Rothaar Mountains

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Rothaar Mountains
Overview map of the Rothaar Mountains

Overview map of the Rothaar Mountains

Highest peak Langenberg ( 843.2  m above sea  level )
location North Rhine-Westphalia , Hesse
part of Süderbergland in the
Rhenish Slate Mountains
Coordinates 51 ° 6 ′  N , 8 ° 20 ′  E Coordinates: 51 ° 6 ′  N , 8 ° 20 ′  E
Type Low mountain range
rock slate sandy mudstones , sandstones , greywacke , quartzite , volcanic rock
surface 2,250 km²

The Rothaargebirge , one to 843.2  m above sea level. NHN high low mountain range in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse , is the altitude focus of the natural Sauerland and on average the highest and snowiest mountain range of the Rhenish Slate Mountains . Its core mountain range is formed by the Hochsauerland and the Rothaar adjoining it to the southwest on the Rhine-Weser watershed . The highest mountain is the Langenberg , which is also the highest in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In terms of historical landscapes, the Rothaar Mountains include the south-east of the Sauerland , most of the Wittgensteiner Land and the higher parts of the historic Upland , the extreme east of the Siegerland and the extreme northwest of the Hessian hinterland .


The name of the mountain is derived from “Rod Hardt Mountains”, which roughly means “cleared forest mountains” - it has nothing to do with the color “red” and with “hair”. The part of the name hair> hard / hardt indicates u. a. towards a former “forest pasture”.

The term Rothaargebirge , as it is drawn on all current maps today, was only established in the 1950s. It is derived from the older term (s) Rothaar which the located southwest of the sour - and upländische Hochsauerland subsequent ridge on the border between Sauerland and Wittgenstein had described.


Overview map


In 1954, the Federal Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning , headed by Emil Meynen and Josef Schmithüsen, published the first map of Germany's natural spatial structure , in which, under the main unit 333: Hochsauerland, in addition to the actual Hochsauerland, the area previously designated as red hair and adjacent landscapes included were. 1957 followed in the 4th delivery of the handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany, a detailed description of the area, in which the "amalgamation" of the mountain ranges is justified not least by the fact that there was never a sharp, recognizable landscape dividing line along the ridge.

The demarcation of the main unit Hochsauerland from 1954 had already been close to the boundaries of today's Rothaargebirge, but corrections followed until 1960, when the main unit was named Hochsauerland (Rothaargebirge) :

In the years 1960 to 1972, in the series Geographische Landesaufnahme - Die Naturräumliche Nachführung Deutschlands 1: 200,000, the Federal Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning published sheets 125 ( Marburg , '60), 111 ( Arolsen , '63), 110 ( Arnsberg , '69 ) and 124 ( Siegen , '72), in which the main unit 333, renamed "Rothaargebirge (with Hochsauerland) " (from sheet Arolsen), is completely divided into finer natural areas.

Accordingly, the main unit 333, which has grown around large parts of the previous main unit 332, is only rarely referred to as Hochsauerland , but almost exclusively with the more culturally and historically neutral and moreover clearer name Rothaargebirge . In addition to the Rothaargebirge, its north-east with Hochsauerland , following the actual meaning of that term, is usually shown on maps .

Rothaargebirge: View from the Kahler Asten

Location and limits

The Rothaargebirge, which is largely forested and rich in precipitation, is located predominantly in Westphalia , only the south-east to north-east foothills are in Hessian territory. The streams flowing to the northwest belong to the catchment areas of Sieg , Lenne and Ruhr , the southeastern slope drains to Diemel , Eder , Lahn and Dill .

Central locations are in the Upland in the northeast of Willingen ( Waldeck-Frankenberg district ), in the central Hochsauerland Winterberg ( Hochsauerlandkreis ) and in the Wittgensteiner Land in the southwest Bad Berleburg and Erndtebrück (both in Siegen-Wittgenstein district ).

On the western roofing, the mountains meet (from south to north) with Burbach , Wilnsdorf , the east of Netphens , Hilchenbach and Kreuztal (each district of Siegen-Wittgenstein ), Kirchhundem and the extreme east of the district of Lennestadt ( district of Olpe ) as well as Schmallenberg and the outermost East of the Eslohe district (both Hochsauerlandkreis ).

The northern border goes from the east of Eslohe via the south of the districts of Meschedes and Bestwigs via Olsberg to Brilon - all of the Hochsauerlandkreis .

The eastern border in turn stretches from Diemelsee to the south over the west of the municipality of the same name , the extreme east of Willingen and the extreme west of the Korbach district ( Waldeck-Frankenberg district ) over the west of Medebach and Hallenberg (both Hochsauerlandkreis ), the west of Bromskirchen and the outermost one North-west of the Battenberg district (again Waldeck-Frankenberg), the south-east of Bad Berleburg ( Siegen-Wittgenstein district ) and Hatzfeld (Waldeck-Frankenberg) via Biedenkopf ( Marburg-Biedenkopf district ), Bad Laasphe (Siegen-Wittgenstein) and the extreme west of the district Breidenbachs (again Marburg-Biedenkopf), the far north of the Eschenburg district and the northwest of Dietzhölztal and Haiger (each Lahn-Dill district ) to Burbach (Siegen-Wittgenstein) again.

External limits

In a clockwise direction, the mountains are bounded from the outside by the following places and river valleys, starting in the extreme southeast:

Expansion into watersheds

The Rothaargebirge in its current boundaries encompasses the entire Rhine-Weser watershed between Brilon - Petersborn in the north and the bagpipe (673.3 m) in the south, the northern part of which is via Langenberg (843.2 m) in the counterclockwise direction, forming an arch open to the east m) up to the Kahler Asten (841.9 m) is traditionally assigned to the Hochsauerland , while the middle part, which extends from Asten to the southwest to the Riemen (677.7 m), represents the Rothaar or the Kern-Rothaargebirge, as it is up to in the 1950s was narrowed down.

The Rothaargebirge also contains the eastern watershed of the Sieg between the Hohe Wald massif (656.2 m) in the northern Siegerland and that of the Kalteiche (579.9 m) at the southwestern interface with the Westerwald .

