Dominik Ketz / Westerwald Gäste-Service e.V.

More than just forests – 16 stages on the WesterwaldSteig

Hiking Collection by
komoot

150 miles (240 kilometers) through spectacular landscape: the WesterwaldSteig takes you through the low mountain range in 16 stages as it extends across Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. In this Collection, we present you the sections that will take you over one of Germany's best hiking trails which was awarded the title of Quality Hiking Path. Why? You can expect fabulous views, picturesque rock landscapes, idyllic lakes, great hiking trails through the hills and pretty half-timbered villages. In short: it's pure hiking bliss!

The starting point of the WesterwaldSteigs is in Hesse Herborn. From here, the path leads you to the highest point in the Westerwald, the Fuchskaute. You will wander through the deep Holzbachschlucht gorge, discover the Westerwald Lake District and learn more about the time when the volcanic rock basalt was mined in the region. Several monasteries are also located along your way to the Rhine. On the last leg to Bad Hönningen, you will dive into Roman history, before reaching the banks of the Rhine where you can reflect on your two week hiking adventure. This is the most extensive way to experience the Westerwald.

You can easily reach the start and end of the long-distance hiking trail by train. On the way, you will find many railway stations in villages if you want to shorten your adventure. You can also choose to do just do one or a few of the sections if you don't want to hike the whole WesterwaldSteig in one go. Many of the sections are not very long, so you can combine them with each other. The region is well connected by bus and train, just bear in mind that not all of the stages have transport links. More information and tips for the right connections can be found here: westerwald.info.

At the end of each hike, you will always find some accommodation. However, you should plan and book where you want to sleep in advance as there is not always a large choice. This way, you don't have to worry about where you will rest and you can enjoy the hiking even more.

If you are a thrill-seeker, then pack your via ferrata equipment. At stage 13, you can choose whether to take the more relaxed or adventurous way to the Hölderstein.

Let yourself be enchanted by the Westerwald – a region that is wonderful for hiking in any season and which will surprise you with a lot of variety.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:31
    9.70 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,650 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Beautiful half-timbered houses, mysterious stone chambers and impressive landscapes - on the first stage of the WesterwaldSteigs you will find plenty of variety. At just under 16 kilometers you wander from Herborn to Breitscheid. By train, you will arrive relaxed at the starting point of today's stage and the entry into the 240-kilometer-long WesterwaldSteig.After a round through the picturesque old town of Herborn you leave the village and walk past the deer park in a comfortable up and down. You walk through forests and over dirt roads and pass soon Uckersdorf. In the tranquil village you can combine a break with a visit to the zoo.A little later you enter the karst trail. Several stations with information boards tell you more about the nature and natural history of the region. Impressive rock formations and caves surrounded by dense forest await you here - a wonderful landscape for hiking. Just before the end, a visit to the show cave Herbstlabyrinth, Europe's first stalactite cave with a complete LED lighting concept, is worthwhile.From the cave, it is not far to Breitscheid, your current destination. In Breitscheid you will find a small selection of accommodation. If you want to leave it on today's day tour, the bus 510 will take you back to Herborn.

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  • Intermediate
    03:09
    6.97 mi
    2.2 mph
    950 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The second stage on the Westerwald-Steig will be promising. The goal of the eleven-kilometer-long route is the Fuchskaute, the highest point in the Westerwald. The tour starts in the Hessian town of Breitscheid. The first few kilometers you hike relaxed uphill, at the airfield Breitscheid over to the 615 meter high Bartenstein. Time for a first break.The path leads you downhill to the Heisterberger Weiher. On a hot day, you can cool off in the small lake. On the shore you will find a restaurant, a boat rental and a campsite. There are also several idyllic rest areas on the shore.With new energy, you will continue hiking, the path will take you further and further up the mountain. Soon you cross the border to Rhineland-Palatinate and continue through picturesque spruce forests and along wildflower meadows. After a good eleven kilometers you stand at 657 meters altitude. The Fuchskaute, an extinct volcano, is the highest mountain in the Westerwald and part of a basalt plateau.On the mountain you will find a restaurant with rooms to stay overnight. Treat yourself to a relaxed dinner and enjoy the landscape and foresight on the Fuchskaute. Since there is only one overnight stay on the mountain, it is worth reserving in advance.

