worthwhile here, because the view from the Dommelturm to the Waldecker Upland is magnificent.You hike down through the beautiful mixed forest. Below the Schlößchenberg you leave the Diemelsteig and walk a good kilometer to your destination for today. In Stormbruch, after all 970 years old and home to around 300 residents, you will find accommodation and refreshment stops.
The last stage of your hike on the Diemelsteig is a good 15 kilometers long and brings you back to Heringhausen am Diemelsee. Even at the beginning of today's hike, the landscape is predominantly characterized by meadows and fields and the views are great.Since the area around the Diemelsee is very popular with tourists, you will find some opportunities to stop there. However, this does not apply to the first part of the route and therefore a drink and a small picnic should not be missing in your backpack.From Stormbruch in the Diemeltal you first hike uphill to overcome the ridge to the valley of the Itter and then through beautiful spruce and mixed forest down to the Itterarm of the reservoir. There you cross the Diemelsee-Randstrasse and then follow the hiking trail along the almost three and a half kilometers long Itterarm. The views are magnificent.