Rothaargebirge Nature Park

The area of ​​the Rothaargebirge is not congruent with the former Rothaargebirge Nature Park , today part of the Sauerland-Rothaargebirge Nature Park , which was more based on district and community boundaries. In addition to the old and new nature parks, the Rothaargebirge also has a share in the Diemelsee Nature Park in the northeast and in the Lahn-Dill-Bergland Nature Park in the southeast . The parts of the Hochsauerland Schluchtgebirge between the middle valley of the Wenne and the upper reaches of the Hoppecke are also counted as part of the Rothaargebirge in the north beyond the nature park boundary , whereas parts of the Saalhauser Berge and the Medebacher Bucht belonged to the Rothaargebirge nature park , but not to the Rothaargebirge natural area .

Landscape characteristics

Langenberg in winter

The Rothaargebirge is geologically considered to be the northeastern part of the right Rhenish slate mountains , but differs from its main part by the greater mean height and the only locally given plateau character. It has two distinct summit corridors , one around 840 m and one around 650 m.

The absolute focus of the mountains are the natural area Langenberg around the Langenberg (843.2 m), where the vast majority of the 800 m peaks are to be found, and the massif of the Kahler Asten (841.9 m, natural area Astenberg ), of which those of Hunau ( 818.5 m, natural area Hunau ) and Ziegenhelle (815.9 m, natural area Ziegenhelle ) branch off. Towards the outer edge, the summit heights flatten to a good 600 m.

The mountains reach their greatest differences in altitude in the north of the Ramsbecker heights (near Bestwig - Ramsbeck and Olsberg ), where the 744.8 m high peaks of Bastenberg , Stüppel , Wiedegge and Heidkopf meet the river valleys of the Ruhr and theirs , which are just one and a half kilometers away Towering over tributaries by a good 350 m.

In addition, there are height differences of 400 m - albeit at a distance of around 5 km from the river valleys - also on the eastern edge of the mountains near Reetsberg , Bollerberg , Heidkopf and Sackpfeife .

The core area of the Rothaar is also used for forestry, spruce forste still make up the majority, natural beech forests take about one third of one. In the recent past, the proportion of Christmas tree cultures, especially from Nordmann firs, has increased significantly, so that in many places new planting is no longer permitted. At the edge and in the middle of these landscapes, however, there are also parts used for agriculture (Wittgensteiner Kammer, Upland).


The northern western capping of the Rothaargebirge is formed by the southern Sauerland Rothaarvorhöhen (part of the main unit 336 2 ), which drains to the Lenne and reaches 688.5 m on the Saalhauser mountains . They are separated from the rump of the Rothaargebirge by the valleys of Hundem and Olpe , while in the immediate south (west) connection the Siegerland (main unit 331) drains to the (upper) Sieg .

In the eastern south, the Rothaargebirge is covered by the Struth (main unit 321) and Gladenbacher Bergland (320), which are already part of the Westerwald (main unit group 32 ) in a relatively smooth transition.

In the north-east of the mountain range, the mountain ranges at Sackpfeife , the Ziegenhellen east foothills, Heidkopf, and at Bollerberg , Reetsberg and Schlossberg break off rather abruptly. This is where the Eastern Sauerland mountain range joins.

In the north, various parts of the North Sauerland Oberland (main unit 334) adjoin the Rothaar Mountains .

Natural structure

Follows the Rothaar is natural spatially divided (linked each short summaries in the local products of which can be controlled from the single item):

In the following, the partial mountains, starting from the central Winterberg highlands, are characterized in a counterclockwise direction, starting in the east, in short form.

Sub-landscapes according to river areas

The Winterberger Hochland (333.5) forms, together with the higher parts of the Hohe Seite (333.7), the mountain rump and the center of gravity of the Rothaargebirge. In the center is the Kahle Asten, which is connected to the Langenberg area in the north-east via the Harfeld and the town of Winterberg, and via the Langewiese to the Rothaarkamm in the south-west. The Hunau branches off to the northwest from the Asten and the Ziegenhelle to the southwest from the Langewiese, which as secondary wings also reach over 800  m and form their own large massifs. Since the names of the natural areas are partly well established and there are no alternatives to them, but the hierarchy in decimal places is not undisputed, the following is a description of the partial landscapes and natural areas, which are mainly based on the river areas, which also characterize the Cultural spaces are aimed. It starts with the main ridge line, which runs along the main watershed from northeast to southwest, followed by the river areas in a counterclockwise direction, beginning in the north.

Oberruhr-Diemel watershed: Langenberg

View from the Dommelturm to the southwest to the Ettelsberg

In the largely wooded natural area of Langenberg (333.58) lies the north-eastern center of gravity of the Hochsauerland, where, with the eponymous Langenberg (843.2 m), there is not only the highest elevation of the mountain, but also four more in Hegekopf , Clemensberg , Ettelsberg , and Hopperkopf Find peaks over 830 m. The clear dissolution into several individual peaks distinguishes this natural area noticeably from the signs of the Asten, the Hunau and the Ziegenhelle. The ridge not only carries the watershed between the Upper Ruhr and the Diemel from the Langenberg over the Clemensberg, the Hopperkopf and the Hillekopf , but it also represents the cultural divide between the Sauerland and the Hessian Upland . The area is touristically from the Upland above all via Willingen together with the district Usseln in the inner Upland (333.90), which are located on the B 251 and the Uplandbahn , which flank the natural area to the northeast . In the west, the B 480 flanks along the Ruhr from Wiemeringhausen (in the Assinghauser Grund , eastern part of 333.80) to Niedersfeld (on the edge of the Nordheller Höhen , 333.57), in the southwest and south from there the L 872 to Hildfeld, with increasing distance to Grönebach and Küstelberg in the adjacent Harfeld (333.56, see below) and finally close to nature to Wissinghausen (in the Grafschafter Chamber , 332.52).

To the east of the natural area lies the Kahle Pön , whose ridge pointing to the northeast is extended there by the significantly lower Vorderpländer Ridge (333.91) , which is repeatedly interrupted by valleys .

In the Langenberg arise, clockwise and starting in the south, the Ruhr source stream Hille , the Orke tributary Wilde Aa , the Diemel and their tributaries Itter and Hoppecke .

Oberruhr-Eder-Wasserscheide: Harfeld, Astenberg and Langewiese

View from the southeast of the northeastern Harfeld with Küstelberg (in the foreground), Grönebach (left) and Hildfeld (half right in the background)

The Harfeld (333.56, also known as Winterberg plateau ) connects with the places Hildfeld , Grönebach and Küstelberg to the southwest of the forests of the Langenberg. While the area between these three places is largely cleared and undulating with localities around 600  m (Küstelberg: 666  m ), wooded ridges connect to the southwest with the Böhl ( 721.4  m ) and the Ruhrkopf ( 695.7  m ), which separate the main town of Winterberg , located in the southwest of the natural area , which, with a nominal height of 668  m, is one of the highest cities in Germany.

