Hardegsen — Hiking Heaven In The Weserbergland

Welcome to the Gateway to the Solling! Oh, no, I knew I didn’t write that right. Let me back up a minute…

Welcome to Hardegsen, a climatic health resort town considered to be the Gateway to the Solling. The Solling-Vogler Nature Park in Lower Saxony, that is.

Sure you can bicycle around the area (there are over 160km of mountain biking trails), but it’s really made for hiking. There’s an extensive network of hiking trails within the nature park, but also within the whole Weserbergland region, too. (Look for the gorgeous orchids that grow here).

One route around the Weserbergland follows a pilgrimage route in the footsteps of Cistercian monks. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Campers are always welcome around this area, with campsites and RV Park available for overnight stays. Sometimes you’d rather stay a little closer to town than rushing right off into the countryside.

And no, swimming in the municipal pool (open late-May to mid-September) doesn’t count as sightseeing; that’s pure fun!

Staying in town will give you a different kind of sightseeing around Hardegsen. You very well know a town like this is going to have a castle. Hardeg Castle isn’t what you think, though. Sure, it’s a 12th century medieval original, but now it’s used for parties and events instead of a home for the nobility.

Regular folks lived in those framework houses we love so much. Thankfully, there are quite a few around town, so keep an eye out.

In the village of Ertinghausen, its 140 residents all live around the ruins of Castle Ertinghausen (OK, not literally around the castle, but you get the point). Sure, they’re romantic enough — I wouldn’t mind seeing that out my back window everyday, would you?

And what are castles without medieval watchtowers to have protected them? Hardegsen has one, the Wachturm built in 1383.

Forty years later residents constructed the Church of St. Mauritius. Well, the widow of some Duke commissioned it in 1423 on top of an even older church. As pretty as the church is, everyone comes to see its organ. Better yet, come hear it.

When you’re done sightseeing, how about meeting up for a night around the campfire telling stories? Great, see ya then. :-)

 

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