Autumn in the Arnberg Forest, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

The West­phali­an sea of forests

Nature park Arns­ber­ger Wald

Gurgling streams, deep caves, and striking rocks make the nature park Arnsberger Wald a habitat for animals and plants that encompasses one of the largest contiguous forest areas in Germany, nicknamed the Westphalian sea of forests. The name is the game here: Discover objects of art in a forest of sounds, learn interesting facts about forest peculiarities on the forest nature trail in Bibertal valley, or approach the myth of the forest on the Sauerland Waldroute. Are you ready for your own forest experience?

A musical walk in the forest

A black K with a musical note on a yellow background marks the 3.5-kilometre-long circular Klangwald trail that will let you experience the forest with art objects in 10 stations. At some, the wind will make the objects sound, at others hikers need to take action for it. Listen carefully and consciously to perceive the sounds in the landscape around you. The wind violin, for example, is playing its eerie “Kyrill Song”, a reminder of the destructive power of the storms, while a sound cradle will make sounds vibrate through your whole body.

The myth of the forest

How about a bargain? The Arnsberg Forest will let you barter the hustle and bustle of everyday life and big-city noise for the rustle of treetops and foliage. Doesn’t that sound fair? It works particularly well on the Sauerland Waldroute, where you can experience the myth of the forest on foot as it passes through old forest stands, past natural monuments and enchanting places entwined with myths and legends. The legend stations will tell you the scary and beautiful stories of the place, while forest route ranger Lukas adds even more information in a matching audio guide.

If you want to learn about the forest’s peculiarities, try out the forest nature trails in Bibertal valley or at the Bilstein cave. They come with a forest playground. What does the forest ground conceal? Take a guided tour through the underground labyrinth of the Bilstein cave to find out, and explore stalagmites, stalactites, and other fantastic formations.

Hunting, Prussian forest, mining, monastery management, and border towns are the respective subjects of five forest culture tours that let hikers experience some cultural and historical features of the Arnsberg forest. They offer information on the exciting history of the forest and draw attention to some relics that are preserved to this day. Would you rather have your forest expert right there with you in person? Join a hike with a nature park guide! Available subjects include “Forest trees”, “Our changing forest”, and “Eternally whispering forests”.


Would you like to see the forest from above next? You can! Vantage towers such as the Lörmecke-Turm afford unique panoramic views of the area. They also make the dangers visible that the forest is exposed to: drought and bark beetles are threatening the trees. Reforestation with climate-resistant species has already commenced.

The Möhnesee-Turm is another tower that invites you to enjoy some unique panoramic views of the Sauerland’s largest dam with the Möhnesee lake. Hikes around the lake are a refreshing alternative in particular in summer, while water sports enthusiasts can go right onto or into the water there.

The forest capital of Warstein

The town of Warstein is situated in the middle of the nature park. It was named forest capital in 2021/2022. With its certified, near-natural forest, it makes an above-average contribution to nature and climate protection, supporting reforestation. Would you consider a sustainable Christmas tree from the Sauerland, for example? Check out the Pefc seal, marking ecological, economic, and socially sustainable forestry.

  • Sunrise over the forests of the Sauerland, © Oliver Franke, Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Sauerland forest route foresight, © Sauerland Tourismus e.V., Klaus-Peter Kappest
    Lörmecketurm Arsnberger Wald, © Johannes Höhn
  • Sauerland forest route, © Sauerland Tourismus e.V., Klaus-Peter Kappest
    Observation tower at Lake Möhne, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Luftansicht auf den Arnsberger Wald, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Möhne dam

Instagrammer Malene Röttger, © Malene Röttger
Trip idea for the sur­round­ing area? In­s­tagram tip from Malene Röt­tger@wan­der­lenchen
Möhnesee Sauerland, © Malene Röttger

"The Möhne reservoir shows me again and again how beautiful our homeland actually is. Every week I spend a few walks here with my dogs and usually the camera is not to be missed. My absolute favourite place in the Sauerland!"