Wonderful Westerwald walks

Rengsdorf had already made a name for itself as a climatic health resort some 120 years ago. This was back in the days when the Wright Brothers were attempting their first flights and nobody had even thought of long-haul travel. Instead, holidaymakers flocked to the Westerwald every summer in their hordes. It is easy to imagine that the first thing they did was to take a deep breath and then gradually start to explore the wonderful scenery. Fritz Henkel, leading industrialist, Councillor of Commerce and founder of the Henkel Group, which is perhaps most famous for its detergents, decided not to go home and saw out his twilight years at his villa in Rengsdorf.

Today, many visitors come to Rengsdorf via the Rheinsteig trail as it is one of the stopping points on this popular long-distance walk. Although some hikers wonder why it is such a long climb up from the Rhine, they all acknowledge that it was worth it in the end. This village up in the Westerwald affords spectacular views into the Rhine valley and over to the Eifel mountains. It is the perfect spot to take a deep breath and enjoy the sunshine and the sublime air.

Enjoy unspoilt nature in the Wied valley, Westerwald

Enjoy unspoilt nature in the Wied valley, Westerwald

A stream running in the Völkerwiesenbachtal near Rengsdorf, Westerwald

A stream running in the Völkerwiesenbachtal near Rengsdorf, Westerwald

The area around Rengsdorf and the Wied valley is also perfect for a short break, with the Rhine-Westerwald Nature Park offering plenty of opportunities for walks and other outdoor pursuits among idyllic streams and hills. One example is the historic Butterpfad trail from Rengsdorf to Hümmerich, which follows in the footsteps of farmers who once used this route to take butter and other dairy produce to market. It leads through meadows, along streams, past old mills, through woodland trails and to breathtaking viewpoints. Perfect for people who simply want to switch off when on holiday. One of the real attractions along the route is the sequoia forest featuring wooden loungers for a spot of forest-bathing. You can pause, listen to the sounds of nature, fill your lungs with the perfumed forest air and feel the positive effects on your body and your inner equilibrium.

Hikers on a trail through the Wied valley and Rengsdorfer Land, Westerwald

Hikers on a trail through the Wied valley and Rengsdorfer Land, Westerwald

Another charming option is the ‘Klosterweg’ or ‘monastery trail’ which has been designated a premium trail by the German Hiking Institute. The athletic seven-hour tour connects the Rheinsteig trail near Rengsdorf to the Westerwaldsteig, which passes the climatic health resort of Waldbreitbach on the river Wied. Along the way, there are several ups and downs through open stream valleys, each one an invitation to pause for a well-earned rest. But the Klosterweg is also a hike for the soul, so you should take the time out to enjoy the special benches, the pretty churches, a little chapel in the middle of nowhere and the St Marienhaus monastery with its herb garden, creation trail and mountain terrace. You can enjoy coffee and cake while savouring the sweeping views of the beautiful monastic scenery of the Wied valley at no extra charge. If you prefer a circular route, you can opt for one of the Klosterweg loops such as the Rengsdorfer Panoramaweg, literally the Rengsdorf panoramic trail.

Once back in Rengsdorf, you have definitely earned a holiday refreshment. And you may find the lido is calling you. Its 23-degree, warm, mineralised water from the nearby Auquelle spring is the perfect balm for a tired body and will restore you for another wonderful Westerwald walk.

Enjoying a walk over the bridge in the Völkerwiesenbachtal, Westerwald

Enjoying a walk over the bridge in the Völkerwiesenbachtal, Westerwald

More leisure tips in and near Rengsdorf:


At the climatic health resort of Rengsdorf in the Rhine-Westerwald Nature Park, you can boost your well-being by bathing at the natural spring water lido or enjoying an award-winning hiking trail.

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