Quality tour: Krenkeltal and Goldener Zapfen - ridge walk between the Rhine and Weser rivers

Sauerland-Wanderdörfer / Tours / Touren (O) / Quality tour: Krenkeltal and Goldener Zapfen - ridge walk between the Rhine and Weser rivers

Magnificent views, wonderful natural passages through hollow paths and idyllic woodland, a stream that crosses a railroad line at lofty heights.
An exceptionally varied tour.

Erlebnisstation Aquädukt

Eingang zum Äquadukt

Grüner Platz



Wanderparkplatz Stauweiher

Aufstieg vom Krenkeltal zum Rothaarsteig

Aussicht am goldenen Zapfen in Siegerland

Tour starting point:

Hikers' parking lot "Stauweiher Heinsberg"; Kirchhundem-Heinsberg

Tour destination point:

Hikers' parking lot "Stauweiher Heinsberg"; Kirchhundem-Heinsberg


  • promising
  • Round trip
  • Refreshment stop
  • cultural / historical
  • Flora

Additional Information

Rhine-Weser watershed

In the municipality of Kirchhundem, the Rhine-Weser watershed runs not only over the "Rhein-Weser-Turm" (observation tower, open to the public) but also over the Dreiherrnstein (673 m) and the Riemen (678 m; approx. 500 m southwest of the Dreiherrnstein) in the neighboring Siegerland. While the water of the Krenkelsbach or Heinsberg stream, which rises on the northern flank of the Riemen, flows into the Rhine through the Hundem, Lenne and Ruhr, the water of the Zinse flows through the Röspe into the Eder and that of the Elberndorfer Bach directly into the Eder and then through the Fulda to the Weser.


The territories of the Duchy of Westfalen, Nassau-Siegen and Wittgenstein-Hohenstein came together at the Dreiherrnstein. The large triangular stone on the Wildborn is marked on the Nassau side with a wolf's sceptre, on the Wittgenstein side with a large W and on the Electorate of Cologne side with a cross. In 1817, Prussia formed the districts of Olpe, Siegen and Wittgenstein. This meant that the old territorial borders were only district borders in the newly founded province of Westfalen. Today, the former "border triangle" is a border point between the districts of Olpe and Siegen-Wittgen-stein. For centuries, fierce and sometimes even deadly border battles raged along this territorial border, with destruction and theft of wood, tools and livestock. To this day, this old border is characterized not only by the Rothaar ridge, but also by the clash of Saxon and Franconian cultural and confessional influences. (Source: Rothaarsteig adventure guide; Ed.: Rothaarsteigverein e.V.)

"Grenzgschichten hautnah" (audio stories for download at www.lennestadt-kirchhundem.de) tell curious and interesting facts about the "Dreiherrnstein".

Rothaarsteig adventure station "Aqueduct"

In the Krenkeltal, not far from the starting point of the "Krenkeltal & Goldener Zapfen" quality tour, a structure that is almost unique in Germany remained dormant until the summer of 2003. Since the beginning of the 20th century, this structure, an "aqueduct", has been used to channel a stream over the artificial cut in the terrain for a railroad line, which has since been dismantled.

Since the summer of 2003, visitors to the station, which was set up by the Rothaarsteigverein together with the Kukölnisches Sauerland Regional Forestry Office, have been able to learn about the eventful history from the start of construction to the present day in a book. You have the opportunity to take a close look at and enjoy the building and the surrounding nature. At the end of the aqueduct is a true work of art in the form of a scale model of the terrain, cast in copper, which clearly shows how an "aqueduct" works.




11.4 km


3:30 Std.

Elevation ascent

260 m

Elevation descent

260 m

Lowest point

450 m

Highest point

674 m





Recommended seasons


The circular trail is a quality trail with a high proportion of nature trails, a wealth of variety and many adventure points, making it one of the "Sauerland Trails".

There is "something for the ears" on the "Dreiherrnstein": The free podcast "Dreiherrnstein" tells the eventful story of the dispute over land between the Archbishop of Cologne, the Count of Nassau-Siegen and the Prince of Wittgenstein.

