Zuid-Limburg is a popular draw for hikers from all over the Netherlands. They are attracted by its upland scenery and fast-running streams and, of course, our very own Dutch Mountain Trail. However, the hills of Zuid-Limburg are only the beginning: across the border in the Eifel and the Hautes Fagnes the hills are grander and even more challenging. We came up with a new long-distance footpath: the StauSeeSteig®!
The StauSeeSteig® – pronounced roughly Shtau – Zay – Shteyg – may be something of a tong-twister, but for those who don’t know any German, a ‘Stausee’ is a reservoir and a ‘Steig’ is a trail or steep track. In the Eifel and Ardennes massifs which dominate the landscape across the Netherlands’ southernmost border there are several impressive reservoirs, most of which lie to the south of Aachen in Germany in a landscape of dense forests, steep hillsides and full-flowing rivers. And there are further reservoirs in Belgium too, close to the country’s highest point. We drew a 125-kilometre line which runs along seven of these reservoirs, starting in the German village of Langerwehe and ending at the town of Dolhain in Belgium. On the de StauSeeSteig® you are very much on your own, but surprising vistas will open up around you on your way. The trail wends its way through Hürtgenwald, scene of the long, bloody battle in the autumn of 1944, via the Wildernis Trail in the Eifel national park and the boggy moorland of the Haute Fagnes, before descending into the picturesque fortified town of Limbourg.
Open source trail
The StauSeeSteig® is the first open source long-distance footpath. You can help us set out the definitive trail. Over the last two years we have reconnoitred the route, but perhaps you’ve found a more challenging section with even better views which we can include on the trail. We’re open to suggestions. If so, send us and email [email@example.com] so that we can give you access to our StauSeeSteig® account.
Literary trail guide
You’ll already have realised that the StauSeeSteig® is a special long-distance footpath which is why we want to make the trail guide special too. The route description will appear in the form of a literary travelogue, attractively designed with a number of clear maps plus the very best photos taken by anyone who wants to contribute to the StauSeeSteig®. We will be starting a crowdfunding campaign to realise the guide. Would you like to stay informed about our plans for the StauSeeSteig® and are you interested in the trail guide? If so, complete your details below.