Technical difficulty   Moderate

Time  4 hours 57 minutes

Coordinates 1051

Uploaded October 27, 2015

Recorded October 2015

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1,689 f
989 f
8.9 mi

Viewed 1522 times, downloaded 73 times

near Wollseifen, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)

A trail in the very heart of the Eifel National Park.

The hike starts at the visitor center in Vogelsang. The complex was originally built by the Nazis as a training and education camp to groom would-be fascists. Whoever identified the location certainly had knack for finding an outstanding nature experience. However, in keeping with the Nazi architecture, the buildings are frighteningly monumental, dark and intimidating. After World War II, the campus was used by the Belgium military as barracks. Since they left in 2005, the center is gradually converted into a touristic center and an international community and educational center. Construction is still going on in 2015. There is a simple restaurant.

Our trail winds through the building before descending to the river Urft. A new bridge crosses the Urft lake (which often is without water at this point), which is said to be the finest suspension bridge in the Eifel. It is open for pedestrians and cyclists only, and has only one pole on the opposite side of the stream. End of October, fall had turned the forests into a riot of yellow, gold and red.

Follow the bank of the Urft at the opposite side to the dam. There is a restaurant. On the downstream side of the dam is the Obersee which is part of the Rur Stausee, and during summer and fall one can take a boat to Rurberg.

For now, we cross the dam and ascend towards the Dreiborner plateau, which has a much different feel than the lush valley of the Urft. After a while one reaches Wollseifen. Wollseifen used to be a major village, but the proximity to Vogelsang proved to be its fate. The Belgian military used the plateau for military exercises, and the village had to be evacuated rapidly. Virtually all homes were destroyed, save for the church, the school and a transformer shack. Instead, new houses were built to practice urban warfare. The place is much like the village of of Bize in Albania (see wikiloc #1837440), which shows that military nonsense takes place everywhere. Even though the Belgian military is gone, Wollseifen will remain as it is because of the national park.

One has two options to return from Wollseifen to Vogelsang. Our trail is shorter but more ambitious because of some up and down; alternatively, a slightly longer but more leisurely trail can be had more to the west.

The trails on this hike are generally easy, but we gave it a moderate rate because of some steep ascents.

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1 comment

  • Photo of Kees van de Wiel

    Kees van de Wiel Jan 1, 2017

    I have followed this trail  View more

    nice track, cold weather on first day of 2017

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