Panarbora Nature Experience Park, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Deep wa­ters, lofty heights

Nature park Ber­gisches Land

You’ll surely be in your element here! All right, let’s not play with fire – but the nature park Bergisches Land does have some great offers for water, earth, and air! The many heights and valleys afford panoramic views and treetop experiences, while also offering an opportunity for lofty highs and dives into the history of the region – with or without diving goggles: As many as 16 dams can be found within the nature park, serving animals, plants, and people in different ways.

The Agger, Bever, Brucher, Lingese and Wupper dams, for example, offer canoeing, sailing, pedal boating, or stand-up paddling. Bring your swimming gear in summer to make sure you won’t miss out on the pleasant refreshment of the clear waters. Other creatures are playing in the lakes, rivers, and streams that turn the Bergisches Land into one of the most water-rich regions in all of Germany year-round, no matter the weather: The rare crayfish, for example, loves the Brucher dam near Marienheide. It is nocturnal, however, and will only come out in the dark.

Moving from view to view

Are you rather a landlubber and prefer to enjoy water from a distance? Explore the dam region on foot or by bike then! Autumn paints nature in bright colours and is particularly pretty here. The climbs found on short excursions and long-distance hiking trails such as the Bergischer Panoramasteig will reward you with some impressive views once you’ve made it to the very top. You can even cycle comfortably from view to view thanks to routes following former railway lines, such as the Bergischer Panorama-Radweg or the Balkantrasse trail. If you run out of steam along the way, the Bergischer FahrradBus will pick you up as it shuttles along both routes, giving a lift to cyclists and tired hikers alike.

Accessible ballooning

By the way, the nature experience in the Bergisches Land is becoming increasingly inclusive on the water, on land, and in the air alike. For example, the Brucher dam is currently being turned accessible by removing obstacles from the circular trail and creating an accessible water experience. The lofty heights of the Bergisch region are also open to all visitors thanks to an accessible balloon with a specially equipped basket. Accessibility is relevant for the Panarbora nature experience park  in Waldbröl as well, where treetop paths and the observation tower can be reached by wheelchair or with a pram, too. You can even spend the night in a tree house if you like.

Schloss Burg has been towering high above the river Wupper since the Middle Ages. Today, however, the former seat of the Counts von Berg, the namesakes of the Bergisches Land region, can be reached comfortably by cable car. Doesn’t that sound just great? The best thing about it is that the top not only affords magnificent panoramic views and a chivalrous ambience, but also some cafés that serve a typical Bergisch coffee dinner. You may want to keep right on going once you are a little refreshed as the next highlight is already waiting for you nearby with the Müngstener Brücke, Germany’s highest railway bridge spanning the Wupper valley between Solingen and Remscheid. You may either enjoy this beautiful spot of nature from the Brückenpark below, crossing the Wupper on a suspension ferry and marvelling at the bridge – or you might venture right up there. That’s right: The Müngstener Brückensteig comes with 777 steps leading up to the top of the structure. Once you’re there, you’ll be rewarded not only by plenty of fresh air, but also with a few breath-taking views of the nature park Bergisches Land.

  • Agger dam from above, © Johannes Höhn
    Marking signs of the Bergische Panoramasteig, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Müngsten Bridge, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
  • Family enjoys the view, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Garden with tower

Portrait Instagrammer Simon Wierzba
Ideas for ex­cur­sions in the sur­round­ings? In­s­tagram tip by Si­mon Wi­erzba@si­mon­wi­erzba
Elisenturm in the Botanical Garden Wuppertal, © Simon Wierzba

"The botanical garden on the Hardt is worth a visit at any time of year. A small retreat in the middle of Wuppertal, where you can wonderfully switch off and discover a lot. I like to be there again and again. Whether with the camera or with my children. It's always fun to go there."