©
Blick über die Landschaft - Rothaarsteig-Spuren, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest

Rothaarsteig-tracks


Away from the well-known trails

The Rothaarsteig is regarded as being one of the most beautiful upland hiking trails in Europe. However, it’s also worth leaving the well-trodden paths behind and turning off onto one of the other tracks on either side.

 

They have names such as “Kahle Pön”, “Ilsetal” (“Ilse valley”) or “Trödelsteinpfad” (“dawdle stone path”). The eight Rothaarsteig tracks between the Sauerland and Siegerland-Wittgenstein regions offer a welcome alternative to the popular upland path - and not only for people who are well familiar with the route. Visitors hiking in the region for the first time are sure to find a track that suits their needs, too. The Premium trails, which are certified by the Deutsches Wanderinstitut, the German hiking institute, are designed as circular routes and are easy to manage.

Routes for beginners

The BlickinsLand - Kahle Pön (“Landscape view - bald Pön”) Rothaarsteig trail is ideally suited for a half-day tour, or for less well-trained hikers. The route, which lasts around four hours, takes visitors through varied heathland landscapes of the Upländer Berge hills, up to the 745 metre-high Kalied summit. Here, incidentally, ka = “kahl” (bald), and lied = a steep slope. But there’s no need to worry: along the seven kilometre-long route, there is an ascent just 180 metres long.

The Grönebacher Dorfpfad (“Grönebacher village path”; 10.9 kilometres) is also suitable for hiking novices, curving around the oldest church tower in the town of Winterverg, the St. Lambertus church at Grönebach, and offering a variety of scenery along the way. The route takes hikers through colourful meadows and dense forests - without losing sight of the picturesque village of Grönebach. Hikers with children will be sure to stop off at one of the two leisure facilities along the route.

The Dill-Bergtour (“Dill hill tour”), which runs along the federal state boundary between North Rhine-Westphalia and Hessen, offers wonderful views over the Lahn-Dill-Bergland nature park and the Siegerland area. Without having to cope with any particularly steep climbs, hikers, or in this case “border crossers”, pass through the idyllic Dill valley and the historic Hauberg Offdilln forest, where traces of Celtic life such as a bloomery can still be found today. The high point of the 15.8-kilometre tour is the view from the “Nose in the wind” viewing platform on the Tiefenrother Höhe (Rothaar ridge) summit.

Tours for fit hikers

Hikers who undertake the Kahler-Asten-Steig route should be physically fit.  At 16 kilometres long and with an overall ascent of 500 metres, it is one of the most challenging circular routes along the Rothaarsteig. In 2017, it was certified by the Deutscher Wanderverband, the German hiking association, as a “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland - Traumtour”, a quality “dream tour” hiking trail, and quite rightly so: hikers who make their way up to the Kahler Asten from the Rothaar Arena in Westfeld (a year-round centre for Nordic sports) will be rewarded with an unbeatable view right across to the Brocken summit in the Harz mountains.

The 11.6 kilometre-long Oberhundemer Bergtour hill route immediately starts with a steep uphill section. However, once hikers have overcome the ascent over the old donkey paths, the trail continues comfortably onwards along winding paths, past ragged rocks and through dense forests. However, even areas that were completely devastated by storm Kyrill in 2007, where nature is slowly by surely recovering, will still delight hikers. A stop at the Alpenhaus on the Kahleberg hill is highly recommended. The traditional-style hut has officially been recognised as belonging to Kirchhundem since 2011.

A very special experience for children (and adults) is the wisent path from Wingeshausen to the Schmallenberg hunting lodge, which is also certified as a “Traumtour”, or “dream tour”. Halfway along this 12.9 kilometre-long, average difficulty route, hikers can, with a bit of luck, see Europe’s only wild wisent herd for themselves. However, there is an entrance fee to the enclosure where these huge, shaggy animals live, which depends on age.

Fairytale rock faces, a romantic water lily pond and the historic site of the “Bettelsmannbuche” beech tree, where pilgrims used to camp, make the Ilstealpfad (or “Ilse valley path”) a very special nature experience. Passing along the Lahn, Ilse and Weidelbach rivers, this longest Rothaarsteig track, covering 16.5 kilometres, passes through open landscapes and dense fir and beechwoods to the Weidelbacher Weiher pond. Here, in the middle of the forest, it's worth taking a break to enjoy the peace and quiet, and to tank up on energy before tackling the next climb. After all, there are 540 meters of uphill walking through the Wittgensteiner Wald forest.

