The Vulkaneifel vacation region has absolutely earned itself a special name: lovingly christened GesundLand, it is a region where people can recharge their batteries, relax and do something good for their well-being. The landscape invites you to do just that - more than 40 short and longer circular hikes bring you closer to the nature and culture of the area. We present you nine routes of these HeimatSpuren. 

1

Family friendly: HeimatSpur walking trail Elfengrotte

Length: 2.4 kilometer
Walking time: 0:45 hours
Difficulty: easy

Home is where the hiker's heart beats - that is the motto of the HeimatSpuren, which lead through the Volcanic Eifel. And this applies to young and old, big and small. Thus, many of the routes are family-friendly, such as the Elfengrotte walking trail - a short but very varied and exciting hiking experience. The enchanted Elfengrotte near Bad Bertrich invites you to marvel: The stones in the cave, for example, are reminiscent of cheese loaves stacked on top of each other - they are rock formations that were shaped by the volcanic activity of the region and helped the Elfengrotte to get its nickname Cheese Grotto. Once out of the cave, the next highlight awaits you: not far from the cave, the Elbesbach waterfall plunges thunderously into the depths. A short hike with gripping moments. 

2

Full of views: HeimatSpur adventure trail Achterhöhe

Length: 5.4 kilometer
Walking time: 1:30 hours
Difficulty: easy

It remains family-friendly: The Achterhöhe adventure trail is also a great loop for short and long legs. Starting from the Tonhügel hiking parking lot, the trail leads over hill and dale up to the Achterhöhe viewing platform - what a view. You should pause here, because the view of the Siebenbach Valley is really picturesque! This is followed by a walk through the forest, which leads you to the Drei-Eichen-Hütte (Three Oaks Hut), where there is a playground and a barbecue area. A place where children learn to love hiking and nature. Exciting and child-friendly boards tell stories from the animal and plant world. After another 800 meters you will reach the starting and finishing point.

3

Emotional: HeimatSpur mindfulness trail Kleine Kyll

Length: 6.1 kilometer
Walking time: 2:00 hours
Difficulty: easy

Building in small islands of mindfulness during the day has a positive effect on body and mind. This insight is also used by the Kleine Kyll Mindfulness Trail, on which you will learn new methods of enjoying with all your senses and occasionally directing your gaze from the outside to the inside. Not all the way through, of course, because the surrounding nature is far too beautiful for that, but at seven stations that invite you to practice small exercises. Close your eyes and listen to the forest, hear the Kleine Kyll ripple. Precious moments of nature that have a calming and balancing effect and of which there are quite a few on this route.

4

Challenging: HeimatSpur Kurschattensteig

Length: 7.0 kilometer
Walking time: 2:30 hours
Difficulty: medium

Here your energy reserves are mobilized: On the Kurschattensteig it goes high up! From Bad Bertrich the path leads into the forest, you follow a narrow path to the Mooshütte. From here, the trail goes downhill again into the village and to the romantic Schwanenweiher - a beautiful place where you can gather energy for the ascent to the Hohenzollern Tower. The renewed ascent is rewarded with a fascinating panoramic view of the Üßbach valley. You will reach the Palmberg, a slope with evergreen boxwood, which is otherwise rather rare to find wild in these latitudes. 

5

Bubbly: HeimatSpur Dreeswanderweg

Length: 10,5 kilometer
Walking time: 3:00 hours
Difficulty: medium

Drees is a Celtic term for a bubbling spring - and there are quite a few of them in the Volcanic Eifel, which you can explore on hikes. You will pass many of them on the HeimatSpur Dreeswanderweg. The starting point is the Forum Daun event center, from where you will soon reach the first Drees: the Hotzendrees, probably the best-known and most popular spring in Daun, which bubbles up at the foot of the Daun Burgberg at a refreshing temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. 

But there are more possibilities to refresh and strengthen yourself on the way. The Josendrees and the Kolverather Drees are waiting for you a few meters off the trail. Tired feet will be awakened in the Dauner Kurpark, where a water treading pool is installed. Don't miss it: Right next door is the Dunaris spring, from which comes one of the most healing natural mineral waters in the region. Strengthened, you then hike uphill in the direction of Wehrbüsch, where a beautiful view of Daun Castle and the viaduct opens up to you. A great highlight just before the end of the route in downtown Daun.

