When the Edersee was dammed at the beginning of the 20th century, a new and exciting destination was created in the mountainous region of North Hesse. The enchanting mix of old beech forests and the large lake with its shimmering water surface has attracted hikers and weekend walkers ever since.
This is why a hiking route from Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe to Lake Edersee was established as early as 1928, enabling stressed city dwellers to reach the popular destination over the course of several stages. This makes the Edersee Trail one of the oldest hiking trails in northern Hesse and, thanks to its beauty, it’s long since become a destination itself.
At about 47 kilometres (29 mi) long, the trail is perfect for a weekend adventure. I’ve divided it into three stages so that you have plenty of time to visit the small villages and historic sites along the way, enjoy the green low mountain range of northern Hesse and take one or two side trips if you like.
You start in Kassel, at the historic Wilhelmshöhe (Park) railway station. The station stands next to the internationally famous Bergpark, at the western end of which the mighty Hercules statue towers. On the edge of the Habichtswald forest, and with beautiful views of the Kassel basin, the route continues through woodlands, across green meadows and along open fields. Small villages with lovingly maintained half-timbered houses lie along the trail and you might even see the Hessen-Courier, a museum train that regularly puffs through the countryside in summer. Finally, with a view of Waldeck Castle, you reach the Edersee lake at Nieder-Werbe.
You'll find cosy accommodation and places to stop for refreshments at all the stage destinations. Make sure you book in advance so that you can be sure of getting a place to stay. These are often small, family-run establishments with limited capacity. If you don't have any ideas yet, just check the Grimm Heimat portal (grimmheimat.de – in German).
You can easily reach Wilhelmshöhe (Park) station by tram and the other places on the trail are regularly served by public buses. Perhaps you prefer a short hike or would like to tailor the length of the routes differently? No problem: the closest train stations to the Way are Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, Bad Wildungen, Korbach and Vöhl-Herzhausen. For the subsequent bus transfers to the towns on the Ederseeweg, you can find information at the Nordhessischer Verkehrsverbund (nvv.de – in German).
Now, let's get going! Pack your rucksack, lace up your shoes and don't forget your camera: you’ll be amazed at how many shades of green there are to discover in North Hesse.
Under the gaze of the mighty Hercules statue, you start your hike in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe to the Edersee, the third largest reservoir in Germany. After you have crossed the Königschaussee with the impressive line of sight to the Hercules, you will soon reach the Mulangstraße on the eastern edge of the mountain park. It takes its name from the Chinese village …
On this stage you continue to hike along the edge of the great Habichtswald nature park. Again and again it goes through beautiful deciduous and mixed forests, open fields, lush meadows and small half-timbered towns.You leave Niedenstein in a westerly direction and you will soon reach the Altenburg mountain with the prehistoric castle of the same name. The facility …
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
At the end of this third and last stage you will finally reach the Edersee. On your way from the city of Kassel to the lake you admired the beautiful Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, hiked through the wonderful Habichtswald and visited idyllic half-timbered towns. And finally you come over the ridge and see the blue ribbon of the lake between the mountains with the old beech forests. Great!
Bike Touring Collection by Sankt Wendeler Land