To the northwest, the Harfeld is continued by the higher heights ( Nordhelle : 792.2  m ) reaching Nordheller Höhen (333.57), the ridge of which leaves the nameless , Ruhr and Hille streams flowing to the northwest only narrow valleys. In the south of Winterberg, the southwest wing of the Hohe Seite (333.7; on the somewhat distant Bollerberg : 757.7  m ) branches off to the southeast, in the south of Küstelberg its northeast wing on the Reetsberg ( 792.2  m ). Between the two partial mountain ranges, the highland slopes comparatively steeply to the southeast to the valley of the upper Orke , to the south it drops to the valley of the Nuhne -Quellarms Sonneborn and its tributary coming from Winterberg, which the federal road 236 follows.

The Orke rises south of Küstelberg, its tributary Helle in Winterberg and the aforementioned source course of the Nuhne upper course Sonneborn, and the Ruhr at the Ruhrkopf.

Well-known motif: the tower of
branches on the Kahler Asten
Transition from Asten (right) to Gerkenstein and Langewiese (from there to the center of the picture) and the (Kühhuder) Rothaar (peaks peek out in the left half of the picture)

To the southeast of Harfeld, the Astenberg massif (333.54) of the Kahler Asten , with 841.9 m, is the third highest elevation of the mountain range (as well as of the entire southern mountain region ). Since the Asten is a little more rainy and inhospitable than the 8 km distant mountains around the Langenberg, it was long thought to be the highest point in the mountains. In the middle of the massif, northwest of the main summit, the place Altastenberg lies at ( 740  m ) to ( 790  m ).

In the north of the Astenberg are the sources of the Nameless, Renau , Gutmecke and Neger in the catchment area of ​​the Oberruhr and the Neger; to the west flow the Nesselbach , Schwarzes Siepen and their receiving water Lenne . The Odeborn , which drains directly to the Obereder, rises in the south , and the Sonneborn in the east from the Nuhne system.

To the southwest of Astenberg goes into the sporadically wooded ski resort Langewiese (333.53) with the m to more than 700 high-altitude ski resorts Mollseifen , Neuastenberg , Langewiese and Hoheleye over, the historically to Wittgenstein heard and also on the federal roads B 236 and B 480 with whose main town is Bad Berleburg ; the B 236 also connects Winterberg with Schmallenberg .

If you include the hamlet of Lenneplätze northwest of Neuastenberg, which historically does not belong to Wittgenstein, with Langewiese and delimits the natural area roughly with the settlement limits, the approximately 792.7 m high Gerkenstein , which is purely geomorphologically an offshoot of the Astenberg, would be the highest Elevation. However, the independent elevations of the partial ridge are lower and remain below 750  m .

The Langewiese is passed by the Odeborn, to which various small right tributaries have their source here, including the Hesselbach, which rises near Hoheleye . Mollseifen lies on the watershed of the Obereder / Odeborn zur Nuhne.

Lenne-Eder watershed: The redhead

Härdler from the west

About 1 km west of Hoheleyes, the B 236 and B 480 leave the ridge area; the now adjoining Rothaar (333.520 and 333.41) forms an almost completely unpopulated and continuously wooded mountain ridge, which stretches to the southwest, west-northwest and finally to the south and only 257 km away as the crow flies, over the Rothaarsteig 40 km away, Lützeler Pass (333.13) near Lützel with the B 62 again meets heights below 600  m . The Rhine-Weser watershed is here at the same time the historical border between the Fredeburger Land and the County of Wittgenstein , today the border between the Hochsauerlandkreis (from Härdler: the Olpe district ) and the Siegen-Wittgenstein district . The Rothaarkamm nature reserve on the Grenzweg is on the Wittgenstein side and the Schanze forest reserve on the Upper Sauerland side . The actual red hair is bounded, also transversely to the direction of the ridge, approximately by the 600 m contour line.

The northeastern (Kühhuder) Rothaar (333,520) runs from the Albrechtsberg 770.8  m southwest; After 1.5 km as the crow flies, a ridge branches off to the northwest with the hamlet of Schanze (zu Schmallenberg), after another 1.5 km the eponymous hamlet Kühhude (district Schüllar , zu Berleburg) is reached, where the main ridge of the Kühhuder Rothaar has its deepest notch (at 697.2 m) has. The ridge leads further south-west over the immediately adjoining, barely noticeable Saukopf ( 716.3  m ) and the Hohscheid (740.0 m), after another gap to 704.6 m and after a total of 3.2 km the Großer Kopf ( 740.8 m ), from whose western spur the Riedel "Auf der Redder" branches off to the southwest, while the main ridge finally curves  to the northwest and flattens significantly.

Beyond the Redder and 3 km west-northwest of the Großer Kopf, the ridge height at the Million Bank drops to only 632.1  m . From then on, the Südwestliche (Rüsper) Rothaar (333.41) continues the ridge of the Kühhuder Rothaar , slightly shifted to the north. The Rüsper Rothaar has significantly more and above all deeper gaps, which it divides into sections. First the ridge moves to the west-north-west, where the Härdler ( 756  m ) is reached at the Dreilandkreiseck . Now the ridge is directed more south-west and finally south. Immediately after a 683.0 m deep notch on Margaretenstein , the Hohe Hessel branches off to the southeast at Wildhöfer (727.7 m) , the Riesenberg (724.8 m) to the west-north-west and the Kahleberg (711.4 m) from the latter to the north-north-west . Since the notch between Wildhöfer and Härdler is as deep as the entrance to the section, which is only a good 645 m to Riesenberg and Kahleberg, there are de facto four individual mountains at right angles to the main ridge direction.

On the main ridge line, after another notch at 654.7 m, the Stengenberg (706.5 m) follows , on the southern flank of which the Rhein-Weser Tower stands at 683 m; between the two the state road leads from Röspe via Rüspe to Oberhundem over the ridge. The Riedel Strang , which extends from there to the south-south-west , still reaches 683.6 m south-east of the Röspe source and is the "dominant" of the Milsenberg and the Riemen in the further course of the main ridge (see below). From the Hohen Hessel onwards, all of the named elevations as well as the adjoining main ridge lie completely in the Olpe district.

