Our excursion tips for youSights for active people and families

Especially for families, nature lovers and active people, the Sauerland offers a variety of varied destinations: Caves and lookout towers, leisure and wildlife parks, indoor and outdoor fun pools, open-air theatres such as the famous Karl May Festival in Elspe, as well as various active offers from the summer toboggan run to skygliding.

Observation towers

The hiking trails on the Sauerland mountains offer many a distant view. But the best 360º panoramic views are of course to be found on the lookout towers. The following ones are worth a trip:

  • Wilzenbergturm near Grafschaft at 658 m (accessible for hikers)
  • Kahler Asten near Winterberg at 842 m (accessible by car, managed)
  • Hohe Bracht near Lennestadt-Altenhumdem at 588 m (reachable by car, managed)
  • Bollerbergturm near Hesborn at 758 m (reachable by car)
  • Rhein-Weser-Tower near Oberhundem at 680 m (reachable by car, managed)
  • Lörmecke tower near Meschede at 581 m (accessible by hikers)
  • Schombergturm near Wildewiese at 648 m (accessible for hikers)

Natural monuments

The nature of the Sauerland has also created extraordinary places that are definitely worth a visit.

These include the only waterfall in Westphalia, the Plästerlegge near the village of Bestwig-Wasserfall. Hikers can experience the waterfall on a visitor platform suspended in the valley. In particularly dry summers, however, it can also dry out once in a while.

On the Istenberg near Olsberg-Bruchhausen, the Bruchhäuser Steine rise as the highest and most impressive rock formation in the Sauerland. From the information centre with a small museum, a toll road leads almost to the top of the mountain. Depending on your own physical condition you can choose a parking place to experience the rocks from there on more or less steep paths. The highest of the rocks, the Feldstein, can be climbed on a secured path, which requires surefootedness and a head for heights. The other rocks are strictly protected. Among other things, a pair of peregrine falcons regularly breeds there. Around the natural monument are the remains of a cultural monument from the Celtic period. There was also a ring wall on the Istenberg.

The Bilstein Valley near Warnstein is worth a visit in several respects. The Bilsteinhöhle (Bilstein Cave) can be visited on guided tours underneath climbable rocks.

The queen of the German stalactite caves, the Atta Cave, awaits you in Attendorn. Hundreds of thousands descend each year through the 80-metre-long access tunnel and are fascinated by the colourful world of stalactites, stalagmites and stalagmates on a 40-minute guided tour.

A whole series of other rock formations are waiting to be discovered by hikers in the Sauerland forests. The Rinsleyfelsen near Lennestadt-Saalhausen and the Mälofelsen near Lennestadt-Langenei, which can be reached by car, are definitely among them. Hollenhaus, a rock formation near Bödefeld, is part of a particularly beautiful hiking circuit. By the way, Hollenhaus and Rinsleyfelsen belong to the Sauerland Seelenorten.

Wildlife parks

A natural region like the Sauerland is the habitat of many small and some larger animal species. It takes a lot of luck to see the local animals in the wild. Those who want to experience them up close and safely have the opportunity to do so in the region's animal parks. Some of these enclosures are accessible free of charge at all times.

Red deer can be experienced - and photographed - very well in the game reserve in Bödefeld. The enclosure is located on a slope so extensive that the animals obviously feel comfortable and photographers have many a good opportunity to take pictures almost like in the wild. The enclosure is accessible free of charge at all times. The starting point for a short walk to the enclosure is one of the most beautiful nature playgrounds in the Sauerland region on the road from Bödefeld to Osterwald. A visit to the Hollenhaus rock formation can also be included in the walk. If you would like to go inside the enclosure once, you will get the chance to feed red deer from your hand during feeding time. Registration is required for this.

More than 50 years ago, the wildlife park of the town of Warstein was opened in the Bilsteintal. Since 2011, the Bilsteintal e.V. is now responsible for the operation of the game park. The game park is freely accessible all year round, day and night, admission is free. The following animal species can be experienced there: sika deer, wild boar, red deer, Skudden sheep, raccoon, red fox, lynx.

In the context of somewhat further trips one reaches from Oberkirchen the game parks in Willingen and Lennestadt-Oberhundem (panorama park) with costs. Particularly worth a visit is the Wildwald Vosswinkel near Arnsberg. Here the circular route leads through the enclosures, which allows animal encounters almost like in the wild and offers first-class opportunities especially for animal photographers.