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Bilstein und Rosenberg – From Bilstein over the Rosenberg Mountain

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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz im Kreis Soest e.V Verified partner 
  • Burg Bilstein
    / Burg Bilstein
    Photo: Petra Salm, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz im Kreis Soest e.V
m 450 400 350 300 250 4 3 2 1 km
Just outside the walls of Bilstein Castle in Olpe, the virgin forests of future are growing – the old stock of oak and beech trees is a designated wilderness forest. Since 1976, no management measures have been carried out in a 14.7-hectare pocket of natural forest. In 2013, another 44.5 hectares were designated as wilderness forest and thus also taken out of commercial use.
Distance 4.6 km
1:28 h
116 m
159 m
Bilstein Castle is conspicuously located high above the Veischede Valley. Once the seat of the noble lords of Gevore and later the first administrative headquarters of the District of Olpe, which was founded in 1817, it is today one of the most popular youth hostels in Westfalen-Lippe. The castle is perched on the flank of the Rosenberg Mountain, whose old deciduous forests are preparing to become a "primeval forest of tomorrow". The rock on which the castle stands is of volcanic origin. However, the nature reserve holds not only the widespread species-poor Woodrush-Beech Forest community, but also more demanding forest communities such as the Millet Grass-Woodrush-Beech Forest and Sweet Woodruff-Beech Forest. Long-established residents of old-growth forests like the Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker have recently been joined by the rare Middle Spotted Woodpecker.
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Petra Salm
Update: August 26, 2016
Highest point
453 m
Lowest point
303 m

Tips and hints

The Hoher Bracht is worth visiting. From the observation tower, the view eastward extends across the ridges of the Rothaargebirge until the Kahler Asten mountain, while to the west it reaches to the highest elevations of the Ebbegebirge and south to the heights of the Westerwald. For people with limited mobility, a nearly one-kilometre-long circular trail with hardly any barriers has been set up in the surroundings of the tower.


Bilstein Castle (345 m)
51.096466, 8.018933
51°05'47.3"N 8°01'08.2"E
32U 431302 5661010


Bilstein Castle

Turn-by-turn directions

Not only the climb to the castle is steep; the circular trail also includes a lengthy ascent. Although the path is paved and well-constructed, sturdy shoes are recommended just in case of rain. Orientation in the area is easy. The entire trail is marked as A 22.


all notes on protected areas

Getting there

The best route to Bilstein is via the B55 trunk road.

Address for satnavs: Amtshausplatz, Bilstein (Lennestadt)

GPS (UTM): 32 U 431425, 5660818

Google coordinates: 51.094756, 8.020685


There is a car park in Bilstein. Steep steps lead up to the castle and the starting point of the circular trail.


51.096466, 8.018933
51°05'47.3"N 8°01'08.2"E
32U 431302 5661010
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


In wet weather, sturdy footwear is recommended.

Questions and answers

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Thorsten Hagedorn
March 15, 2016 · Community
Schöner Spaziergang durch einen herrlichen, alten Mischwald. Habe auch einen Schwarzspecht gesehen. Man kann auch direkt bei der Burg parken und erspart sich so die steile Treppe. Achtung der Weg ist als A22 (nicht A23) markiert.
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When did you do this route? March 15, 2016

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4.6 km
1:28 h
116 m
159 m


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