West-southwest of the Westerberg (662.1 m), which hardly appears as a mountain from the Rhein-Weser-Turm side , is a gap at 626.3 m, the elevations on the ridge from now on all remain well below 700  m . The Eggenkopf (648.9 m) in the middle of the Panorama-Park Sauerland Wildpark is in close proximity to the Scharte and Landesstraße . On the Milsenberg (670.3 m) the ridge direction changes from west-southwest to south-southeast, immediately before reaching the Vogelsberg ( 642.8  m ) a 615.4 m deep notch is crossed. Further south-southeast, the Dreiherrenstein between the ( Kurköllschem ) Sauerland (Olpe district), the Wittgensteiner Land (only meets the ridge at one point) and the Siegerland is reached. The ridge makes a short curve to the west in a clockwise direction and at the southernmost point in it reaches the belt ( 678.2  m ), the highest elevation in the Siegerland, where the summit is just under ( Hilchenbach ).

On the further way to the south-south-west, after a notch at only 618.4 m, on the Wollberg ( 649.5  m ) east of Oberndorf, the watershed between Lenne and Sieg , which from then on follows the district boundary, branches off to the south pulling, now forming the Rothaarkamm between Sieg and Eder . This main ridge remains narrow south of the Wollberg, as the side valleys of the Wittgenstein Ederbergland stretch far to the west. To the east of this line, which only reaches the Buchhelle ( 620.1  m ), lies the Klarstein ( 655.4  m ), south of the Buchhelle the ridge flattens out to 581.2 m, with which the Rüsper Rothaar nominally ends; the following, short ridge section forms the western locking of the natural area Lützeler Pass (333.13), which connects the Wittgenstein Chamber (333.1) with the natural Siegerland (main unit 331).

The ridge line shifts again briefly to the west, and finally turns to the southeast. At the Pfaffenhain with the well-known Gillerturm at the west summit Giller , another 658.5  m are reached, until immediately afterwards the “actual” Lützeler Pass (577.9 m at the junction of the Eisenstraße from the B 62) is reached, where the Rothaar ends.

A little north of the ridge line of the Rüsper Rothaar lies, east of the Härdler, the hamlet Jagdhaus (zu Schmallenberg), while the eponymous hamlet Rüspe (zu Kirchhundem) lies clearly east of the ridge, in a brook valley in the Auer Ederbergland (333.42). However, the entire forest area, including that on the ridge, had long been the subject of dispute between Wittgenstein-Berleburg and the Duchy of Westphalia as the Rüsper forest , cf. the history section there . Immediately west of the ridge on the Vogelsberg lies the village of Heinsberg . Here, between Milsenberg and Riemen, the Hohen Waldberge brachthaus (333.40) branch off to the west, whose seam to the Rothaar lies immediately west of the Wollberg.

Sieg-Oberlahn watershed: Ederkopf-Lahnkopf-ridge

The rivers Lahn , Dill , Eder and Sieg arise in the two-part ridge of the Dill-Lahn-Eder source area es (333.0) in the southwest of the Rothaargebirge .

Asphalted section of the iron road (black line), u. a. with mountains (brown), bodies of water (blue), localities (red), roads (yellow lines) and Rothaarsteig (red line)

The Rüsper Rothaar (333.41) ends to the south at the narrow Lützeler Pass with the federal road 62 and the railway line from Lützel to the east in the direction of Erndtebrück , which are flanked in the eastern half by the upper reaches of the Eder. Sheet Siegen assigns the passport as unit 333.13 to the Wittgenstein Chamber ; However, it differs from the actual chamber not only in its narrow width and a significantly higher height of around 600 m, but also in the fact that Lützel culturally belongs to the Siegerland and not to the Wittgensteiner Land . From a natural spatial point of view, it should rather be assigned to the unit described below.

From the Lützeler Pass, the Eisenstraße , Höhenweg and old trade route between Siegerland and Wittgenstein branches off in Lützel . As a result, the Ederkopf-Lahnkopf ridge (333.01) could also be referred to as the "Eisenstrasse ridge". The Eisenstraße leads first west of the Oberste Henn (675.9 m) to the south and south-southeast to the Aukopf (644.9 m), then south to the Stiegelburg (637.8 m), and then east to the compass (694.1 m) bend, from where the Eisenstraße loses its character as a high-altitude path and leads to the valley.

View from the southern edge of Erndtebrück south-east to Ebschloh

To the east by the backs of Henn through the valley of the Eder-Two Source Bach Benfe with the hamlet Benfe separately, a by-back draws from Ebschloh (686.3 m) southeast Erndtebrücks on birch hedge (661.1 m) to Aukopf. This ridge, which is also assigned to unit 333.01, is part of the so-called Zwischenentalscheide between Eder and Lahn, which continues eastwards from Ebschloh to the bagpipe in the Hessian hinterland ; The Eder, Sieg and Lahn river basins meet at the Aukopf. At the Jagdberg (675.9 m), a west-south-west neighbor of the Kompass, the watershed between Lahn and Sieg meets the Lahn-internal between Lahn and Dill .

There are numerous sources on the Ederkopf-Lahnkopf ridge:

  • On the western slope, the Sieg flows from the river system, from north to south:
  • Near the center formed by the Aukopf, swell to the north
    • Eder ( Ederquelle am Ederkopf (650.0 m), a southern pre-summit of the Henn)
    • Benfe, spring 700 m southwest south of the Eder spring
  • Rise on the eastern slope of the southern part, from northwest to southeast:

To the west, the Ederkopf-Lahnkopf ridge joins the (natural) Siegerland (main unit 331), which in the Siegerland Rothaar Vorhöhen at the Alte Burg reaches 632.9 m. To the east it flows smoothly into the Südwittgensteiner Bergland , with the Ebschloh ridge locking the flatter Feudinger Basin from the west.

