They say that flying is the only thing better than hiking Sauerland-Höhenflug. But, I don’t think that flying can even compete. The magnificent panoramas and incredible views over the Sauerland are perfect to explore on foot. You can see for yourself in this Collection.
The Sauerland-Höhenflug, a long-distance German Quality Hiking Trail, takes you across the land of a thousand mountains. There are two variants. The first route takes you 200 kilometres (124 mi) from Meinerzhagen to Korbach in 11 stages. The second variant leads 190 kilometres (118 mi) from Altena to Korbach in Hesse, rejoining the first route near Eslohe.
But wait a minute, when you talk about the land of a thousand mountains, don’t you mean the Alps? Not this time. Located mainly in southeastern North Rhine-Westphalia, the Sauerland region and its famous Rothaargebirge Mountains are home to over 2,700 peaks that are more than 400 metres (1,312 ft) high. With beautiful views, sights and nature, it’s not surprising that the German Hiking Association awarded Sauerland the title of quality hiking region.
Deep forests, high moors, extensive pastures and heathlands – the Sauerland has many natural treasures. You’ll also encounter cultural and industrial history at every turn. The local hospitality is wonderful too.
I based this Collection on the recommended stage division. I merged the two short stages between Lenhausen (Schönholthausen) and Wenholthausen. Occasionally, my route deviates from the hiking trail to lead you to a place with nice accommodation. You’ll often find a cosy place to stay and refreshments directly at the stage destination. Of course, you can also hike individual stages, divide them or plan day hikes from one location – as you prefer. Your host might also offer a transport service, just ask. Alternatively, you can reach almost every location along the hiking trail comfortably by public transport or by driving.
There are plenty of refreshment stops along the way or by taking a small detour to a village. Even the Sauerland innkeepers have to take a day off or are fully booked from time to time so pack a picnic and enough water to stop at a beautiful rest area just in case.
Let's go. Lace up your shoes, pack your camera and swing your rucksack over your shoulders. On the Sauerland-Höhenflug the journey is the destination. It’s thrilling.
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: January 18, 2022
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
From Meinerzhagen train station you walk about two kilometers to the entrance portal Schallershaus. This is where the official Sauerland Höhenflug hiking trail starts. And off we go with the highlights along the way: The Meinhardus ski jump has been the landmark of the town of Meinerzhagen since it was…
If you still want to fill up your supplies for today's stage, it's worth making a short detour to the bakery in Valbert before going straight up to the Nordhelle. At 663 meters, the Nordhelle is the highest mountain in the Ebbe Mountains and will surprise you with its breathtaking views.
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On this stage you continue your hike on the Sauerland high-altitude flight in the high-altitude village of Windhausen. A picnic in your backpack should not be missing today either, because you will only get to the next village on the way after about 17 kilometers. On the other hand, you reach the first…
With a length of 26 kilometers and a few meters of altitude, this stage demands your mountain qualities, but always rewards you with fantastic views.
From Schönholthausen it's a steep and sporty climb up the mountain slope of the Hohe Hardt. Soon you will reach the Sauerland high-altitude flight again…
Behind the idyllic village of Wenholthausen it goes uphill again. You hike through beautiful beech and mixed forests and across extensive meadows. On the Reister Berg you get very close to heaven - a wonderful place to linger and be amazed.
Reisete at the foot of the mountain can be reached by descending…
On this stage you have plenty of opportunity for extensive forest bathing, because the area is one of the most densely wooded areas in Germany. You hike on charming paths through extensive beech and spruce forests as well as mystical high moors with very beautiful views. The first rest area with panorama…
Right on the outskirts of Altastenberg it goes back into the forest and to the wet meadows of the Renau. You follow the course of the water through the Renautal via a beautifully landscaped bridge path.
Just a few kilometers away, what is probably the most famous mountain in North Rhine-Westphalia presents…
On this stage you hike through the Medebach Bay with its open fields, the wide meadows and the narrow paths lined with hedges. It is a place that is spoiled by the sun and is therefore often referred to as the "Tuscany of the Sauerland".
Great prospects await you today as well. Already above Hallenberg…
After getting a packed lunch for today from the baker in Medelon, you start your hike and follow the Orke for about six kilometers. The enchanting Orketal with its floodplains is a nature reserve and breeding ground for kingfishers and gray wagtails. That was not always the case, because the Orke was…
When you start in Küstelberg you can once again admire the location on the east ridge of the Rothaargebirge. To the west you have a wide view over the country and to the east you can see the Schlossberg with the three ski lifts. You leave the village in a northerly direction and are now mainly on the…
You leave Düdinghausen past old quarries and along a historic Way of the Cross. This offers a last, very nice view of the village with the large church and the picturesque half-timbered houses from the Kreuzberg.
The land is flatter now, but still undulating. Long, fertile valleys with lush meadows characterize…
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