Luftbild mit Überlauf, © Gäste-Information Möhnesee

Möhnesee: The “Westphalian Sea” in Sauerland

Paradise for water sports fans and nature-lovers

A paradise for water sports enthusiasts, a habitat for rare birds and a destination for nature-lovers: Incredible holiday memories are made at Möhnesee.

The sparkling, deep blue Möhnesee reservoir rests languidly in the green landscape of Sauerland. With a total area of 10 km2, it ranks as one of Germany’s largest reservoirs, which is why the locals affectionately call it the “Westphalian Sea”. It does indeed have some flavour of the seaside, which is why visitors flock to its shores year-round. The nearby Arnsberg Forest Nature Park has plenty to offer holiday-makers: three different swimming areas, boat trips on the lake and extensive walking trails along the flat shoreline.

Holiday memories in the unspoilt nature around Möhnesee

Water sports enthusiasts are in their element at Möhnesee: swimming, diving, sailing, surfing, canoeing, fishing or even floating on a self-made raft are just some of the activities available at the Westphalian Sea. Three sailing and surf schools are on hand to fit you out with equipment. Those who prefer dry land can make good use of the hiking, walking and cycling paths which hug the shore and trail off into the forest. The Sauerland-Waldroute (Sauerland Forest Route) stretches to the south of Möhnesee through the delightful Arnsberg Forest with its streams and sunny clearings. One highlight which hikers may come across is the forest sound installation: ten sound locations interspersed along 3.5 kilometres of pathway which make a noise either when touched or when the wind blows. Thanks to special plaques, the visually impaired can experience this installation too.

The northern shore of the lake is characterised by alder marsh forests and the Möhne floodplain, which gradually gives way to fertile fields and meadows just before the Haarstrang hills. On the southern side, a number of important biotopes have emerged in the Hevearm-Hevesee nature reserve. Thousands of aquatic birds have found their ideal habitat here, among them impressive species like the great crested grebe, the cormorant, the grey heron and the kingfisher, all of which share the rich bounty of the lake with the anglers. Möhnesee is the largest stop-over and wintering ground for aquatic birds in NRW, and is recognised as an international bird sanctuary.

Discover interesting facts about the water and woodland

Visitors who would like to know more about the landscapes around Möhnesee should start their tour at the Landscape Information Centre (Liz), which is housed in the historical old Günne Mill in Arnsberg Forest. Here they will discover lots of interesting facts about Arnsberg Forest, the reservoir and the local fauna. What did the Möhne valley look like in times past? How many fish are living in the lake? And which bird is singing that song? Answers to these and other questions can be found in the Liz centre, which informs visitors with models, information systems, animal sound stations, videos, an interactive water column, aquariums and even microscope stations. Visitors can get even closer to nature on an outdoor excursion. The options include a guided walk around the reservoir, geocaching, stream exploration and guided forest walks. Finally, nature-themed educational programmes and birthday and holiday events are organised for the youngest family members.


Map of NRW

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Aussicht auf die Möhnetalsperre aus der Luft, © Gäste-Information Möhnesee
Besucher im Klangwald, © Bernd Schwartz
Luftbild mit Überlauf, © Gäste-Information Möhnesee
altes Gebäude am Möhnsee, © LIZ M. Kraft
Naturerlebniss am Möhnsee, © M. Kraft

More information

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Learning from nature

Infotafel am Geostopp Deilbachtal, © GeoPark Ruhrgebiet

GeoPark Ruhrgebiet

Pflanzenkunde für Kinder, © Nationalpark Eifel - S. Wilden

Guided ranger tours in Eifel National Park

Der Rursee im Nationalpark Eifel, © Nationalpark Eifel - Nationalparkverwaltung

Guided forest walks & ranger tours in Eifel National Park

Die Herde der Wisent-Wildnis, © Wisent Welt Wittgenstein

Wisent-Wildness Wittgenstein

Aussicht auf die Medebacher Bucht, © Medebach Touristik - Oliver Brachat

Medebach Bay in Sauerland

Erfrischender Wasserlauf im Naturpark Schwalm-Nette, © Naturpark Schwalm-Nette

Schwalm-Nette Nature Park

Der Rursee im Nationalpark Eifel, © Nationalpark Eifel - Nationalparkverwaltung

Eifel National Park

Die Wandergruppe unterwegs in der Natur, mit einen Ranger, © Sauerland-Tourismus e.V. /  Foto Tanja Evers

Ranger tours through the forests of southern Westphalia