Sieg-Dill watershed: Haincher Höhe and Kalteiche

Siegerland landscape from the serpentine on the northwestern edge of the crossing of the Haincher Höhe with the eponymous place Hainchen in the foreground.
In the second row the mountains of the western Rothaargebirge higher by one level:
In the middle the double knoll from Kindelsberg (618 m high, 21.6 km away) and Martinshardt (616 m; 20.6 km), to the right merging into the southwest knoll ( 605 m; 24.0 km) and the actual summit of the Hohen Waldes (23.7 km; 655 m); The old castle peeps out half to the right (633 m, Siegerland Rothaar Vorhöhen ), on the right the edge heights of the massif around the Oberste Henn (676 m).
The Kalteiche of savages from

From the Jagdberg in a south-westerly direction, a ridge that reaches 609  m in the center and is constantly 600  m high stretches to the south-west, which forms the border between North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse on the Lahn-Sieg watershed and which slopes particularly steeply towards the Sieg catchment area . This ridge is called Haincher Höhe , after the village of Hainchen on its west foot , and ends in the eyrie of the 579.9 m high Kalteiche , with which it forms the natural area of Kalteiche (with Haincher Höhe) (333.00).

The natural area does not reach its highest height at the “actual” Haincher Höhe, but at the branching off Nordhöll ( 641.1  m ), which is framed by the Dietzhölze from the north in a clockwise direction; south-east beyond the Dietzhölze stands the Eichholzkopf ( 609.6  m ), to the north-east of it lies the Eichwäldchen ( 608.4  m ) on the watershed of the Dietzhölze to Banfe , which, presumably because of its location on this, already leads to the Ederkopf on leaf Siegen -Lahnkopf-back (333.01) is counted. Orographically, both mountains do not belong to the Haincher Höhe. Further to the southwest, roughly in the middle of the ridge, the dill rises on the eastern slope .

The only pass over the Haincher Höhe is the L 1571 (HE) / L 729 (NW) from Ewersbach to Netphen , the only one over the Kalteiche is the B 54 between Wilnsdorf and Haiger . Between the two passes, the southwestern edge of the Haincher Höhe is tunneled at one of its lowest points, the Tiefenrodter Höhe ( 551  m ) at the southwestern seam to the Kalteiche, by the railway along the Dill route Siegen - Dillenburg between Rudersdorf and Dillbrecht .

According to Blatt Siegen, the two uppermost places Offdilln and Dillbrecht on the Dietzhölze Rittershausen and the Dill are still in the natural area, while all the places below the two rivers are included in the adjoining natural area Struth , which is included in the main unit 321 Dilltal . On the one hand, this is inconsistent because Offdilln and Dillbrecht, as well as Rittershausen, are only the uppermost places in a chain of villages along the two rivers, which runs homogeneously in each case, and on the other hand, because different criteria are apparently assigned on the Siegerland side. The highest of the three places, Offdilln, extends almost to the 440  m height line, Hainchen on the opposite side of the Haincher Höhe, however, to over 460  m and Wilgersdorf at the north foot of the Kalteiche at least to over 450  m , without leaving the natural Siegerland ( partially) to be isolated. In this respect it would be logical to assign the three mentioned places to the Struth natural area.

On old maps, Struth denotes the ridge between the Roßbach in the northwest, the Dill in the south and the Dietzhölze in the east and northeast, as it is bounded to the northwest by the L 3044, which also follows the Roßbach in the southwest. The highest elevations here are the Hemmrain ( 560.5  m ) in the center and the Ebertshain ( 560.1  m ) in the northeast. In the Struth in the broader sense , these would only be slightly exceeded by the local mountain ( 572.8  m ) west of Ewersbach. Overall, the heights of the Struth are hardly lower than those of the Haincher Höhe, but the Haincher Höhe plays a major role as a cultural divide . Also the mountains between the Mandelbach , extended over the Dietzhölze, (W) and the Simmersbach (SO) with the Staffelböll ( 536.2  m ) and, on the watershed of the Dietzhölze to Perf , the Holy Mountain (around 530  m ) with the The castle ruins of Hessenwalt south and the Stiete ( 545.4  m ) north of Roth , which extend the actual Struth northeast of the Dietzhölze, are included in the Dilltal natural area.

Catchment area of ​​the upper Ruhr: Nordheller heights, Hunau and western gorge mountains

From Harfeld (333.56) to the north-west and from Astenberg to the north, the densely wooded Nordheller Heights (333.57) run through the valleys of Neger , Nameless , Ruhr and Hillebach into north-facing Riedeln . The westernmost Riedel has its base in the Langenberg ( 735  m ), the longest, central ridge carries the 792.2 m high Nordhelle , which gives it  its name, and the eastern one, the 764.5  m high Rimberg . At the valley of the nameless lies Silbach , at the valley of the Ruhr immediately below the union with the Hille lies Niedersfeld .

To the west, beyond the valley of the Negro and thus also the Nordheller heights, lies the densely wooded massif of the 818.9  m high Hunau (333.55), which branches off from the Asten to the northwest. It has a shield shape directed to the west-south-west, but dissolves to the north through the valleys of the rivers Elpe (and tributaries), Valme , Brabecke (with tributaries; to Valme), source streams of the Kleine Henne , Rarbach (to Henne) and Henne in Riedel on.

The western Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge east of Berlar with the Ramsbeck ridge Olsberg (704 m), Schmalenberg (714 m), Ohlenkopf (729 m; in front of it Andreasberg ), Wiedegge (732 m), Stüppel (732 m) and Dörnberg (691 m)

The western part of the Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge (333.8) in the western north of the Rothaargebirge is characterized by the eponymous gorges on the valleys of the river system of the upper Ruhr .

To the north and north-west of the Nordheller heights is the valley basin of the Assinghauser Grund (northeast part of 333.80), which is cordoned off from the valley of the Gierskoppbach over the Ruhr to the Neger and to the north by the Heidkopf (see below). This depression is almost completely cleared and runs against the flow directions of the three rivers from Elleringhausen via Bruchhausen , Assinghausen and Wiemeringhausen to Siedlinghausen to the south-south-west.

From Siedlinghausen (around 450 m) the state road 740 leads in the direction of Meschede in serpentines up to the Bödefelder Mulde , which is around 90 m higher (southwest part of 333.80), which is perpendicular to the Ruhr tributaries swelling on the Hunau massif in the south via Altenfeld , Bödefeld and Westernbödefeld moves west to expire at the hamlets of Bonacker and Dornheim .

To the north of the Bödefelder Mulde are the largely wooded Ramsbeck ridges and gorges (333.81), which cut through the gorges of the Ruhr tributaries in a south-north direction, to the north in distinctive peaks such as the Heidkopf in the east (715.3 m), west of the Ruhr the Wiedegge (732.3 m), beyond the Elpe the Stüppel (731.5 m) and beyond the Valme the Bastenberg (744.8 m) and the Sternberg (691.5 m) flow.

