River Sieg Nature Trail
Get close to nature and enjoy magnificent views
Secret paths lead hikers on the Natursteig Sieg (River Sieg Nature Trail) to castles and monasteries and through idyllic villages, always keeping contact with the Sieg.
The Natursteig Sieg (River Sieg Nature Trail) is perfect for anyone seeking peace and relaxation in the Rhein-Sieg Region to the east of Bonn. Far from busy tourist routes, this path runs for 200 kilometres from Siegburg to Windeck and on to Mudersbach (Sieg) through isolated natural surroundings, enthralling hikers with magnificent views and a varied route. One of the reasons the German Hiking Association (DWV) awarded the trail the “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland” seal of quality.
Large portions of the River Sieg Nature Trail run along existing, often historic routes, some of which had to be completely cleared before the trail could be opened as they had long fallen out of use. Even today, the route is not made up of wide hiking trails; instead, walkers follow narrow paths that wind their way down to the Sieg and up to the neighbouring wooded ridges. The length of the route is lined with castles and monasteries, old churches and idyllic villages to delight hikers. For example, right at the beginning of the trail lies the medieval town of Blankenberg, whose entire old town with its castle buildings and half-timbered houses was declared a protected historical monument in 1992. Not far from the castle, the Stachelberg offers a magnificent view over the Sieg’s meanders.
The remains of the circular ramparts in the Neunkirchen-Seelscheid state forest are still a puzzle today. Neither their precise function nor date of construction are fully known. However, researchers believe that the complex was once used as a “refuge fort” to which the population could retreat in the threat of war. Fans of history should also take a detour to the Grube Silberhardt exhibition mine in Windeck, which serves as a reminder of the region’s long tradition of silver and ore mining. Those more interested in focusing on the hike and looking for a challenge will enjoy the stage between Herchen and Schladern. This requires stamina and sure-footedness, as the section involves not only conquering significant climbs but also following narrow paths over a variety of different terrains. Magnificent views of the Sieg and Burg Windeck make the exertions worthwhile!
For ease of planning and the most enjoyable hiking experience, the River Sieg Nature Trail is divided into 14 stages, each with a distance of between 11 and 20 kilometres. The individual stages are therefore suitable for day or half-day trips. Excellent public transport links make this route particularly convenient for hikers.