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near Schwammenauel, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)
A highlight of the trip is the rest in the Mariawald Monastery, which is run by Trappist monks. The members of the Trappist Order commit to silence, which doesn’t prevent them from serving a fantastic pea soup, which in itself has been reason for many visitors to come to Mariawald. We had had pea soup the day before, but the meatballs with capers were equally delightful.
Our trail starts at the parking lot nearby Hasenfeld and the Rursee dam. This has the advantage that you arrive suitably hungry at Mariawald. From there, the way back to the car is easy with only very modest gradients.
From the starting point pass through a holiday camp to the reservoir of Heimbach. What starts uninspiring, evolves into a wonderful trail past an old restored Water Turbine and along the Lake, partly on boardwalks. Especially in fall, views open across the deciduous and coniferous forests, and the peaceful lake with its picturesque properties.
After crossing the dam near Heimbach (without actually entering Heimbach) the path winds up steeply following the stations of the cross. Thankfully, distances between the stations become shorter as you move up, leaving you some breath as you enter Mariawald. A rest, as said earlier, is much recommended.
From Mariawald take the path to the heroes’ cemetery, which presumably has very good views, which we could not enjoy because of the fog. For the return we followed the signposted trail on good forest paths. Alternatively, follow the signposts for the T5 trail, which merges with our route later on. We were happy though, considering the weather, with our choice.
As a variation you may explore Heimbach.
Der Link unten fuehrt zur Berschreibung in Deutsch