Dew glistens on the fields that stretch across the countryside like a colourful carpet. You explore the forest paths of the Hansa Trail between the Hanseatic cities of Herford Hamelin. The sun soaks through the treetops as you follow the Westphalia-Lippe long-distance trail through green landscapes and visit the region’s fascinating towns.
In the Middle Ages, merchants travelled north, opening up new trading routes and settling in cities to conduct their business. Herford, Lemgo and Hameln became so-called Hanseatic towns. At the time, a trade route through the Teutoburg Forest and the Lipper Bergland connected the towns. This quality hiking trail traces the old trade path.
On the Hansa Trail, you witness the medieval wealth of these cities. The Hanseatic towns are brimming with castles, churches, market places and historic houses. You’ll also be surrounded by the vibrant nature of the Lipper Bergland, with its rippling rivers, glistening lakes, wide views and deer sprinting through the forest.
In this Collection, I've divided the Hansa Trail into six stages, ranging in length from 11 to 21 kilometres (6.8 to 13 mi). I have planned a few detours into historic cities where you can find accommodation for the night. Both Herford and Hameln are easy to reach by train. The journey time between the two cities is only about an hour by train. You can also walk the stages as individual day hikes, as there is also a train station or bus stop at the stage destinations.
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Last updated: May 10, 2023
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
When you start the first stage of the Hansaweg in Herford, you can already feel the flair of a historic Hanseatic city in the pedestrian zone, on the Aa and along the wall in the first few meters. Today the Hansaweg takes you over 12 kilometers to Bad Salzuflen.
You make your way from the train station…
After a relaxed start with the first stage of the Hansaweg, a small increase follows on the second stage. Accompanied by the idyllic Salze River, you leave Bad Salzuflen towards the north. It goes up to the Knickberg with its small forest pond and you continue walking along the first hill strand of the…
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Deer are not native to North Rhine-Westphalia, but on the third stage of the Hansaweg you will still get to know the magnificent animals up close: in the Lemgo game reserve. To get there, head north from the center of Lemgo past the cemetery and then along picturesque plank paths into the Lemgo forest…
The most promising stage of the Hansaweg leads you from Dörentrup to the highest mountain in Nordlippe and then further into the Extertal. You can expect eleven kilometers with some inclines and natural paths. At the beginning you pay another visit to the Pottkuhlenteich in Dörentrup and then follow…
The fifth stage of the Hansaweg is the longest with a good 21 kilometers. It brings you to the eastern edge of the Lipper mountainous region as far as Aerzen. The starting point of the hike is Linderhofe. From there you will find yourself again after a few meters in the forest at almost 300 meters.
You will notice that you are now very close to the Hanseatic city of Hameln during the first few kilometers of the last stage. The wooded paths of the low mountain range give way to a flatter environment with wide meadows and after three kilometers one of the most imposing buildings of the Weser Renaissance…
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