The Rothaarsteig mountains belong to the Sauerland, a quite lovely region in the heart of Germany. The name represents a chain of mountains about 700 m in which several of them reach a height of more than 800 m. Not without reason, the Rothaarsteig is a part of the "Land of 1000 mountains", a finely described way to characterize this wonderful region.
However, the region is - with one exception -not interesting for climbers. The most well-known mountain, Kahler Asten (841m) can even be "climbed" by car. There you can visit a little tower with sights (clear wheather) from Brocken (Harz) to Wasserkuppe (Rhön).
The exception are the "Bruchhauser Steine" in the Northern region of the Rothaarsteig, 4 Porphyr rocks which raise about 100 m from the bottom height of 630 m. Here you can test your possibilities of mountain climbing. The rocks are very often used from climb schools because in this region (North - West Germany) there are not many comparable conditions for climbers than these.
The Rothaarsteig itself is rather a landscape for hikers who want to relax and enjoy the quietness and extraordinary beauty of nature like this. On this "Way of the Senses", which begins in Brilon (North end) and finishes in Dillenburg (South end) you go for 154 km through deep forests, loveley valleys, you have wonderful sights on landscapes which, by their unusual quantity of hills, confront us with dimensions of infinity.
The way is precisely signed by a tipped-over "R" over red ground.
There are also possibilities to be seen in the direction of fulfilling cultural claims. Here is to be mentiond some sculptures on the way and a special "sculpture route" between Schmallenberg and Bad Berleburg. By the way, the Rothaarsteig is also a paradise for mountain bikers (like me).
The most important cities in the Rothaarsteig region are (from N to S): Brilon, Meschede, Willingen (well-known ski-jumping location!), Winterberg (international bob track, World Championchips), Schmallenberg, Bad Berleburg (Castle where resides the sister of Margarete, Queen of Denmark), Hilchenbach, Siegen and Dillenburg.
Because of its favourable position in the heart of Germany, in the South of Northrhine - Westphalia, the Rothaarsteig is to be reached without any problems from all sides.
Take the higway A5 in direction to Gießen (North). Than turn (Gambacher Dreieck) to the A 45. You get directly to Dillenburg where you leave the highway. You have reached the South end of the Rothaarsteig.
Take the highway A4 in eastern direction just to the end which is called "Wenden". Please do not take literal ("Wenden" is the German name of "turn")! Than drive through Wenden to Kreuztal and Hilchenbach. From there take the direction to Erndtebrück. You get over a pass. On top of this pass ("Lützel") you are on the Rothaarsteig.
How you reach the Bruchhauser Steine:
Take from Düsseldorf the highway A52 in north - east direction. You come to the A 40 in direction of Dortmund (east). The name of the highway changes in B1 (Dortmund) and than in A44 (Unna), but you remain on the same highway straight in eastern direction. At the "Kreuz Werl" you turn to the highway A445. The name changes in A 46. This highway is on several parts still under construction, so you have to leave and to re-drive. At its end (Bestwig), you have to follow the B7 and than a smaller route to Olsberg. Than you take the way to Bruchhausen.
There are no fees ore closures to expect. On minor paths, some routes are sometimes closed because of the wildlife conservation. However, if you visit the "Bruchhauser Steine", you have to pay parking fees and entrance (private ground).
When To Climb
You can visit this region in all seasons. Highly recommended is autumn.
There are several camping places in the surround of the Rothaarsteig. You can also use special hotels, which are connected to the Rothaarsteig association. It is also possible to use youth hostels, but they are mostly in the valleys. The region is specially a holiday destination for dutch tourists. So you can expect a high-frequent density of accomodations. You can not get huts like in the alps.