Wanderweg Wasserlandroute: Blick auf Obersee, © Eifel Tourismus GmbH/D. Ketz
  • Strecke: 16.7 km
  • Duration: 04:30 h
  • Schwierigkeit: easy

Water Landscape Route


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This hiking trail starts in Einruhr and leads around the Obersee lake, past the Urft lake dam and over the Paulushof dam to Rurberg. The landscape is dominated by dense deciduous forest. There are plenty of places to stop for a picnic along the way, with a beautiful view onto the lake. From the Urfttalsperre dam, the route continues back to the Eifelsteig. If the route is too long, the tour can be shortened by taking a boat across the Obersee lake. (boat travel/season: April to October)

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Marking of the tour:

  • Wegmarkierung Wanderweg Wasserlandroute
gpx: Partnerweg-des-Eifelsteigs-Wasserlandroute

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Highlights auf der Strecke

Nationalpark Eifel

Blick auf Nationalpark, © NLPForstamtMartinWeisgerber

Set in a dramatic landscape of woods interspersed with water, the Eifel National Park will allow you to experience the fascinating natural diversity of a wilderness at first hand. For in this large protection area some 65 kilometres southwest of Cologne, nature has been left once more to its own eternal cycle of growth and decay.

Discover the primary forests of tomorrow. Wildcats and black storks live in the National Park, and researchers have shown that around 2,300 other endangered species of animals and plants are also at home here. Enjoy fantastic views over the Rur Lake, Obersee and Urft Lake reservoirs.

Put the pressures of every day life behind you as you hike through romantic stream valleys and impressive beech forests along the Wilderness Trail, for example. In spring you will be welcomed by carpets of glorious yellow wild daffodils. The Dreiborn plateau around Vogelsang is a highlight, and not only when the Common Broom (Cytisus scoparius) is in full bloom. In autumn, the stag rutting season is an experience not to be missed, and winter is a particularly good time to go looking for animal tracks.

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Urfttalsperre im Sommer, © R. Stöwesand

The Urft Dam is the oldest valley dam in the Eifel and is located in the middle of the Eifel National Park. At the time, the dam was planned as the largest structure in Europe. Construction of the 266 m long wall made of quarry stones began in 1899 - in May 1905 the dam was filled with water for the first time. In addition to flood protection and energy generation, the aim of the hydraulic engineering measure was to supply the region with drinking water. With a length of 12 km, a width of up to 1 km and a maximum depth of 52 m, Lake Urft has a capacity of 45.5 million cubic metres. From 1995 to 1999, the dam, which is now maintained by the Eifel-Rur Water Association, was renovated and adapted to the current state of the art. Extensive information on the technology and construction of the Urft dam has been set up by the Eifel-Rur Water Board directly at the dam wall. Starting from the Kneipp spa town of Gemünd, hikers and cyclists can follow the well-maintained Urftrandweg (Eifel-Höhen-Route) to the dam. The route is about 12.5 km long and leads through almost untouched landscape, which has hardly been exposed to human intervention in the past 50 years due to its former military use. From Gemünd via Wolfgarten and up to the vicinity of the dam wall (Haftenbach bus stop), there is a regular bus shuttle service on Saturdays and Sundays from May to October. Bicycles can be taken along.

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Fahrt mit der Rursee-Schifffahrt, © Eifel Tourismus GmbH, D. Ketz

On board the four Rursee ships, the Rursee and Obersee as well as the unique landscape of the Eifel National Park can be explored in comfort.

The noiseless electric ships "St. Nikolaus" and "Seensucht" operate on the Obersee. The quiet gliding over the Obersee and through the surrounding Eifel National Park is unique and can be experienced during a tour to the “Urftstaumauer”, to Rurberg or to Einruhr.

You can experience the Rursee on board the “Stella Maris” or “Aachen”. Between Schwammenauel and Rurberg, you can explore the lake, which is popular for water sports, on a tour.

The most popular tours:
Tour Obersee | Duration 1h or 2h
Rursee round trip | Duration 1.45h
2-lake tour | Duration 3h or 4h

A boat trip on the Rursee and Obersee can be perfectly combined with a hike or bike tour.

Further information on the landing stages, the current timetable and prices can be found on the website of Rursee-Schifffahrt.

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More information about this route

Start: Einruhr

Destination: Einruhr

Distance: 16.7 km

Duration: 04:30 h

Difficulty: easy

Tour-type: Hiking

Ascent: 371 m

Descent: 371 m


  • Round tour
  • Family-friendly

Eifel Tourismus GmbH

Kalvarienbergstraße 1
54595 Prüm
Phone: +49 6551 96560

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