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Hiking Trail recommended route

Schanze – European Bison and forests northwest of Bad Berleburg

· 4 reviews · Hiking Trail · Siegerland-Wittgenstein
Responsible for this content
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz im Kreis Soest e.V Verified partner 
  • Wisentgruppe im Gebiet Schanze
    / Wisentgruppe im Gebiet Schanze
    Photo: Wisent Welt Wittgenstein e.V., Wisent Welt Wittgenstein e.V.
  • / Tretbecken am Rohrbach
    Photo: Regina Wahl, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz im Kreis Soest e.V
m 600 500 400 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Here in Wittgenstein one of the most sensational conservation projects in Central Europe has taken place – the reintroduction of European Bison in the wild. The "Wisent-Pfad" (Bison path) is a circular trail through the FFH area Schanze that provides a good impression of the landscape through which the large herbivores roam. In the Bison viewing enclosure "Wisent-Wildnis am Rothaarsteig" (bison wilderness on the Rothaarsteig), you will see a small herd of these imposing animals.
Distance 13.2 km
4:00 h
373 m
373 m
676 m
455 m
The extensive forests of the European conservation area Schanze consist to a large part of Beech forests on acidic soils. There are only small residual areas of such natural forest types as moorland forest, ravine forest and mountainside mixed forest. Contrasting with these, however, there are also commercially-used, conifer-dominated forests.

The area is known for its abundance of wildlife. You can come across Roe Deer, Wild Boar, Mouflon and Red Deer, some of which carry impressive antlers. The autumn Red Deer rut when the forests resound to the stags’ powerful bellowing, is a particularly impressive experience.

Black Stork and Nutcracker are two of the rare bird species that reside in the area. The Black Stork is very secretive and is therefore only occasionally seen. The Nutcracker is often noticed because of its penetrating, rasping calls, but its dark brown plumage with white spots serves as a good camouflage.

Profile picture of Holger Krafft, Katharina Wrede
Holger Krafft, Katharina Wrede
Update: July 29, 2020
Highest point
676 m
Lowest point
455 m
Best time of year

Tips and hints

For more information about the Bison, e.g. about the Bison interactive exhibition (Poststraße 40, 57319 Bad Berleburg, limited opening times), please visit:

You can find additional information on the Rothaarsteig Trail Bison path here:


Landgasthof Weber, Bad Berleburg-Wingeshausen (455 m)
51.069286, 8.287916
51°04'09.4"N 8°17'16.5"E
32U 450108 5657771


Landgasthof Weber, Bad Berleburg-Wingeshausen

Turn-by-turn directions

The 13-kilometer-long circular trail is marked both as "Wisentpfad" and as "Rothaarsteig Trail". It takes you out of Wingeshausen village and then uphill past the Wisent-Wildnis until you join the Rothaarsteig long-distance trail, which runs along the ridge. After the hunting lodge the trail takes you downhill to the forester's lodge called "Ihrige". From here, follow the course of the Ihirige Stream to Wingeshausen. At two places along the hiking trail you have the opportunity to bathe your tired feet in a water basin.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

The Rothaarbahn railway is a convenient and very idyllic way of travelling to the area via the Eder Valley. From the station in Aue you can take the bus or walk approx. two kilometres to the circular trail in Wingeshausen.

For current timetable information, please visit:

Getting there

If you are arriving by car, the circular trail is very easily accessible, as it passes right through the village of Wingeshausen. A convenient starting point is the inn called "Landgasthof Weber" (Inselweg 5, 57319 Bad Berleburg).

Address for satnavs: Inselweg, 57319 Bad Berleburg-Wingeshausen

GPS (UTM): 32 U 450132, 5657742

Google coordinates: 51.069027, 8.288246

Other suitable entry points are the bison viewing enclosure "Wisent-Wildnis am Rothaarsteig" just off the K42 road between Aue-Wingeshausen and Schmallenberg hunting lodge, or Schmallenberg hunting lodge itself on the crest between Aue-Wingeshausen and Fleckenberg.


You will have to look for a parking space in Wingeshausen village. Alternatively, you can start the tour at the car park of the Wisent-Wildnis at the Rothaarsteig trail or at the hiking car park in the village of Jagdhaus.


51.069286, 8.287916
51°04'09.4"N 8°17'16.5"E
32U 450108 5657771
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Wanderkarte (hiking map) WaldReich Wittgenstein, 1: 25,000, Zweckverband Region Wittgenstein, 2nd edition 2008, ISBN 3-00-010140-3, € 9.50


The circular tour requires really good physical condition. In some places surefootedness is important, so sturdy footwear is recommended. If you do not wish to purchase a meal in Wingeshausen, in the Wisent-Hütte or in the hunting lodge, it is advisable to take a backpack with food and drinks.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

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Cai Yan
October 11, 2021 · Community
When did you do this route? September 19, 2021
Photo: Cai Yan, Community
Photo: Cai Yan, Community
Photo: Cai Yan, Community
Photo: Cai Yan, Community
Photo: Cai Yan, Community
Photo: Cai Yan, Community
Mirko Jungmann
August 01, 2020 · Community
Eine wirklich lohnenswerte Wanderung mit einigen tollen Aussichten. Sehr abwechselungsreiche Landschaften und wer irgendwo einkehren möchte, findet dafür gute Möglichkeiten. Auch einige schön gestaltete Schutzhütten /Rastplätze auf dem Weg. Die letzte Steigung vorm Höhepunkt der Tour ist nicht ganz ohne, aber auch nicht zu lang. Ich würde die Tour auch wie vorgeschlagen wandern und nicht andersrum, weil der "Abstieg" über einen breite und langen, geraden Schotterweg führt. Den bergan zu wandern stelle ich mit nicht so toll vor.
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When did you do this route? July 16, 2020
Thomas Martin
July 18, 2018 · Community
Wunderbare Wanderung, zum großen Teil auf Waldboden. Wisente zu sehen - und sei es auch nur von außerhalb des Paks - war etwas ganz Besonderes. Eine bestens zu empfehlende Rundtour - auch mit Kindern.
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Kurze Pause mit Aussicht
Photo: Thomas Martin, Community
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+ 3

13.2 km
4:00 h
373 m
373 m
Highest point
676 m
Lowest point
455 m
Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Family-friendly Flora and fauna


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