Siegerland-Wittgenstein for families
Encounters with the “little redhead” and much more
Our tips for family activities in Siegerland-Wittgenstein: Discovery walking trails hold many surprises, including encounters with European bison and llamas.
Walking with the “little redhead”
The Siegerland-Wittgenstein region has come up with a novel idea to get children interested in walking and hiking in the great outdoors. The Rothaarsteig trail, which translates as the “red hair trail”, is regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful high-altitude trails. A story has been woven around a small redheaded imp who roams the area and invites young visitors to discover his fairy-tale paths, secret hideaways and magical treasures. The two-kilometre-long path starts at a well-signposted carpark and leads past many stops telling fantastical stories about the little redhead and his forest home.
The Siegquelle (source of the Sieg) pathway in Netphen is another discovery trail that invites children to run loose and enjoy nature with all their senses. Quite a few obstacles have to be overcome in the forest along the way – which is what makes this circular trail such an adventure for young visitors!
Ranger tours provide another interesting way for families to learn more about nature. The professional forest guides know this terrain like the back of their hands, and are more than happy to share their knowledge with kids of all ages and their parents. Taking secret paths, finding lizards and other native animals and discovering different plants are all possible on a ranger tour.
Encounters with llamas and European bison
Families with even more of a taste for something different should pay a visit to the Abenteuerdorf Wittgenstein centre. From here, groups of up to 12 people can set off on a hike with some South American llamas for company. Hikers can learn all about the animals during the 2½-hour guided tour, including how they are kept and what they are used for. The Abenteuerdorf centre itself has loads of fun activities for kids, from crazy golf to a rafting pond to a football pitch.
An even more unusual encounter with animals awaits at Wisent-Welt Wittgenstein. Since 2013, a nature project like no other in Western Europe has been underway at this reserve. Here on the Rothaarsteig mountains, European bison are again roaming freely. Coming across one of the gentle and shy creatures in the wild is highly unlikely, however, and hikes lasting several hours are hardly practical with children in tow.
This is exactly why Wisent-Wildnis was set up in Bad Berleburg. Here, visitors can see a 20-animal herd of European bison in a fenced one-hectare enclosure. A three-kilometre path through the wilderness leads families through a tunnel designed like a badger’s sett and along the course of a stream, with opportunities to view the gentle giants without disturbing them along the way. At the free-of-charge Wisent Interactive Exhibition, children and their parents can learn more about the special animals they have just seen.
Travelling back in time
Before their re-introduction into the wild in 2013, the last free-roaming European bison in the Middle Ages were living in the Wittgenstein region. They might even have passed by Ginsburg Castle, which dates from the 12th century. Families have a chance to travel back in time here by visiting the castle and climbing its high tower.
Freudenberg Technology Museum is another attraction where visitors young and old can get an insight into another age. The museum shows how people worked with machines and means of transportation over a century ago. The amazing thing is that the machines, foremost among them the huge steam engine, are all still in good working order.