The Trödelsteinpfad path, which covers 10.2 kilometres from the Buchheller-Tal valley up to the “Trödelsteine”, or “dawdling stones” natural monument (and back), has a slightly less arduous climb. After a good four hours over rustic, untamed paths, where a good level of fitness is required, hikers will reach several basalt cliffs and below, a field with pillar and block rock formations consisting of feldspar asphalt - although of course, not without taking a break in between, such as in the juniper heathland in the “Saukaute” nature conservation area. This route is also a certified “dream tour”.

www.rothaarsteig.de

Map of NRW

Share the news

Tour overview


Info, data & tour route

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

Highest point in metres
677
Uphill altitude difference
376
Downhill altitude difference
376
Tour Level
Level of difficulty
intermediate
  • Round trip
  • Family-friendly
  • Wheelchair-accessible

Images and videos


Be inspired: images of your NRW

Rothaarsteig-Spur Trödelsteinpfad, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
Rothaarsteig-Spur Blick-ins-Land Kahle Pön, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
Rothaarsteig-Spur Oberhundemer Bergtour, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
Rothaarsteig-Spur Grönebacher Dorfpfad, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
Blick über die Landschaft - Rothaarsteig-Spuren, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
Rothaarsteig-Spur Kahler Asten-Steig, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
Rothaarsteig-Spur Wisentpfad, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
Rothaarsteig-Spur Dill-Bergtour, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest

More information


Discover it now!

Would you like to make an enquiry?


Please contact »Rothaarsteigverein e.V.« directly


Inquire now

Your contact details

The data is not saved. Detailed information can be found in the Privacy Statement.

* Please complete this field

More hiking trails in NRW

Skulpturenpfade im Kreis Mettmann Kunstwege, © Stadt Heiligenhaus
©

Trails of art in Neanderland

Kindelsbergpfad Fernblicke, © Natalie Glatter www.wandermagazin.de
©

Kindelsberg Trail

panoramic views at the Bestwig Panorama Trail, © Reinhard Schmidtmann
©

Bestwig Panorama Trail

Rheinsteig hiking trail, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
©

Rheinsteig hiking trail

Blick über die Landschaft - Rothaarsteig-Spuren, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Klaus-Peter Kappest
©

Rothaarsteig-tracks

Die Rundwege des Wittgensteiner Schieferpfades führen oft durch Wälder, © Foto Oliver Franke / Tourismus NRW e.V.
©

Wittgenstein Slate Trail

Paradise for hikers - the Eifel Trail, © Archiv Eifel Tourismus
©

Eifel Trail

Kleine Brücken führen den Bödefelder Hollenpfad über die Bäche, © Tourismus Schmallenberger Sauerland / K.-P. Kappest
©

Bödefelder Hollenpfad

Extertal Burg Sternberg, © Gemeinde Extertal
©

Hanseatic Trail

Auf dem Rundweg können Wanderer die Blicke schweifen lassen, © Sauerland Höhenflug
©

Düdinghausen Geological Trail

the landscape on Brilon Ridge Trail, © Brilon Wirtschaft und Tourismus GmbH
©

Brilon Ridge Trail

Hängebrücke bei Kühhude am Rothaarsteig, © Rothaarsteigverein e.V. Björn Hänssler
©

Rothaar Trail

break at the Ahrsteig, © www.ahrtal.de
©

Ahrsteig Trail

Sauerland High-Flyer - the view at the range of mountains, © Sauerland Höhenflug
©

Sauerland High-Flyer

Roman Canal Hiking Trail - aqueduct Mechernich, © Natalie Glatter, Wandermagazin
©

Roman Canal Hiking Trail

Auf Rangertouren lernen Wanderer viel Wissenswertes über die Natur in der Eifel, © NationalparkEifel
©

Wilderness Trail

two people enjoy the scenery at the Egge trail, © Teutoburger Wald Tourismus
©

Egge Trail

Medebach Mountain Trail, © Touristik-Gesellschaft Medebach mbH
©

Medebach Mountain Trail

Rambler at the Viaduct Hiking Trail, © Gemeinde Altenbeken
©

Viaduct Hiking Trail

Upper Sauerland Ridge Trail, © Ferienwelt Winterberg
©

Upper Sauerland Ridge Trail

Blick vom Hermannsdenkmal, © Teutoburger Wald Tourismus - OWL GmbH
©

Hermann Heights Trail

wood figures at the Upland Trail, © Tourist-Information Willingen
©

Upland Trail

Sonnenuntergänge in der wie unberührt wirkenden Natur sind besonders beeindruckend, © Foto Oliver Franke / Tourismus NRW e.V.
©

Via Adrina – The “Panoramic Path”

River Sieg Nature Trail, © RadRegionRheinland e.V.
©

River Sieg Nature Trail

Der Landweg ist einer der Bergischen Streifzüge, © Das Bergische GmbH
©

Bergisch Wanderings

Kleine Dörfer liegen auf dem Weg, © Uwe Völkner - Fotoagentur FOX
©

Way of St. James

Old tree at the Hermann Trail, © OWL Marketing GmbH,S. Westermann
©

Hermann Trail

Winterberg High-Altitude Trail, © Ferienwelt Winterberg
©

Winterberg High-Altitude Trail

fog at the Ehmsen trail, © Julian Stratenschulte
©

Ehmsen Trail

Kupferroute Bank an der Gedenkstätte, © Birgit Engelen
©

Copper Trail

Canyon at the Teuto-Circuits hiking trails, © Rudolf Schubert
©

Teuto-Circuits

The river at the Neanderland Steig trail, © Kreis Mettmann Martina Chardin
©

Neanderland Steig Trail

Bergisch Trail, © Das Bergische gGmbH
©

Bergisch Trail