Scenery in Germany
The top 10 scenic viewpoints in the Westerwald
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It is a wonderful feeling to look far into the German scenery from an observation tower, vista point or viewing platform. This is a particularly excellent experience in the Westerwald, with its array of hills. As a result, it is no wonder that there are so many worthwhile destinations for excursions. We reveal ten points that you can head for on your exploration tours.
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Roßbacher Häubchen is the name of the eroded volcanic cone which is the landmark of the village of Roßbach/Wied. Its height is generally stated to be 350 metres. The ascent takes some effort, but the panoramic view well makes up for it: it stretches over the Wiedtal valley to the Siebengebirge mountains in the northwest. A panorama board explains the areas in question. It is also worth exploring the educational trail that describes basalt mining between 1883 and 1942, which forms part of the “Basalt Bow” experience loop. The trail then continues either on the WesterwaldSteig or on the circular path back to Roßbach.
Start by enjoying the fantastic view from a platform at a height of around 520 metres, then attend a performance on the open-air stage with its natural grandstand: the stage was built just a few years later than the nearby tower, which was constructed on the Helleberg in 1998. From the tower, you can see wide swathes of the Westerwald and other German regions. The beautiful surroundings also offer worthwhile destinations for hikers, such as the Westerwald lake district, which you can explore on the Sieben-Weiher-Weg – and which is only a few kilometres further away.
It is not only very new (built in 2014), but also represents something special: the Barbaraturm is a former shaft tower, which originally came from the Harz Mountains and was subject to extensive renovations. After you’ve visited the Grube Bindweide show mine and the mining museum, you can take a leisurely hike along the Druidensteig, which is almost two kilometres away from the Barbaraturm. To cap everything off, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Gebhardshainer Land from the 22-metre-high tower. The viewing platform is located at a height of 17 metres.
Herborn has had a new landmark for a few years in the shape of the Dillblick observation tower, built from Douglas fir wood. The tower is 17 metres high while the viewing platform is 14 metres high, and the view from the top extends from Herborn to Hörbach, via Greifenstein Castle. It is also easy to see how the Dill separates the Westerwald from the Lahn-Dill mountain range. In 2016, a Hessentag event was held in Herborn. On this occasion, an attractive circular hiking trail was created, which leads to the game reserve, plus other destinations. These two points can also be easily connected in other ways to create a lovely family excursion.
The Bismarck Tower near Altenkirchen is almost 100 years old and was built from local rock, such as sandstone and basalt, at the request of local citizens. The tower was supposed to be inaugurated as early as 1915, but could not be opened until 1922 because of the war. In the area southeast of Altenkirchen, you can also visit a war memorial, the Hermann Löns monument and the Rauher Stein basalt block stretching four metres high. You can link them all together with a nice little hike from Altenkirchen.
The Raiffeisen lookout tower stands on the 388-metre-high Beulskopf, a basalt rock, near Heupelzen. It owes its name to the reformer Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. This wooden tower was only built in 1990 and is 35 metres high, offering unforgettable views in all directions. There are also many hiking options around Heupelzen, including local hiking trails and five long-distance hiking trails. The circular hiking trails, in particular, are a good opportunity to get to know the area and its people, before returning to your starting point without any problems. The villages of Heupelzen and the surrounding area are also home to plenty of places where you can stop for a break.
The Dillenburg castle was destroyed centuries ago, but Wilhelm’s Tower, completed in 1875, still reminds us of Wilhelm I, Germany’s first Kaiser in 1871, who was born in the castle. There are also elaborately staged, highly interesting exhibitions in the Orange-Nassau Museum, plus bags of information about the early fortress and a virtual walk with old pictures of the castle. The tower itself looks striking, and also offers a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding area to boot. Some people have even held their official wedding ceremonies here. Furthermore, there are several hiking routes available, ranging from the Oranierpfad to the Lahn-Dill-Bergland-Pfad.
The Malberg, near Hausen/Wied, is 373 metres high and consequently offers magnificent conditions for a vista point. At the cross on the top of the summit, benches invite you to rest and enjoy the view. There is also a panorama board with detailed explanations. If that weren’t enough, you can take a longer break in the hut here (except on Mondays). Suitably fortified, you can continue on the WesterwaldSteig or on the 18-kilometre-long adventure loop "Wiedtaler Höhenpfad".
The spiral staircase in the open-plan observation tower near Bad Marienberg is almost 18 metres high. The view extends far into the distance and shows off one of the many beautiful spots in the Westerwald. The construction of the steel tower itself is also worth a second look: it is intended to remind you of a hexagonal basalt column. Since the WesterwaldSteig leads directly past the tower and the Hedwigsturm is also located by the game park, you’ll be glad to enjoy a rest from your hike. In fact, this kind of variety is especially nice for children. The circular route through the game park is four kilometres long.
The Weißenfelser Ley vista point in the Westerwald lies barely 50 kilometres south-east of Bonn, near Neustadt/Wied. Hikers can reach this place on the WesterwaldSteig from Strauscheid or Waldbreitbach (stage 15) to enjoy the beautiful view. A small circular hiking trail from Roßbach also passes by here. Apart from the vista point, this stage of the WesterwaldSteig offers bags of interesting sights, such as an educational trail and a game reserve. Another beautiful vista point along the way is the Roßbacher Häubchen, and there is also an old oil mill in Waldbreitbach and an extensive exhibition of nativity scenes at Christmas time, as well as the Catholic Church’s largest crib made from a natural tree root in world.