Ausblick auf die nächste Stadt, © Archiv Eifel Tourismus GmbH

Eifel Trail

Hikers get close to nature in the Eifel Na­tion­al Park

With trails, re­ser­voirs, val­leys and plat­eaus giv­en over to nature, the Eifel­steig (Eifel Trail) is a para­dise for hikers.

The motto of the Eifel­steig (Eifel Trail), which runs 313 kilo­metres from Aachen in North Rhine-West­phalia to Tri­er, is “Where rock and wa­ter ac­com­pany you”. In 15 stages, ran­ging in length from 14 to 29 kilo­metres, the Eifel Trail heads north to south through val­leys, across plat­eaus, over hill­tops and through dense forests. Its var­ied and nat­ur­al route tra­verses unique nat­ur­al areas, which in NRW in­clude the moor­land of the High Fens, the isol­ated Rur Val­ley and the mighty re­ser­voirs of the North Eifel re­gion. Con­tinu­ing on and cross­ing the bor­der in­to Rhine­land-Pal­at­in­ate, hikers pass the Vulkaneifel with the “eyes of the Eifel”, as the deep blue maars are known, as well as Ge­r­ol­stein’s rugged dolo­mite cliffs. The Eifel Trail has been cer­ti­fied as a premi­um trail by the Deutsches Wan­der­in­sti­tut e.V. (Ger­man In­sti­tu­te of Hik­ing).

One hik­ing high­light is without a doubt the Eifel Na­tion­al Park, which hikers soon reach in the sec­tions nearest Aachen. In this na­tion­al park, the only one in North Rhine-West­phalia, nature is al­lowed to de­vel­op freely: land­scapes once shaped by hu­man hands are gradu­ally chan­ging back in­to prim­or­di­al beech forests. Cov­er­ing an area of 110 km2 (equi­val­ent to about 15,000 foot­ball pitches), its aim is to “let nature be nature”. Vis­it­ors can make ex­cit­ing dis­cov­er­ies here all year round: every spring wild daf­fodils turn the mead­ows in the south of the na­tion­al park in­to a sea of yel­low; dur­ing the sum­mer the mead­ows are char­ac­ter­ised by fra­grant wild herbs; on au­tumn rambles the call of red deer can be heard; and in the winter months tracks in the snow re­veal the pres­en­ce of wild cats, the shy “Eifel ti­gers”.

Link­ing up with the Eifel­steig are sev­er­al part­ner hik­ing trails. While their qual­ity matches that of the cer­ti­fied Eifel­steig trail, they cov­er much short­er dis­tances. As such, most of them are ideal for day hikes, but hikers can also con­tin­ue on to the Eifel­steig to ex­tend their route by a couple of days. The Bächtaler Höhen­route (Up­land Val­leys Route), the Rur-Olef-Route, the Nar­zis­sen­route (Wild Daf­fodils Route) and the Bur­gen­route (Castles Route) are the names of just some of the part­ner trails, with new paths be­ing ad­ded all the time.

Map of NRW

Tour overview

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Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Paradise for hikers - the Eifel Trail, © Archiv Eifel Tourismus
Aussichtspunkte ermöglichen herrliche Ausblicke, © Archiv Eifel Tourismus GmbH
Am Eifelblick in Modenhügel bei Gemünd lohnt sich ein Erinnerungsschnappschuss, © Archiv Eifel Tourismus GmbH
Rursee im Nationalpark Eifel, © Nationalpark Eifel - Nationalparkverwaltung

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