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  • Intermediate
    03:32
    8.24 mi
    2.3 mph
    300 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the third stage of the WesterwaldSteigs you will find relaxed hiking fun. The 13 kilometer route starts on the Fuchskaute and leads you to the town of Rennerod. You have only 90 vertical meters to master, so you mostly hike downhill.You leave the highest point of the Westerwald and walk along meadows and small woodland downhill to Rehe. How about a little coffee break? In the Café Windlück you can try a delicious cake and cake selection or strengthen yourself with sandwiches. A detour to the town hall in Rehe is worthwhile, before you leave the place again. At the half-timbered house from the early 18th century you can discover carved foliage ornaments on the posts and on the wooden door.Not far from deer, you come to Krombachtalsperre. The artificial lake serves besides the power generation the flood protection and the recovery. Around the lake, the northern part of which is under protection, rare plants and endangered bird species found their habitat. If you feel like bathing or having a snack, you can take a break at one of the two campsites on the lakeshore. By the way, the border between Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate runs directly through the water.Continue through the forest and along the Alsberg barracks to your final destination Rennerod. At the tourist office "Hoher Westerwald" (Westernoher Straße 7) you get more information about the location and tips for the end of the day.

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  • Intermediate
    04:26
    10.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    700 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Continue on stage four of the WesterwaldSteigs in the Hohen Westerwald. Today's hike takes you from Rennerod to Westerburg. Highlight of the good 16-kilometer tour is the wild and romantic Holzbachschlucht.From Rennerod you walk through the forest relaxed downhill to the Great Secker pond. It is worth stopping by the shore to enjoy nature and tranquility. The path leads you slightly downhill and past the Dapprich estate. The Hofcafé awaits you with delicious cakes and tarts as well as home-baked Belgian waffles.Immediately after Hofgut you reach the Holzbach and climb into the beautiful trail through the one kilometer long and up to 30 meters deep gorge. Display boards along the way will tell you more about the local flora and fauna. On steep cliffs and rocks and accompanied by the splashing of the stream, you will experience this beautiful stretch of road.It continues between the two villages Winnen and Gemünden and a short distance uphill. Along the edge of the forest you continue hiking towards Westerburg, your destination today. In Westerburg you will find a good selection of restaurants and accommodation for the night. There is also a train station in the village.

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  • Difficult
    05:48
    13.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fifth stage of the WesterwaldSteig offers you great views and recreation in idyllic waters. The 21-kilometer route brings you in a beautiful up and down from Westerburg to Freilingen.You leave Westerburg to the north and walk along the Schafbach stream to Hergenroth. Then you cross the railway tracks and continue through the picturesque forest - a particularly beautiful route, when the foliage of the trees is already discolored. After a good ten kilometers you reach Rothenbach a beautiful vantage point, which offers you a clear view over the meadows and forests.Continue through the rolling hills and soon you dive back into the forest. Not much longer, then you reach the nature reserve Wölflinger Weiher. A great place to enjoy nature to the fullest. Around the pond you can observe rare birds and a rich variety of plants.You continue to hike slightly downhill and see soon your milestone goal Freilicht in front of you. The path leads you through the small village to the post office pond. On the shores of the water you will find the campsite Freilingen, where you can rent for example in one of the cozy hiking huts.

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  • Difficult
    05:03
    11.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    775 ft
    1,025 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On stage six of the WesterwaldTigigs, you'll come up high: from the lookout tower on the Gräbersberg you have a fantastic panorama of the western Westerwald. Starting point of the nearly 19-kilometer tour is in Freilingen.You leave the bank of the Postweiher, but you soon reach the next lake, the Dreifelder Weiher. With more than 120 hectares, it is the largest pond in the Westerwald Lake District. Reason enough to take a break here and give your full attention to the flora and fauna.Gradually, you keep going uphill until you can see the lookout tower on the Gräbersberg in front of you. It is worth climbing the 197 steps to enjoy a fantastic all-round view from the observation deck at a height of 33 meters - in good weather, as far as the Eifel and the Taunus. At the foot of the tower you will find the Alpenroder Hütte, where you can take a break.The path leads you past the legendary World Stone and down to Nistertal, your destination today. In the village you will find several restaurants and accommodation as well as a train station.

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  • Easy
    01:39
    3.72 mi
    2.3 mph
    450 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you can really take your time: stage seven from Nistertal to Bad Marienberg is only six kilometers long, but no less beautiful. From Nistertal you walk along the Mühlgraben to the shore of the Großen Nister. There, in the beech forest, you can discover the impressive bridge viaduct over which the railroad was once huffing. The bridge is 300 meters long and almost 40 meters high. After the decommissioning of the railway line from Erbach over Fehl to Ritzhausen in 1971, the Erbacher bridge was preserved as a technical monument.You continue hiking through the forest and then follow a small tributary of the Great Nister to Bad Marienberg. In the village you can spend the afternoon, for example in the barefoot park, in the game park or in the pharmacist's medicinal plant garden. It is also worth a stroll through the town with its inviting cafes. In Bad Marienberg you will find a small selection of accommodation.