Hiking portal dam pond Heinsberg

Impressionen des Wanderparkplatzes Stauweiher Hein

The hiking parking lot Stauweiher Heinsberg - located on the L713 between Heinsberg and Hilchenbach - is the starting point region Sauerland-Wanderdörfer - 1.

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Rothaarsteig-Erlebnisstation Aquädukt

Erlebnisstation Aquädukt

Naturerfahrung am Rothaarsteig-Zugangsweg

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Grenzgeschichten hautnah: Dreiherrnstein


Mit "Grenzgeschichten hautnah" entsteht mitten in der Natur "Kino im Kopf".

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Aussichtspunkt Goldener Zapfen

Ausblick über Hilchenbach

Schöner Aussichtspunkt auf das Ferndorftal. Von dieser Bank aus erstreckt sich eine weiter Blick über die hügelige Landschaft.

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Current information

30.04.2023 · Aktuelle Bedingungen · Wegführung
Die Beschilderung vom-zum Rothaarsteig - Aquädukt ist sehr schlecht ausgeschildert und durch Abholzung schwierig. 30.04.2023



The circular trail starts at the "Stauweiher Heinsberg" hiking parking lot south of Heinsberg. (From the center of Heinsberg, you can easily reach the starting point via the A3 hiking trail in the direction of "Aqueduct" or the "Stauweiher Heinsberg" hiking parking lot).Just under 100 m along the road towards Heinsberg, the circular trail marked with a white circle on a black background leads sharply right past fish ponds into the beautiful Krenkeltal valley. After 2 km, it is worth taking the steep detour to the right to the aqueduct, a stream crossing over an old railroad line. Return to the main path, which turns sharp left after a few hundred meters and leads up to the Rothaar ridge in a steep climb that requires a good level of fitness. At the top, turn left onto the Rothaarsteig. Continue to the Dreiherrenstein with a rest area and hut (tip: "Grenzgeschichten hautnah" - podcast at www.lennestadt-kirchhundem.de), then through Buchenwald to Elberndorfer Bach and from there to the Oberndorfer Höhe hiking parking lot. Here, the "Rothaarhüüte" offers an opportunity for a cozy stop (open at weekends and on public holidays; please enquire about opening times on 0151 15259746). Other highlights include the view from the "Goldener Zapfen". From the "Grüner Platz", turn right downhill back towards Heinsberg and the "Stauweiher Heinsberg" hiking parking lot.


Festes Schuwerk, Regenkleidung und ggf. Proviant sind empfehlenswert; am Wochenende Einkehrmöglichkeit in der Rothaarhütte Infos unter 0151 1525 9746.

Safty guidelines

Information about the rescue signsMost hiking trails run away from towns and settlements and every hiker has thought about what would happen if an emergency were to occur. How can I be found here? Where am I anyway? Can the emergency services reach me?But in an emergency, things have to happen quickly! That's why the hiking trail network in the Lennestadt & Kirchhundem region is equipped with so-called rescue signs throughout. The green and white stickers attached to the posts of the signposts have a number that you must give when making an emergency call. This means that the emergency services know exactly where you are and valuable time can be saved.

Author Tip

Smartphone nicht vergessen für die Hörgeschichte!    


Wanderkarte Lennestadt & Kirchhundem, 1:25.000; Hrsg.:Tourist-Information Lennestadt & Kirchhundem, Hundemstr. 18, 57368 Lennestadt, 02723 608800, info @lennestadt-kirchhundem.de, www.lennestadt-kirchhundem.de

Public transiot

Take the train to Lennestadt-Altenhundem ("Bahnhof zum Rothaarsteig"); take the R 36 bus from Lennestadt-Altenhundem station to Heinsberg (Heinsberg Bahnhof stop; from there follow the A 3 hiking trail signs towards Aqueduct).

Getting there

From Kirchhundem via the L 553 to Würdinghausen, on the L 713 to Heinsberg, in the direction of Hilchenbach-Oberndorf to the "Stauweiher Heinsberg" hiking parking lot.


Hikers' parking lot "Stauweiher Heinsberg"; Kirchhundem-Heinsberg

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