To the west of the Kleine Henne , the northwestern peripheral peaks of the Riedel are shifted slightly to the northwest and no longer quite reach the heights of their southeastern neighbors. The Henneborn valleys and ridge (333.84) with the golden bush (653.6 m) and, beyond the "Große" Henne , the Lumberg (559.2 m) go west beyond the Bödefelder Mulde, flowing southeast into the foothills of the Hunau over.

To the northeast, the Ramsbecker and Henneborner ridges meet the Oberruhrgesenke , southwest of the Lumberg-Zug is the Fredeburg Chamber - both parts of the Sauerland Basin (main unit 335). To the west, the Wenne passes through Hunau and the Schluchtgebirge .

Catchment area of ​​the Lenne: Lennekessel and northwestern Rothaar-Randhöhen

The Lennekessel (333.6) is the fan-shaped spring basin landscape of the catchment area of ​​the upper Lenne up to the mouth of the Sorpe from the right in the eastern urban area of Schmallenberg . The erosion boiler is semicircular from west to Hunaumassiv (818.5 m), Astenberg (up to 841.9 m), Long Meadow and Kühhuder Rothaar (at Albrechtsberg eingeschluchtet 770.8 m) in the hull of the Winterberg highlands and reaches southwest of the Kahler Asten on the mountain fore- highest high bone with 764.7 m its greatest height. The Riedel inside the boiler still reach heights of up to 729.8 m ( Heidberg ), but mostly around 700 m. The 657.8 m high Wilzenberg forms the outermost southwest edge of the basin.

The Lennekessel with Oberkirchen

The forest is along the valleys of the Sorpe ( Rehsiepen and three other places with a total of just 100 inhabitants), the Nesselbach ( Nordenau ) and the Lenne itself, where Westfeld and Oberkirchen , both now districts of the town Schmallenberg to the west , are the two only larger villages lie cleared. The Waldsiepen , which flows into Oberkirchen, follows, on the right valley slope, the B 236 on its descent from the Langewiese into the Lennetal, the Hartmecke flows as the last tributary of the kettle directly below in the same place .

Due to the location on the windward side (west weather) of the mountains, the annual precipitation of 1100 to 1300 mm is hardly lower than in the Winterberg highlands.

From the north-eastern (Kühhuder) Rothaar branches (333,520), from Wilzenberg through the valley of the county in county , a former valley of the Lenne, separated, when Weiler hill (such county to Schmallenberg) to the 693.8  m reaching Schmallenberger height (333 522 ) to the northwest and delimits the small Latrop Gorge (333.521) of the Latrop with the village of Latrop between itself and the actual Rothaar .

Also further west some, in this case mostly shorter Riedel, which are not designated as separate natural areas on Blatt Arnsberg, point from the crest of the (here: Rüsper ) Rothaar to the Lenne. For example that of the Heidkopf ( 665.9  m ) at Jagdhaus , which slides between the Latrop and the upper Uentrop (with the Üntrop nature reserve ), the narrow one of the Drommberg (up to 652.6  m ) between Uentrop and its tributary Drommecke (with the Drommecke nature reserve ), that of the Kippesberg ( 651.9  m ) between Drommecke / Uentrop and Störmecke Siepen , that of the Kahleberg ( 711.4  m ) between the system of the Störmecke Siepen and the Hometsiepen (zur Hundem), the narrow ridge to the Heisterberg ( 622, 2  m ) between Hometsiepen and Hundem , the Rinsenberg ( 595.7  m ) and between Hundem Rinsecke and Lichthardt ( 619.8  m ) between Marmecke and Albaumer Bach .

The valley of the Albaumer Bach closes off the actual Rothaar to the west; the areas draining via the Olpe to Hundem can be found in the next section.

Catchment area of ​​Olpe and Ferndorf: Brachthaus Hohe Waldberge

Heinsberg in a high trough at the interface between the Rothaar and the Hohen Waldbergen brachthaus

The Hohen Waldberge (333.40) brachhouses, named after Brachthausen , branch off to the west from the (Rüsper) Rothaar , perpendicular to the Milsenberg - Riemen line . The district boundary between the Sauerland (here: district ) runs over the forest mountains, starting at their southeastern base on Wollberg Wollberg ( 649.5  m ) east of Oberndorf , on the watershed between Olpe (via Hundem and Lenne to Ruhr) and Ferndorfbach (to Sieg) Olpe ) and the historic Siegerland ( Siegen-Wittgenstein district ) more or less to the west-northwest.

Geomorphologically, the forest mountains differ significantly from the Rothaar; On the one hand, they are overall somewhat more lively in the inner relief and are clearly more strongly broken down into individual mountains without having a clear crest. On the other hand, their transitions into the surrounding area are more fluid on significantly less steep slopes. The main mountains are distributed more or less in a star shape around their center and are resolved relatively sharply against each other by the valleys of the brooks rising in the interior (in the following counterclockwise, starting at the base in the southeast):

  • While the Olpe flanked the north-west and north edges , the Albaumer Bach , which flows directly to the Hundem, forms the eastern edge depression with Heinsberg , which leaves the natural area in Albaum .
  • Immediately to the northwest of the Wollberg lies the Goldene Zapfen ( 640.9  m ), which merges into the Höchst ( 589.8  m ) to the north-northeast and into Drei Buchen ( 629.2  m ) to the west.
  • Located like three beeches on the watershed and separated from the Höchst by the valley of the Ebersiepen (to the Albaumer), the Lümke ( 619.7  m ) joins, which merges to the north into the Strauchelberg ( 626.9  m ).
  • North of the watershed and separated from the Lümke by the Lütke Aa (to the Albaumer), the mountain Auf dem Höchst ( 638.3  m ) joins to the northwest of it, immediately east of Brachthausen. To the north it merges into the Stüvelhagen west of Albaum, only to flatten out clearly long before the valley of the Olpe, leaving the natural area.
  • Southwest of the latter and Brachthausens follows on the watershed the Wimberg ( 606  m ), which merges to the north into the Kopfhelle ( 575.9  m ) northwest of Brachthausen, which ends to the north in the summit Auf der Höhe ( 546.5  m ) south of Hofolpe . The eastern separating valley of the Kopfhelle is formed by the Flape (zur Hundem), which flows from Brachthausen to Wirme and, already outside the forest mountains, Flape and finally Kirchhundem. To the south-southwest follows the Wimberg on the watershed of the Addebach ( 560.8  m )
  • To the west of the valley of the Silberbach , in which Silberg and Varste lie, the ridge of the Wolfshorn ( 643.6 m ) extends  east of Welschen Ennest along the watershed to the southwest; to the northeast, to Olpe and Silberbach, it goes over into the Rimmert ( 569.4  m ) southeast of Benolpes .
The high forest from Brachthausen
  • South of the Wolfshorn is the Hohe Wald ( 656.4  m ) northeast of Littfeld , whose ridge also extends to the southwest; the gap between the two mountains lies at about 525  m , its slopes are separated by the headwaters of the Littfe (to Ferndorf), which is the western edge of the forest mountains.
  • To the south of the Hohe Wald a third ridge stretches to the south-west, which only reaches its highest height in the extreme south-west, at the Kindelsberg north-east of Kreuztal , at 618.1  m and extends right down to the valley of the Ferndorf.
    The Kindelsberg is even more clearly separated from the Hohen Wald than the Wolfshorn, the saddle is at around 475  m ; Heimkaus flows between the two .
    Martinshardt ( 608.5  m ) is connected to the Kindelsberg by a semicircular notch that is open to the south and goes down to about 560  m to the east .
  • On the less spectacular watershed from the north-eastern base of the Kindelsberg Ridge to the east, you get back to the Addebach mountain, with the Rothenbach valley between this and the Kindelsberg .

