fog at the Ehmsen trail, © Julian Stratenschulte

Ehm­sen Trail

On foot from the Ruhr Val­ley to Bigge­see

What more could hikers want? Wide green val­leys, idyll­ic moun­tain land­scapes and charm­ing old towns. The Ehm­sen­weg (Ehm­sen Trail) has all this plus cow­boys and pyr­am­ids.

The Ehmsenweg (Ehmsen Trail) links Arnsberg and Olpe. It runs for over 76 kilometres from the Ruhr Valley to Arnsberg Forest before it reaches Biggesee, one of the most scenic reservoirs in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Ehmsen Way is named after the founder of the Sauerländischer Gebirgsverein – the third largest hiking association in Germany. The trail has been  awarded the “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland” seal of quality by the German Hiking Association (DWV).

Right at the beginning of the route, the historic old town of Arnsberg is well worth exploring. This former Westphalian capital is a reminder of past times with its medieval streets, remains of the old city wall and extensively preserved buildings, which date back to the 17th to 19th centuries.

A little further on, hikers will reach Homert Nature Park with its picture-book scenery: crystal-clear streams, mountain ranges with old beech and spruce forests and wide green valleys.

A hiking path that takes in pyramids and cowboys

Continuing along the Ehmsen Way, hikers arrive at Elspe, home of the world-renowned festival dedicated to the adventure novelist Karl May. Every year the large open-air stage plays host to horses and actors, daring stunts and sophisticated pyrotechnics, all ensuring brand new entertainment. A leisure park has sprung up around the stage itself, offering further attractions such as a stunt show and a Wild West village.

A sight more familiar in Mexico or Egypt awaits hikers a little further on: the pyramids of Lennestadt-Meggen have become a well-known landmark in Sauerland. They can be found in Galileo-Park, an interactive science park with puzzles and changing exhibitions. Kids and adults alike will find plenty to entertain them here.

Hikers can enjoy a scenic end to their tour of Sauerland at the Biggesee reservoir near Olpe. The reservoir regulates the Ruhr and Lenne rivers, supplies water to the Ruhr Area and is also an important local recreation area. There are facilities for boat trips, fishing, sailing and swimming at North Rhine-Westphalia’s second largest reservoir.

Map of NRW

Tour overview

Info, data & tour route

Distance in km
76.0
Duration in days
-
Walking/Journey time in hours
-

Highest point in metres
618
Uphill altitude difference
2,465
Downhill altitude difference
2,362
Tour Level
Level of difficulty
intermediate

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

fog at the Ehmsen trail, © Julian Stratenschulte

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