A volcanic, wooded region full of unspoiled landscapes and interesting geological sights, the Westerwald is easily accessible from Frankfurt and sprawls over Hessen’s borders into the Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. Bordered by four rivers – the Rhine, Sieg, Dill and Lahn – the region’s forests, low mountains and grasslands are a delight to explore, and the historic towns and villages in the region are scenic spots to overnight.
The starting point of the long-distance Westerwald Trail is the charming town of Herborn, renowned for its well-preserved half-timbered buildings that span 800 years. The first 26km of the trail takes hikers to Hessen’s border with the Rheinland-Palatinate. Highlights along this stretch of the route include the Herborn Animal Park (Tierpark Herborn), the Geological Museum in Erdbach (Geologischen Museum Zeitsprünge) and a network of stalactite caves (Schauhöhle Herbstlabyrinth). The manmade Heisterberger Weiher lake makes for a lovely picnic or camping spot before the approach to the Westerwald’s highest mountain, the 657m-high Fuchskaute, which sits just on the other side of Hessen’s border. After completing the full 235km Westerwald Trail, hikers end their journey in the Rhineland-Palatinate health spa of Bad Hönningen.
More details on the Westerwald Trail can be found on the Westerwald Tourism website.