Overall, the greater part of the natural area to the Olpe drains, while only near Kreuztal the Ferndorf is notably fed by the forest mountains; the right tributaries near Hilchenbach arise in lower elevations of the “actual” (natural) Siegerland. However, the three ridges facing Littfe and Ferndorf clearly dominate their foreland in the west and shape the landscape accordingly, while the mountains in the middle and in the east are less sharply delimited and are only noticeably separated from one another towards the northern peripheral valleys. From the north near Kirchhundem to the southwest, the landscape runs through a depression that is somewhat locked in the center, between Silberg and Brachthausen, and divides into two in the southwest around the Kindelsberg.

Catchment area of ​​the Oberlahn: Südwittgensteiner Bergland (and bagpipe)

The areas around the upper reaches of the Lahn and Eder were once settled parallel to each other upstream, coming from the Hessian side. The two parts of the historic Wittgensteiner Land were ruled from Laasphe in the south, on the Lahn, and from Berleburg in the north, on the Eder. The so-called Zwischenentalscheide lies between the two catchment areas .

The bagpipe and forehead from the east

The Wittgensteiner area draining to the Lahn together with the Zwischenentalscheide are combined with the Südwittgensteiner Bergland (333.2). The intermediate valley divides from Ebschloh ( 686.3  m ) on the Ederkopf-Lahnkopf-ridge (333.01) over the Bärenkopf ( 680  m ) southeast of Sassenhausen to the bagpipe ( 673.3  m ), which has been assigned a separate natural area on the Marburg leaf, which, however, continues the rest of the back seamlessly. It is only historically isolated in that it is located in the Hessian hinterland , which also includes the Gladenbacher Bergland to the southeast .

In the west of the mountainous area, the forest is interrupted on three high hollows. The northernmost, the Feudinger Basin , is located near Feudingen , Rüppershausen , Oberndorf and Rückershausen on Lahn and Feudinge , the other two around Banfe and Herbertshausen (center) and around Fischelbach and Hesselbach (south) on the Banfe . The area around the hilltop village of Sassenhausen in the north, which drains the Eder, has also been cleared.

A well-known elevation beyond the Zwischenentalscheide is the Große Ahlertsberg (644.9 m) in the south, southwest of Bad Laasphe.

To the east and south-east of the bagpipe are the bagpipe forecrowns (332.0), to the north the Hatzfelder Ederbergland (332.1) - both parts of the Ostsauerland mountain range . Opposite this, the Upper Lahn Valley and the Breidenbacher Grund, which adjoins it to the south, belong to the Gladenbacher Bergland .

Catchment area of ​​the Obereder: Wittgensteiner Kammer and Ederbergland

The Wittgensteiner Kammer (333.1) in the catchment area of ​​the Upper Eder is a special feature of the Rothaargebirge. The slate mountain hollow, consisting mainly of agriculturally used grassland, clearly separates the southeastern parts of the mountain range from the central and northwestern ones.

View to Wingeshausen in northeast direction; in the background, behind the Odeborntal, higher elevations of the Rothaargebirge with the Ziegenhelle

The least undulating and most densely populated part of the chamber is the Berleburger Grund (333.11) with Bad Berleburg , Raumland and Berghausen . Over the floodplain of the Odeborn upstream to about Wemlighausen and the Eder upstream to Aue and from there northwards along the Kappel to Wingeshausen , this cleared landscape expands to a valley level of around 450  m . The natural spatial structure on the Arnsberg and Arolsen leaves, on the other hand, also includes the much more distant and higher lying floodplains of the Odeborn to Girkhausen together with wooded slopes up to over 600  m as Odebornsenke (333.10), although the clearing along Odeborn and B 480 directly below the hamlet Dödesberg is just 150 meters wide. Conversely, these classifications include the cleared area around Aue and Wingeshausen to the Auer Ederbergland , which in turn consists mainly of wooded mountains up to well over 600  m .

The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation largely follows the Arnsberg and Arolsen leaves, but, in contrast to these, saves the western edge mountains Schüllarsberg (a good 560  m ), Reifelscheid ( 601.1  m ), Burgfeld ( 586.4  m ), which are listed below from north to south ), Seibrig (a good 520  m ) and Winterscheid ( 594.7  m ) and counts these, like the Auer Ederbergland, to the "actual" Rothaargebirge, analogously on the east side the western slopes of the 721.8  m high Homburg with the birch head ( 606.7  m ) and its southwest spur fenugreek . The wooded heights below the Rothaarkamm ridge, separated from one another by the side valleys of the upper Eder, are commonly grouped under Wittgensteiner Ederbergland until the breakthrough at Raumland .