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  • Intermediate
    04:22
    9.66 mi
    2.2 mph
    950 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage eight of the WesterwaldSteig starts with a trip to the rock world. Basalt Lake near Bad Marienberg is all about the volcanic rock of basalt, which is formed when low-viscosity, siliceous magma escapes from the surface of the earth and cools there. The Westerwald basalts are around 25 million years old. Around the lake you will learn more about this and the earlier mining.Continue on your way to Hachenburg uphill until you stand in front of the 18 meter high Hedwigsturm. From the top you have a fabulous view over the Westerwald. Not far away you will find huge rock piles of basalt, the large and the small wolf stone - possibly a former Celtic place of worship.Through the forest you walk relaxed downhill, past rod rod and basket and dive back into the forest. Soon you will reach the picturesque old town of Hachenburg with its half-timbered charm. How about a stroll through the beautiful streets before checking in to one of the hotels or guesthouses? If Hachenburg should be your general destination, then you will also find a train station here.

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  • Intermediate
    03:04
    6.97 mi
    2.3 mph
    400 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The new stage of the WesterwaldSteigs you can tackle very relaxed - good eleven kilometers and only 130 vertical meters to master. So you have more time to explore, for example, the monastery complex Marienstatt extensively. Start your hike in the beautiful old town of Hachenburg.You leave the town through the castle garden and soon cross the Great Nister. The path continues around the town of Nister, then you walk along the bank of the river to the monastery Marienstatt, which is located directly on the riverbank. On the grounds of the Cistercian Monastery you can discover a lot: In addition to the early Gothic basilica there is a library, a brewery with a restaurant, a book and art shop and a guest house. In the monastery garden, you can fill up with energy for the rest of the way.Soon you leave the Great Nister and meet shortly after Streithausen on her little sister. From here it is not far to Limbach, today's stage destination. In the tranquil village you can stay in the Limbacher Mühle.

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  • Difficult
    05:49
    12.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,350 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The tenth leg of the WesterwaldSteigs brings you under the earth and then up again - variety is guaranteed on the 20 kilometer long track. You start the hike in Limbach and climb straight into a beautiful section along the Kleine Nister.At the weather shelter you will leave the river and hike up to the Hohe Ley. From the lookout you have a great view of the Nistertal. Not far away is the slate mine Assberg, probably the oldest and largest publicly accessible slate quarry in the Westerwald. It was first mentioned in writing in 1548, but existed long before.You wander back down to the Nistertal and hear the Great Nister rushing. The next few kilometers you follow the river on its journey through the Kroppacher Switzerland. On the way you will always come back to great resting places, which invite you to take a break.After about 15 kilometers, you leave the river and walk a short but crisp track uphill. The effort is rewarded: At the top there is a viewpoint that offers you a fantastic panorama over the Nistertal and Kroppacher Schweiz. Just lovely!It's not far to reach your milestone. However, you still have some altitude meters ahead of you to Marienthal. The Marienthaler Gasthof offers accommodation for the night and a restaurant serving regional food.

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  • Intermediate
    04:22
    9.74 mi
    2.2 mph
    975 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's section on the WesterwaldSteig, stage eleven, will take you to Marienthal in Weyerbusch at about 16 kilometers. Before you leave the starting point, you visit the monastery Marienthal. It is definitely worth a look inside the Franciscan monastery.You hike uphill until you are standing on the 388 meter high dome head. If you still climb 35 meters or 177 steps more, then the Raiffeisen tower offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Westerwald and the Siebengebirge on the Rhine.From Beulskopf you first walk downhill through the forest until you reach Oberirsen. How about a little break at the cozy village pond? The last kilometers of this stage we go over field and forest trails to Weyerbusch, the stage destination. At Hotel Sonnenhof you will find a place to sleep for the night. On the way there you can treat yourself to an aperitif with Nikis ice cream parlor.

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  • Intermediate
    04:15
    9.52 mi
    2.2 mph
    875 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At stage twelve of the WesterwaldTig you can expect pure half-timbered romance. You start the more than 15 kilometers long tour in Weyerbusch and on your way to Flammersfeld you will walk through several idyllic villages with their characteristic houses. After six kilometers, number one is the half-timbered village Mehren.Mehren is one of the most beautiful places in the Westerwald. You can even discover half-timbered buildings by the Romanesque church from the 12th century. Not for nothing was Mehren twice awarded the silver medal in the national competition "Our village should be beautiful - Our village has a future".You walk on and reach soon Ahlbach, the next nice little town with half-timbered charm. Continue for a while through the forest until you reach Flammersfeld, the destination of the stage. There, too, you will discover numerous, pretty half-timbered houses, such as the birthplace of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen.Flammersfeld is a small place, so the choice of accommodation is limited. It's best to look in advance for a guesthouse or inn in Flammersfeld or the surrounding villages.

