Rothaarsteig ©Sauerland-Tourismus e.V.

The Rothaarsteig Trail – a route for all five senses

The Rothaarsteig Trail really is a hike for all the senses: your ears hear the whispers of nature. Your eyes delight in the forests' green splendour. Your nose sniffs the scent of wood and your mouth tastes the regional delicacies.

The Rothaarsteig Trail was opened in 2001. It is a 154 kilometre route stretching from the Sauerland and Siegerland regions to central Germany. We start our hike in Brilon and head for the winter sports resort of Winterberg and then on towards the town of Dillenburg in Hesse. We hike along a ridgeway on the Rothaar Mountains for most of the journey. It is a pleasant wellness walk without any steep inclines.

The Rothaarsteig was the first trail in the world to have a special kind of lounger installed along it. These ergonomically shaped recliners are a delight for the senses - rest on them, take in the sights and lose yourself in your thoughts. We hike through ever-changing scenery: dense forests, alpine meadows and meandering streams. Every now and then, there are also fantastic views stretching far and wide.

The fascinating huge sculptures on the Rothaarsteig Trail offer the perfect combination of culture and nature. This route is also unique in that several hotels and inns along the way offer a shuttle service for hikers. At the end of the day, they are driven from the path to their accommodation and brought back to where they left off the next day.

TIP: the stage with the three sources

Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"I love walking along the stage where the sources of three major German rivers meet. There are just a few kilometres between the source of the Eder, Sieg and Lahn. The Rothaarsteig Trail itself is the source of wanderlust on this section of the route."

At a glance: Rothaarsteig

Starts: Brilon

Ends: Dillenburg

Length: 154 km

Number of stages: 8

Altitude variation: lowest point 228 m, highest point 848 m

Terrain: 43% unmade, 15% asphalt, 42% other, e.g. farm tracks

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