Nature & Outdoor Activities

The Hermann Heights Trail - an enjoyable hike from the Münsterland to Westphalia

The Externsteine rock formations ©DZT (Florian Trykowski)

With wide views we hike from Rheine in the Münsterland region to Marsberg in the Sauerland, in an otherwise very flat landscape.

Along spectacular cliffs we reach the four-kilometer-long sandstone formation of the Dörenther Klippen, which we do not expect to find this far north.

According to the legend, one of the rocks visible from afar represents a petrified woman. She carries her children on her back and brings them to safety from an approaching flood.

Again and again we can stop directly at this hiking trail and enjoy a delicious rest. We walk through lively places like Bad Iburg or Bielefeld and of course we come directly to the Hermann monument on the way. The Cheruscan prince Arminius (called Hermann in German) defeated the Romans in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD and thus became the hero of the Germanic tribes. The monumental Hermann's Monument commemorates him and is one of the most famous sights in Germany.

Not far away, in Berlebeck, one should not miss the eagle observatory, which is one of the largest and oldest bird of prey observatories in Europe. And another "real celebrity" is located directly along the way: the Externsteine. A rock group that was already worshipped by the Celts and one of the most popular natural monuments in Germany.

At the twin summit of Velmerstot we reach the highest point of the Teutoburg Forest. From here you can look far over the Lippische Bergland, up to the Weserbergland.

The Hermannshöhen are almost continuously a ridge path, a green mule track in the height. Ridge walk one would say in the Alps. From the summit, the route continues south along the ridge of the Eggegebirge, the Eggeweg. And what a great path that is! A sandy, rooty underground. Wide views to the west and east, very close to nature. The villages and towns are here at the foot of the trail. On the Hermannshöhen we are literally in hiking heaven.

TIP: Tecklenburg

Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:

"I love the town of Tecklenburg on the Hermann Trail as it boasts charming half-timbered houses, great cuisine and the biggest open-air theatre in Germany. Tecklenburg is also known as the 'balcony of the Münsterland'."

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