The popular Hermannsweg is a beautiful high-level trail through an important historical landscape: Arminius, a Cheruscan prince, gathered various Germanic tribes under his banner to drive the Roman occupying forces back across the Rhine. Arminius, who today is known only as Hermann, had come to Rome as a hostage and had been trained there as a military officer. When he returned to Germania, his exact knowledge enabled him and his allies to defeat the all-powerful legions and free the countries on the right of the Rhine from the Roman grip.
The exact location of the decisive Varus Battle is no longer known today, but both the Hermannsweg and the huge Hermann memorial are reminiscent of the brave commander. In eight stages you hike over a distance of about 157 kilometres along the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest and over the unjustly little known Eggegebirge. In the constant ups and downs, the Hermannsweg leads you through untouched beech forests, to wonderful views and exciting rock formations. It is a special moment when you find yourself at the foot of the Hermann Monument.
Your hike on the Hermannsweg begins in the tranquil town of Rheine in Münsterland. The trail is marked with a white 'H' on a black background along the entire route. Thanks to good bus and train connections, you can easily choose only individual stages as a day hike or put together your favourite stages for a hike lasting several days. With its railway stations, the stage destinations Hörstel, Borgholzhausen, Bielefeld and Detmold are particularly suitable as entry or exit points for your tour.
Your first leg on the Hermannsweg begins in Rheine. From here you hike a little upstream along the river Ems, which you cross at the so-called soldiers' bridge. Soon you have left the city behind you and the Hermannsweg meanders through wide fields and small forest parts in the direction of Teutoburg Forest.Soon you pass the town of Bevergern and a little later you are standing on the banks of the Dortmund-Ems-Canal. At Bevergern, the Dortmund-Ems Canal and the Mittelland Canal flow together at the Wet Triangle. On the opposite bank, you can already see the westernmost foothills of the Teutoburg Forest.From Bevergern you can make a detour to the Kunsthaus Kloster Gravenhorst or you can go to your accommodation. In Bevergern and in the nearby neighboring villages Riesenbeck and Hörstel there is a good selection of different accommodations.
On the second day of hiking the first mountain stage is on. From the Nasse Dreieck it then goes up parallel to the Dortmund-Ems Canal on the crest of the Teutoburg Forest. Here the name deceives: this is not just a forest, but above all a distinctive and long-drawn low mountain range.From the bank of the canal, it goes gently uphill to Kammweg. The ridge is densely forested here, but at various viewpoints you can enjoy the wide view of the Münsterland. After wandering through the silent forest for a few kilometers, you will be treated to a great climax: The Dörenther cliffs are exciting sandstone cliffs rising on the edge of the Teutoburg Forest. Some rocks have names like 'The Squatting Woman' or 'Three Emperor's Chair'. Two inns invite you to take a break around the cliffs.After you have explored the cliffs extensively, it goes on the edge of Brochterbeck on the ridge on to the stage destination Tecklenburg. In the medieval town you will find several cozy hotels and guesthouses.
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The third stage on the Hermannsweg begins in Tecklenburg. South you leave the city. The path leads you past the Königssee and over the motorway and you are back in the middle of nature.With small ascents and descents, the Hermannsweg meanders further over the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest. It is much less wooded on this stretch, so you'll have great views of the surrounding landscape in many places. A special highlight is the old limestone mining area Lengerich, which is known today as the Blue Lagoon.Alongside today's stage, you will also encounter three large, still active lime mining areas - the view is always impressive. Before heading down to the finish, you can take a break in the cozy Malepartus Waldschänke.Bad Iburg welcomes you with a beautiful old town, a castle and a good selection of hotels and inns.
On the fourth stage, the Teutoburg Forest lives up to its name: starting from Bad Iburg, the Hermannsweg runs through quiet forests for most of the way. The first section leads you through the unspoilt nature reserve Freeden.Afterwards, you hike a bit along the edge of the forest and then climb steeply to Kammweg. From here it is soon downhill on the next highway and right back into the dense forest. You soon forgot the noise of the cars as you wander between the trees.So that also panorama lovers do not miss out, you still have two lookout towers to choose from today. The first tower stands directly on Kammweg above Dissen and offers you a great view of the wooded mountains of the Teutoburg Forest. Shortly before the stage destination lures then the Luisenturm with its beautiful view.Your accommodation in Borgholzhausen, today's stage destination, you have best reserved in advance, because there are only a small selection of hotels.
Freshly recovered, you start your hike in Borgholzhausen. You follow the Hermannsweg to Ravensberg Castle, the first big highlight of the day. The well-preserved small castle lies with its Hofschänke on a foothills of the Teutoburg Forest and is a nice place for a first rest.From there it goes in constant ups and downs over the peaks and through the valleys of the mountain ridge. The ridge is unevenly wooded here and so you have always beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.The second half of the stage runs from Halle in Westphalia completely on the narrow ridge. Without significant height differences, you will wander comfortably through the forest. You will pass various vantage points and can take a rest in the restaurant Peter auf'm Berge, before you follow the Hermannsweg downhill to Bielefeld.
The sixth stage of the Hermannsweg begins in the city center of Bielefeld. After a detour to Sparrenburg on the same mountain, it goes over a narrow green strip out of the city.Soon Bielefeld is behind you and you are hiking gently up the Hermannsweg to the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest. Next destination is the Iron Anton. This lookout tower was originally called the Bismarck Tower, but due to its unique steel construction, today it is only called Iron Anton.Incidentally, here you have reached the highest point of today's stage and so it is now downhill especially. You cross another highway and then continue on the slopes of the Teutoburg Forest until you reach the stage destination Oerlinghausen.
On the seventh stage, the Teutoburg Forest once again shows its best side. As in the days of Arminius the Cheruscian, dense forests cover the ridge and its broad slopes. From Oerlinghausen it goes directly to the beginning of Kammweg.Through dense forest, it goes slowly downhill. In small clearings along the way, you can always take a look at the surrounding hills and the Weserbergland.The aim of today's hike, however, is the huge statue of Arminius, the Hermannsdenkmal on the summit of Grotenburg. With a height of 26 meters, Hermann is the tallest statue in Germany. Its creator, the artist and sculptor Ernst von Bandel, saw his life's work in this monumental statue. Already at the beginning he made it clear that he would forgo an artist's fee, so that all donations could benefit the building. The small hut Bandel lived in right next to the statue in the last years of construction can still be visited today. For over forty years he worked on his dream until the monument was solemnly opened in 1875.From Hermannsdenkmal it is only a short distance to the beautiful town of Detmold, where you can easily find accommodation.
Your last leg starts again at the foot of Hermann, the Cherusker. Here you get off the Grotenburg and thus leave the Teutoburg Forest. From the village of Berlebeck, the lowest point of the stage, the Eggegebirge joins directly.
Through forests it goes over small mountains and hills, until you reach the climax of the eighth stage. On the bank of a large pond, the famous Externsteine tower here in the sky. Around the four rock towers are some legends and people have been making pilgrimage to this impressive place for centuries.
From the Externsteine the Hermannsweg winds its way through the forest up to the summit of Velmerstot. From the rocky summit plateau, you will enjoy for the last time the beautiful view of the wooded slopes of Eggegebirge, Teutoburg Forest and Weserbergland, before descending to the stage destination Leopoldstal.