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  • Difficult
    04:07
    9.13 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Stage 13 of the WesterwaldSteigs becomes adventurous - if you want it. You have the chance to climb the Hölderstein via ferrata. But if that's not your thing or if you do not have the right equipment, there is also a normal hiking variant. Start of the 15-kilometer hike through the Grenzbachtal is in Flammersfeld.Right at the beginning you will pass the small animal park of the village and you will be able to visit the fallow deer, donkeys, geese, chickens and rabbits, which are maintained by the inhabitants on an honorary basis. Then you walk a beautiful path along the Wied.From the Wied then branches off the Grenzbach, which you now follow. In a large renaturation project the Grenzbachtal was rebuilt as an original meadow valley again. Robust cattle breeds help keep the brook open. A beautiful landscape for hiking!At the Grenzbach is also the Hölderstein, a colossal, overgrown with beech and oak rock formation with great views. If you follow the signs for the WesterwaldTig, you will come up on a normal hiking trail up the mountain. If you are looking for more thrills and would rather try the via ferrata, keep your eyes open for the yellow marked access road.The via ferrata is the only one of its kind on WesterwaldSteig. He is about 250 meters long, covers 80 meters in altitude and leads you over crampons, stirrups, pins, three ladders and a bridge. Important for the use is the right climbing equipment!Whichever path you choose, after enjoying the view from Hölderstein, you continue on through the forest and soon along the banks of the Grenzbach. In the destination Horhausen you will find a small selection of accommodation and several restaurants.

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  • Intermediate
    04:55
    10.6 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 14 of the WesterwaldTig shows you the Wiedtal and a little later the Asbach plateau. Starting point of the hike is the contemplative place Horhausen. It is necessary to master 17 kilometers to reach the finish line Strauscheid.You leave Horhausen and wander through several small villages down to the Lahr glory. The town of Peterslahr is located in the middle of this area, which is a popular destination thanks to its great scenery.You wander along the banks of the Wied for a while and then begin your ascent. Trees offer you cool shade and on your way up you have always wonderful views of the Mettelshahner Switzerland. So it pays to stop every now and then and enjoy the great view over the treetops.At the top of the hill, the trail leads you past Lake Manrother, a crater lake formed after the extraction of basalt. On the shore you will find some signs with information about the time. Then you hike downhill and through the village Ammerich into the Langewiesetal. Now it's not far to your destination Strauscheid. Here you can stay in the Westerwälder Hof.

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  • Difficult
    05:02
    10.4 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,550 ft
    2,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 15 on the WesterwaldSteig takes you on a nearly 17-kilometer route from Strauscheid to the Waldbreitbacher Wiedtal in the center of the Rhine-Westerwald. You leave the place and wander above the Wied through the forest. After about three kilometers you reach the Weißenfelser Ley, from which you have a great view of Wiedtal and the surrounding wooded hills.

    You continue hiking through the forest, down to Masbach and then up the crisp climb to Roßbacher Häubchen. The view from the top is fantastic! A blackboard shows you what you can discover in the distance. You walk downhill again and through Rossbach. How about a break?

    Freshly strengthened you leave the last ascent of today's stage quickly behind you and soon reach the stage destination Waldbreitbach. Here you will find several hotels and you can end the evening on the banks of the Wied relaxed.

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  • Intermediate
    03:30
    7.54 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Final sprint! Stage 16, the last section of the WesterwaldTig, takes you to ancient Roman territory. On the twelve-kilometer route from Waldbreitbach to Bad Hönningen you pass the Limes, the 550-kilometer-long protective wall that the Romans erected between the Rhine and the Danube for protection against the Germanic tribes.The first stop along the route is at the monastery church Hausen. How about a look into the nave? The path continues uphill to the 373 meter high Malberg, where until 1932 basalt was mined. The small crater lake is today picturesquely situated on the small Malbergsee.From the Malberg it goes through the Rheinbrohler forest in the direction of Limes. Soon you will reach a replica Limes watchtower, from which you can enjoy a fantastic view of the Rhine valley.The last few kilometers you hike relaxed downhill towards Bad Hönningen. At the end there is another highlight waiting for you: the Erlebnismuseum RömerWelt. At the beginning of the World Heritage Site Limes, you can visit the interactive exhibition on life at the Limes in the exciting museum - join in and try it out.You have achieved your goal and can be proud of the 240 kilometers covered. Reward yourself with a cozy retreat or relax in the spa on the banks of the Rhine. In Bad Honningen you will find several hotels to stay overnight. You can also get to Bonn or Koblenz quickly by train.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    16
  • Distance
    150 mi
  • Duration
    67:34 h
  • Elevation
    15,450 ft15,800 ft