Transition from Asten (right) to Gerkenstein and Langewiese (from there to the center of the picture) and the (Kühhude) Rothaar (peaks peeking out in the left half of the picture)
The Lennekessel with Oberkirchen
Attractions in the Rothaar region
Although the name of the Rothaar Mountains (= cleared forest mountains) suggests otherwise, forests are still the main component of the mountains today. With the natural area around the Langenberg, the highest mountain in North Rhine-Westphalia, and the massif of the probably better known Kahler Asten, the Rothaar Mountains have two altitude centers.
The natural areas of the mountains differ to some extent strongly. While the Langenberg natural area is mostly forested, the Harfeld is largely cleared and includes the well-known winter sports resort of Winterberg, while the Rothaar mountain ridge is almost completely uninhabited. There are gorge mountains and spring trough landscapes, old trade roads and ridges, densely forested areas and agriculturally used green areas.
A special feature of the Rothaar Mountains are the Bruchhauser Stones, which are witnesses of volcanic activities and today represent a retreat for rare plants and animals. The 92 m high rock pillars are an impressive sight and were declared the first “National Natural Monument” in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Photo: Thomas Wensing, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons
On foot through the Rothaar Mountains
The Rothaar Mountains are crisscrossed by a dense network of hiking trails. On soft forest paths, sunny meadow paths, to the sound of rushing streams and birdsong, you can get very close to nature. One of the most popular trails through the mountains is the Rothaarsteig. The “Path of the Senses” runs for 154 km and is one of the Top Trails of Germany. With paths and trails that are particularly close to nature, it is one of the 16 most beautiful long-distance hiking trails in Germany.
The Kyrill Trail offers a completely different experience. The trail, which is only 1 km long, shows the natural force of the hurricane of the same name that hit the landscape in 2007. On the Waldskulpturenweg (forest sculpture trail), you can marvel at works of art and sculptures along the way.
Not to be forgotten, of course, is the Sauerland-Höhenflug, which offers breathtaking views over valleys and vast landscapes over a distance of 250 km. And a special experience is to go with a ranger on the Sauerland-Waldroute (Sauerland Forest Route) and learn more about nature.