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More than just forests – 16 stages on the WesterwaldSteig

Dominik Ketz / Westerwald Gäste-Service e.V.

More than just forests – 16 stages on the WesterwaldSteig

Hiking Collection by Vanessa Kopp

10-22

days

3-6 h

/ day

150 mi

15,425 ft

15,775 ft

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, I 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.

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Der WesterwaldSteig

148 mi

15,425 ft

15,825 ft

Last updated: February 14, 2022

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Herborn nach Breitscheid – WesterwaldSteig

    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 - a lot of variety awaits you on the first stage of the WesterwaldSteig. You hike almost 16 kilometers from Herborn to Breitscheid. The train takes you relaxed to the starting point of today's stage and the entrance to

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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 WesterwaldSteig is promising. The destination of the eleven-kilometer route is the Fuchskaute, the highest elevation in the Westerwald. The tour starts in the Hessian town of Breitscheid. The first few kilometers you hike uphill, past the Breitscheid airfield to the 615 meter

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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.

    Relaxed hiking fun awaits you on the third stage of the WesterwaldSteig. The 13-kilometer route begins on the Fuchskaute and takes you to the town of Rennerod. You only have to master 90 meters in altitude, so you hike mostly downhill.

    

    You leave the highest point of the Westerwald and hike downhill along

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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.

    It continues on stage 4 of the WesterwaldSteig in the High Westerwald. Today's hike takes you from Rennerod to Westerburg. The highlight of the 16-kilometer tour is the wild and romantic Holzbach Gorge.

    

    From Rennerod you hike relaxed through the forest downhill to the Great Secker Weiher. It is worth

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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 relaxation on idyllic waters. The 21-kilometer route takes you in a beautiful up and down from Westerburg to Freilingen.

    

    You leave Westerburg to the north and walk along the Schafbach to Hergenroth. Then you cross the train tracks and continue

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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 6 of the WesterwaldSteig you get up high: From the lookout tower on the Gräbersberg you can enjoy a fantastic panorama of the western Westerwald. The starting point of the almost 19-kilometer tour is in Freilingen.

    

    You leave the banks of the Postweiher, but soon reach the next lake, the Dreifelder

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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 take your time: Stage 7 from Nistertal to Bad Marienberg is only six kilometers long, but no less beautiful. From Nistertal you walk along the Mühlgraben to the banks of the Große Nister. There you can discover the impressive bridge viaduct in the beech forest, over which the railway once

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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 8 of the WesterwaldSteig starts with a trip into the rock world. At the basalt lake near Bad Marienberg, everything revolves around the volcanic rock basalt, which is formed when thin, low-silica magma emerges from the earth's surface and cools there. The Westerwald basalts are around 25 million

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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.

    You can tackle the ninth stage of the WesterwaldSteig in a relaxed manner - a good eleven kilometers and only 130 meters in altitude have to be mastered. This gives you more time to explore the Marienstatt monastery extensively, for example. Your hike starts in the beautiful old town of Hachenburg.

    

    You

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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 stage of the WesterwaldSteig takes you underground and then up again - variety is guaranteed on the 20-kilometer route. You start the hike in Limbach and immediately enter a beautiful section along the Kleine Nister.

    

    At the weather house you leave the river and hike up to the Hohe Ley. From

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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 11, takes you almost 16 kilometers from Marienthal to Weyerbusch. Before you leave the starting point, you will visit the Marienthal monastery. It is definitely worth taking a look inside the Franciscan monastery.

    

    You hike uphill until you stand on the 388

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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.

    Pure half-timbered romance awaits you on stage 12 of the WesterwaldSteig. You start the 15-kilometer tour in Weyerbusch and on your way to Flammersfeld you will walk through several idyllic places with characteristic houses. Number one after six kilometers is the half-timbered village of Mehren.

    

    Mehren

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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 WesterwaldSteig will be adventurous - if you want it. You have the chance to climb the Hölderstein via via ferrata. But if that's not your thing or you don't have the right equipment with you, there is also a completely normal hiking variant. The 15-kilometer hike through the Grenzbach

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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 WesterwaldSteig shows you the Wiedtal and a little later the Asbach plateau. The starting point of the hike is the tranquil town of Horhausen. 17 kilometers have to be mastered to the stage destination Strauscheid.

    

    You leave Horhausen and hike through several small towns down to the Lahr

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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 almost 17 kilometers from Strauscheid to the Waldbreitbacher Wiedtal in the center of the Rhine-Westerwald. You leave the village and hike through the forest above the Wied. After almost three kilometers you will reach the Weißenfelser Ley, from which you have

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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 WesterwaldSteig, takes you to ancient Roman territory. On the twelve-kilometer route from Waldbreitbach to Bad Hönningen you pass the Limes, the 550-kilometer protective wall that the Romans built between the Rhine and the Danube to protect them from the

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    16
  • Distance
    150 mi
  • Duration
    67:34 h
  • Elevation
    15,425 ft15,775 ft

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