6

Explosive: HeimatSpur MaareGlück

Length: 10.9 kilometer
Walking time: 3:30 hours
Difficulty: medium

The history of the region has given its name to the Volcanic Eifel: In this area, volcanic activity has shaped and marked the landscape. Thus, eruptions and eruptions occurred here, which explain the formation of the fantastically beautiful maars. The explosions carried away layers of rock, flung earth far and wide, leaving a funnel-shaped cavity. Some of the craters filled with water over the years. The round lakes, in some of which swimming is allowed, are the hallmarks of the volcanic Eifel and thus a must-see during a trip to the vacation region. 

One of the HeimatSpuren shows you three of the most beautiful maars. The circular route starts in Schalkenmehren and after just a few steps you will get to know the beauty of the Schalkenmehren Maar up close. You will pass the Maarkreuz with its far-reaching view, hike over the Maarsattel and arrive at the Weinfelder Maar. Here you have time to enjoy the blue of the water, the path leads you close to the shore until it finally goes uphill: The Dronke tower wants to be climbed! And promised, the effort will be richly rewarded. From here you can look out over the fabulous Eifel and dream for a moment before heading to the last maar of the round, the Gemündener Maar. A route on which you can feel the heart of the Volcanic Eifel beating. 

7

Worth protecting: HeimatSpur Antoniusweg

Length: 12.0 kilometer
Walking time: 3:00 hours
Difficulty: easy 

This HeimatSpur owes its name to the patron saint of the community of Ellscheid, where the hike starts. After a few steps you leave the small village behind you and find yourself in the middle of the most beautiful nature of the Volcanic Eifel. In front of you is the Ellscheid dry maar, which stretches almost to Gillenfeld. A truly dreamlike view! 

Then it goes into the forest, on a path that makes the heart beat faster: Alternating ups and downs get the circulation going. Things get quieter in the Mürmes nature reserve: the moor west of Ellscheid has developed as a result of volcanic activity and is home to rare plants and animals. Here, whinchats compete with lapwings, warblers and meadow pipits. Via Saxler you will finally return to Ellscheid, where the HeimatSpur ends. 

8

Far-sighted: HeimatSpur valley and mountain trail

Length: 14.6 kilometer
Walking time: 4:00 hours
Difficulty: medium

If you like to practice ascents and descents, the Täler- und Höhenweg is just right for you. The path leads from the edge of Schönbach straight towards the Kreuzberg, which rises regally from the landscape. A highlight from Easter to October: During this time, a large herd of goats lives on the slopes of the mountain and is happy to be petted. Only the animals may not be fed. The way to the top is worthwhile and is rewarded with a fabulous view over the volcanic Eifel. 

Afterwards, the Täler- und Höhenweg leads through longer forest passages, you pass romantic valleys, pass small streams and have plenty of time to enjoy the peace and quiet far away from noisy roads. A varied route with many small and large highlights. 

9

Idyllic: HeimatSpur Ulmener Acht

Length: 21.0 kilometer
Walking time: 6:00 hours
Difficulty: medium

Last but not least, there is a longer HeimatSpur, which makes it possible to experience the varied landscape of the Volcanic Eifel: the Ulmener Acht, which meanders for 21 kilometers through the nature around the historic town of Ulmen. There is also a lot to see on this route: The starting point is at the Jungferweiher nature reserve with its species-rich flora and fauna. Then it goes through forest and meadows, past babbling brooks and the mill of Meiserich to the village of Ulmen, which has many stories to tell. It is also a good place to stop for a bite to eat.

Then set out to explore the second loop. The path along the Nollenbach leads you to the Auderather Mühle mill and is in no way inferior to the first stage in terms of scenery. Back in Ulmen, you shouldn't miss a visit to the Ulmen Crusader castle ruins, which tower above the town: from here, you have a unique view of the deep blue Ulmener Maar and the idyllic Eifel town. A truly successful conclusion.

A tip for those who find the route too long for a day trip: You can also split the HeimatSpur. The Kleine Acht with its eight kilometers and the Große Acht with a length of 13.5 kilometers can be walked separately. 

Cover photo: The Volcanic Eifel is a great destination for hikers © HealthyLand Vulkaneifel/Dominik Ketz

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