Nestled in a dip between two of the great ridges in the Teutoburg Forest is the idyllic town of Oerlinghausen. Although close to the big cities of Bielefeld and Detmold, you can find yourself surrounded by forests here — and away from all the hustle and bustle!
You definitely come here to be outside — and there is plenty to choose from whether you like history, the landscape, hiking, photography or even flying. But you need to set aside your first few days here just to get over the location right in the heart of some great landscapes!
You will find yourself surrounded by tall forests and sitting on either side of the “green backbone” of this historic Teutoburger Wald running north-west to south-east across parts of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Oerlinghausen is actually in the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park, so if you love walking you are certainly not going to be disappointed.
You can follow the shorter trails near town — and some have great panoramas of surrounding farmland and towns — or you can tackle the 80km or 50 mile Hermannsweg mountain-top trek! Certainly not something to be taken lightly! ;-)
However, the Tönsberg is the highest point close to town and can be attempted by everyone without too much trouble. You will not only be rewarded for your efforts by a birds-eye view of the town on either side of you, but you can also explore the remains of an old local windmill and a chapel ruins on the ridge.
There is also an Open Air Museum up on the hilltop covering history from 10,000 B.C. to around the 2nd century, as well as some megalithic earthworks up there — if you know what you’re looking for!
Oerlinghausen is also famous for its gliding center, which is one of Europe’s largest. If you have never tried it before then here would be a safe bet. And you really would have some of the best views of this part of Germany.
And, getting fired up into the air on a giant catapult has got to be a great start to your first lesson…