Wonderful experiences and big surprises - here is where life is walking!
Germany's latest top hiking destination. Modern adventure in an absolutely „teutonic" low mountain range. Mountains covered by forests, culture wall, traces of legend, nature oasis with heights of up to almost 470 metres. “Hermannshöhen” - ridges of slow motion. Very often the watershed from the South of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) through Westphalia (Westfalen) only covers less than a kilometre. A green mule track way up high. Through the bustling countryside. Always as high as the observation platforms. There are half a dozen panorama viewing towers. They are called "Luisenturm", "Bierbaums Nagel" or "Eiserner Anton". Your walk will be exalting, as it is way up high. Remote, because it is close to nature and very peaceful. Close, because within 1 km to 5 km distance there is always a town, a city or a village to the left or to the right of the ridge.
An opportunity for aimless and timeless sauntering. For cheerful walks between exhausting weeks full of work. For demanding power trips with descents and ascents. An opportunity to re-charge your empty batteries and fill your spirits within two, three or ten days. Pleasure walks with guaranteed heights of achievement.
Think of Hermann or Arminius
You can either start at Rheine in the "Münsterland" or at Marsberg in the "Nordsauerland". Whatever you like. Top trails have their own personal feeling and dramaturgy. This is what distinguishes them from most of the other hiking trails. The down-sides of the walking experience are eliminated in advance: no trotting on tarmac, no wide "forest highways", no straight monotonous paths, no roads or commercial zones nearby. On the contrary, this high quality path meanders through roaming meadows, diverse forests or heaths. Splendid prospects for the heart and the eyes, rustic rest areas for having picnics in the open; water, rocks, ravines – you simply head to those impressive places.
Like the 53 m high “Hermannsdenkmal” (Hermann memorial), which is situated on the “Teutberg” that measures a height of 386 m. The name Teutoburg forest is said to trace back to this hill. This is suggested by none less than the Roman historian Tacitus himself. He claimed that the "Varusschlacht" „saltus teutoburgiensis“ took place here. The statue that holds up the heavy sword measuring 7 metres and weighing 550 kg towards the West today is said to have defeated three Roman legions here with the help of his Cherusci. In truth, however, the Cheruscan sovereign was called Arminius. The spot, the geographical situation and the view here are simply fantastic.
“Hermanns Höhen” show their teeth
The geological phenomenon that first rises as a clearly distinctive wall and as a steep level with eaves from the park landscape in the Northwest near Ibbenbüren continues as an endless mountain ridge in the shape of a semicircle. Between the Prussian "Velmerstot" and the "Velmerstot" of Lippe, which belong to the highest peaks of Hermann's journey on the "Eggeweg", the “Teutoburg forest” ends and continues as the "Eggegebirge" that then, in a direct line going south, heads for the northern “Sauerland”. Again and again the ridge quite literally shows its teeth.
In front of the “Dörenther Klippen” (Dörenther cliffs) near Tecklenburg and the sandstone "monsters" "Externsteine" on the stage from the "Hermannsdenkmal" to the "Silbermühle" you just have to stand still and gaze in awe. Even with a maximum degree of imagination, it is just not possible to attempt to connect 100 million years of geological history in quick motion to the bold formations. Astonished and deeply moved, the “Hermannshöhen” hiker climbs across the sandstone teeth and thinks: What a spectacular place!
To be honest, the two main pillars of the new top trail are not brand-new. Hikers have been walking on the “Hermannsweg” and the “Eggeweg” for quite some years. But what is known as "Hermannshöhen", is a completely modernised, partly new equipped and traced out dream walking trail, which belongs to the Top Trails of Germany. As early as 2004, the “Eggeweg” was officially certified as a quality trail. Whether a day-round-trip, two or three-day trips, a week of hiking or a ten-day time-out trip on foot – “Hermannshöhen” is where life is walking!
(Wandermagazin, August 2005)