On forest trails, you hike under the canopy of ancient beech and gnarled oaks. The entire ground is covered with thick foliage and the sound of your footsteps is dampened by the leaves. Climbing over a fallen giant tree lying across the path, you can see blue water flashing out between the mighty trunks. After a few steps, the trees reveal the view and below the steep slope path lies the Edersee lake as it glitters in the sun.
The Urwaldsteig Edersee, marked with a white "UE" on a blue background, meanders in six daily stages over a total distance of around 60 kilometers (37 miles). It takes you through traditional forest trails and scenic slope paths as you circumnavigate the Ederstausee. In spring, the landscape awakens to a new life as the lake slowly fills with meltwater. In summer, the slopes become a lush green color before changing to a rainbow of browns and oranges in the fall. In winter, the snow comes back to the valley and packs the area with high snow-banks, bathing the banks of the lake in white.
The Edersee, with its National Park station in Herzhausen and Bad Wildungen, is easily accessible from all directions. The starting and finishing points of each stage are connected between April and October and can be reached by bus or by boat, so you can also choose to complete individual stages as day hikes. We guarantee, however, that once you immerse yourself in this unique forest landscape, you will not finish your hike before the end of the sixth stage.
Your first stage on the Urwaldsteig will spoil you with spectacular views. You start in the small village Waldeck about 150 meters above the reservoir. The path continues from here along the slope and leads you to many great viewpoints. The view of the Edersee, which meanders through the long valley here, is again impressive at every point.After passing the dam on your trail, you follow the jungle path down to the riverbank. Your stage destination Hemfurth is located across the river and awaits you with numerous small accommodations.The length of the first stage allows you to start the hike on the day of arrival. The starting point of the tour can be reached by bus from Bad Wildungen or Herzhausen. Both cities have train stations and are therefore easily accessible from all directions. More information about the journey you can get under kurhessenbahn.de/kurhessenbahn/view/angebot/anreise.shtml
The second stage leads you directly into the jungle of the national park. From your starting point in Hemfurth, it goes in steep serpentine up to the small and large Hegelkopf. There you will find natural forest paths between huge beech and spruce trees.Note that you enter the jungle region here. The unspoiled forest is not managed and not maintained by foresters. Here everything follows the course of nature. Sick or dead trees are not felled and are partly overturned between the trunks. This landscape offers numerous plants and animals a unique habitat.The Urwaldsteig then runs above the upper basin II, the reservoir of the pumped storage power plant and further paths below the Daudenberg to the stage destination Bringhausen. If you step out of the forest just before your destination, you have a great view over the small town and the reservoir behind it.
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On your third stage, you will return to the jungle of the national park. After your start in Bringhausen the Urwaldsteig runs for a short distance along the lakeshore. You pass the brook mouths of the Banfe and the Bärenbach, before going up the slope on forest trails.In the shade of the towering beech trees, you'll hike far above the lake and skirt mountains and deeply cut gorges before you reach the lookout point on the Hagenstein.From Hagenstein it goes along the river Eder along the way to the finish in Kirchlotheim.In Kirchlotheim there are several apartments that offer accommodation. Within walking distance, you will also find the camping and holiday park Teichmann. There you can stay in small log cabins or cozy rooms.
At the beginning of the fourth stage you cross the Eder at Herzhausen. Here is also the dam-root, because from the Eder bridge is from the river of the reservoir.After leaving Herzhausen behind you, the jungle trail runs comfortably along the lake shore. Without overcoming high altitude, you can enjoy the view of the water and the mountain ranges in peace.You follow the winding valley course on your hike and pass below the Hohenstein a short section, which is characterized by large stone blocks and gnarled trees.Your destination today is the village of Asel. It is one of the villages that lay in the valley before the damming of the Eder. Unlike some of the other villages, Asel was demolished and rebuilt at a raised point. In the reservoir only the Aseler bridge remained, which was completed only a few years before the construction of the reservoir. At low tide it comes to light again.
After starting in Asel you will climb the Katzenberg on the fifth jungle step. Here you have another nice view of the sunken bridge, when the water of the lake is low enough.The trail now runs along the slope to the Lindenberg, whose ridge extends far into the reservoir. Up on the ridge path, the hikers of recent years have built innumerable stone men out of the loose stones of the Kellerwald greywacke.From Lindenberg it goes down to the lakeshore, where you can expect on the narrow valley loop a great view of the opposite national park.You can reach Scheid via a further slope path that leads through the Kahle Hardt nature reserve. The nature reserve is home to ancient oak trees that cling to the rocky ground in bizarre shapes.
The last day on the Urwaldsteig spoils you once again with great views and enchanted forests.Starting from Scheid, you wander into the Lower Werber Bay. The Hangweg meanders around numerous narrow valleys, which were formed here by Bächläufen.In Nieder-Werber you cross the Werbe, a tributary of the Eder undd climb on the Urwaldsteig up to the Mühlecke. On rustic forest paths, the path runs far above the lake and again and again, you will get great views.After you have crossed the narrow and fertile Bärental, it goes up to the milestone. Waldeck Castle awaits you at the end of your hike with a museum and a magnificent view from its castle wall.Up on the top of the wall you can once again let your gaze wander over the Edersee and its tree-lined shores. In six days you walked around the lake on picturesque forest trails and got to know a nature that has become rare in Germany today.