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Jungle trails, sandy beaches, spectacular peaks and much more. We present six remarkable places between Bliesgau and Hochwald. Et voilà!


Landmark with a view: Saarschleife treetop path

From the 42-meter-high tower of the treetop path you have excellent views over the Saarschleife - thanks to the low gradient and the absence of stairs, it can also be reached with a wheelchair or stroller © Andreas Treitz

The Saarland is one of Germany's most densely wooded states, a fact that can be felt with every step through the sea of beech, oak and Douglas fir trees. Above the Cloef, a rocky vantage point in Mettlach-Orscholz, the trail, which opened in 2016, spirals up the Treetop path Saarschleife higher and higher. Without any stairs or steps, you follow the ramps up to the platform of the 42-meter-high tower, whose modern wooden construction is as unique as the panorama: The Saarschleife, landmark number one, lies at your feet. Perfectly shaped, framed by the green hills of the Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park, the river miracle already inspired Frederick William IV, Prussia's king, as well as the French poet Victor Hugo. You can find out where it got its unmistakable shape and how it came to be at one of the 22 learning and play stations spread out along the serpentines as you walk through the treetops. The wobbly bridge and slide provide a little adrenaline kick.


Industrial monument of the world: The Völklingen Ironworks

The Völklingen Ironworks
The Völklingen Ironworks was also the venue for the Urban Art Biennale © Oliver Dietze

What do the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Völklingen Ironworks in Saarland have in common? They are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. At the latest when you climb the viewing platform at the blast furnace at a height of 45 meters and look out over the industrial landscape of the Saar, you will know why this isolated spot close to the border with France is a special place in 1994 (eight years after pig iron production was shut down): the smelter, founded in 1873, is the world's only iron and steel industry plant still completely preserved. Where one of the most modern sintering plants in Europe was built in 1928, the UNESCO Visitor Center is now located: the reception hall of the World Heritage Site. Between the blower hall with its gigantic flywheels and the 70-meter-high gasometer, there's plenty to discover - including in the "ScienceCenter Ferrodrom®," a multimedia world of experience all about iron and steel. The World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks expressly invites visitors to touch and experience it, and today it is a fascinating stage for top-class exhibitions, concerts and events - an exciting cultural venue of the 21st century.


Time out at the Bostalsee

On the 120-hectare Bostalsee you can, among other things, go pedal boating or take off on a sailing trip © Frank Rauber

Where Hunsrück and Hochwald meet, there is no trace of water. Actually. And yet the 120-hectare bathing lake is located in the Sankt Wendeler Land: In 1982, the Bostalsee artificially created and has long been a favorite place on sunny days and balmy evenings because of its secluded sunbathing lawns, many water sports facilities and sandy beaches. There is even a harbor. No matter whether you prefer to chill or be active: In, on and around the lake, everyone will find the right program. This summer, of course, with the offered restrictions. From swimming to beach volleyball, from surfing, sailing to paddling, diving, pedal boating and fishing: the range of leisure activities is huge. Or how about a cycling tour on the "Panorama-Weg" leading along the shore with a view of the hilly landscape of Peter- and Pries-Berg. After 6.8 sporty kilometers you can then enjoy the water glistening in the sun in the beer garden.


Dump for flights of fancy: The Saarpolygon

Rectangular archway, cross with horizontal line, triangle or the Greek letter Lambda? Depending on the point of view and the angle, the Saar polygon looks different © Alois Schuhn

As is well known, everything is a question of perspective - so is the Saarpolygon in Ensdorf, near the Vauban city Saarlouis. The 30-meter-high steel monument is designed in such a way that it has a different shape from every angle: sometimes it appears as a rectangular archway, sometimes as a triangle standing on its tip or as a cross with a transverse line. In short, a polygon. The construction was inaugurated four years later to commemorate the era of coal mining in the Saarland, which came to an end in June 2012. The large sculpture is enthroned on the slag heap of the former mining area and rises about 150 meters above the surrounding Saar valley. The best thing about it is that it is not only an eye-catcher from all directions, but can also be walked on. On the crosspiece spanning around 35 meters, 132 steps lead up to the viewing platform from both sides. By the way, the Duhamel slagheap is an official launch site for paragliders - for lucky jumps in a class of their own.


Oasis for biodiversity in the Bliesgau region

Enchanted floodplain landscapes, rolling hills and habitat for many rare animal and plant species: the Bliesgau © Klaus-Peter Kappest

Extensive orchards with gnarled apple and plum trees, vast beech forests and enchanted meadows with flocks of sheep characterize the gently rolling landscape in the southeast of the Saarland, in the direct neighborhood of France. It is crisscrossed by the Blies, the river that gives the region its name. Unesco Biosphere Reserve Bliesgau. An international model region and one of only 16 areas in Germany with this title. The variety of natural treasures is impressive. For example, half of all orchid species found in Germany grow on the shell limestone soils near Gersheim - from the small orchid to the rare bumblebee ragwort to the broad-leaved salsify. Tip: A circular trail with ten stations leads through the marshy meadows, which are teeming with flora and fauna during the main flowering season in early summer. The endangered golden fritillary butterfly has also found its paradise here. If you are lucky, you may discover traces of beavers in the wild and romantic Blies floodplain. Or an endangered stone coot.


Wilderness to dive into: Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park

Numerous circular trails enable quiet rambles through the wild Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park, for example through dense beech forests © Marcus Gloger

No one has to get on a plane to experience virgin forest. In the more than 10,000 hectares of Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park you can wander for hours through the green thicket without meeting a soul - but all the more rare plants and animals. The secluded biotope that stretches across the highlands of Hunsrück between Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, is home to the black stork, rough-legged owl, black woodpecker, Bechstein's bat and the endangered wildcat. And between the mountain streams and mossy tree trunks of the beech forests and wet meadows grow sundew, royal fern or the cranberry. A hotspot of biological diversity. You can discover it, for example, on some certified circular trails, the so-called "Traumschleifen". Or on the Saar-Hunsrück Climb Premium Trailwhich runs right through the national park - wonderful for getting away from it all and immersing yourself in this fascinating, mysterious wilderness. A retreat, not only for flora and fauna.

Treetop path Saarschleife

Völklingen Ironworks


Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve

Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park


Cover photo: The Völklingen Ironworks is the only ironworks in the world to have been completely preserved from the heyday of industrialization and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994 © G. Kassner

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