The Erndtebrücker Leimstruth (333.12) with the Berleburger districts Hemschlar , Rinthe and Weidenhausen as well as Erndtebrück and its districts Womelsdorf , Birkelbach , Birkefehl , Schameder (with Leimstruth train station) and Röspe is connected to the south of the Berleburger Grund, but from here clearly to the west hilly, but largely cleared and reaches the valley of the Eder again at Erndtebrück. The landscape is sealed off to the north by the wooded mountains of the Ederbergland to the right of the Eder south of the Aues, which reach 643  m on the shrub north of Birkelbach , to the west by the slopes to the left of the Eder, which faces north here, and to the south by the directly north to the Rhine-Weser watershed adjoining slopes. In the east, the slopes immediately to the east of the B 480 form a natural boundary for the high trough. The outer borders are not really sharp and roughly follow the larger forest borders. Inside, on noteworthy elevations, are the Steimel ( 596.1  m ) northeast of Erndtebrück, the Krobel ( 584.4  m ) to the north (and separated from it by the B 62 along the Schameder ) and, in the southeast, the Baldeberg ( 604, 9  m ) between Rinthe and Weidenhausen, which are all partially cleared.

The structure on the Marburg sheet pulls the borders a little further in the southeast, but declares them as "not definable in lines". According to this, the Höhenweiler Leimstruth (the old hamlet at the junction of the B 480 from the B 62; to Erndtebrück) and Sohl , Drehbach and Stünzel (together form the Berleburg district of Stünzel ), located outside the watershed and connected to the other places by clearing, also belong to it which all drain to the Lahn or even have sources from tributaries of the upper Lahn. Stünzel itself, in turn, has a connection to the hilltop village Sassenhausen through road and clearing , which is drained to the Eder below Raumland and is therefore not included. The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation draws the borders including the three high hamlets and extends in the northwest to the narrowing Edertal by the Erndtebrücker hamlet Röspe .

Geologically, the Wittgenstein Chamber is dominated by slate rocks from the Middle Devonian, which in the west, at Erndtebrück and at Aue, merge with those of the Lower Devonian. At Wingeshausen and Röspe there are also volcanogenic quartz keratophyres and tuffs of the Lower Devonian.

Catchment area of ​​the Mitteleder: Ziegenhelle, Wilde Struth and Hohe Seite

Waller height and Ziegenhelle from Bollerberg tower from

The Ziegenhelle massif (333.51), up to 815.9 m high, branches off from the Langewiese to the south-southeast . Like the branches, it has a shield shape with long side ridges that extend in a star shape from the base in all directions, and are largely forested. On the Wilden Struth (333.50), the foothills of the Ziegenhelle stretch to the southwest as far as the valley of the Eder . The forest has been cleared in many places for settlements and grassland , especially in the Elsoff valley with the villages of Wunderthausen , Diedenshausen and Alertshausen .

Ligament slate exposure at the entrance to Züschen from the hinterland

Immediately to the southeast of the Harfeld and northeast of the Ziegenhelle is the densely wooded and extremely relictive mountainous area of ​​the Hohe Seite (333.7), which is clearly separated from the Ziegenhelle by the upper reaches of the Nuhne and the valley of the Orke from Harfeld near the source and from the further upper reaches the Orke is orographically divided into two mountain ranges in a north-west-south-east direction.

The more southerly of these two massifs is shaped by the 757.7 m high, angular-domed Bollerberg , the more northerly by the very broad summit of the 792.2 m high Reetsberg and the adjacent Schlossberg (791.3 m) to the north .

East to southeast, the heights flatten sharply towards Medebacher Bucht , while in northeastern directions the flattening towards Grafschafter Kammer is somewhat gentler. Both landscapes are part of the Eastern Sauerland mountain range .

The upper reaches of the Orke near the source with the town of Elkeringhausen in the northwest, as well as the upper reaches of the Nuhne near Züschen in the southwest, are included in the sub-natural area of ​​the Hohe Seite. This also includes the valley of Ahre (right source stream of the Nuhne) together with Berkmecke west of Züschen, which separates the Asten and Ziegenhelle massifs.

Catchment area of ​​the Diemel: Upland and eastern Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge

Willingen, in the background the Hoppernkopf

The natural spatial upland (333.9) differs significantly in its boundaries from the historical upland and in particular does not contain its highest elevations, which are in the natural area of ​​Langenberg . The Langenberg massif not only acts as a watershed between the Rhine and Weser , but also as a cultural divide between the Westphalian Sauerland and the Waldeck Upland.

The Inner Upland (333.90), which is used for tourism, arable farming and grassland and drains to the Diemel , branches off to the northeast from the Langenberg massif, in the vicinity of which the highest heights are reached; the 775.3 m high Kahle Pön is geomorphologically still part of the Langenberg massif and forms the southern lock. Willingen and its districts of Stryck , Usseln , Schwalefeld and Rattlar are in the inner Upland ; in its east lies the 726 m high Sähre , in the south the 726.3 m high Schneeberg .

From the Pön, the Vorderpländer Ridge (333.91) stretches far to the 634.7 m high Widdehagen to the northeast, which cuts the Ostsauerland mountain range into the Grafschafter Kammer (south) and the Adorfer Bay (north). This ridge follows the Eder-Diemel watershed and the Neerdar flowing south of it to below the town of the same name, Neerdar, and drains mainly via the latter to the Eder . The assignment of the ridge to the Rothaargebirge is disputed; In the map from 1960 for the handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany it was still part of the East Sauerland mountain range, in the map from 1954 and in the text part of the handbook of the then unit East Sauerland Oberland . On sheet 111 Arolsen in 1963 he was placed in the Rothaargebirge. Although it reaches a height of 630 m both in the west ( Mühlenberg , 632 m; however almost 100 m lower than the neighboring mountain Sähre to the west ) and in the east (Widdehagen, 635 m), in between the heights fall beyond the valley of the which divides the landscape Neerdar at and below Neerdar to only 550 m. The relief energy of the back is also only moderately pronounced. What it has in common with the Rothaargebirge are rocks of the Devonian - while carbon is predominant on the mountain edge .

The dommel

Northwest the interior Upland through the dense is to Hochauer countries gorge Mountain counted Schellhorn- and Treis forest (s. U.) Towards the locked Sauer country.

The eastern part of the Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge (333.8) in the north of the Rothaargebirge is characterized by the eponymous gorges on the valleys of Hoppecke and Itter in the Diemel river system .

Immediately to the north of the natural Upland and the Langenberg massif, the densely wooded mountain ranges of the Schellhorn and Treiswald (333.82) are separated by river valleys pointing north .

In the northern connection to the Upland, still on Hessian soil, lies the 738 m high Dommel . To the north-east of this mountain begins the border between two parts of the Ostsauerland mountain range (main unit 332), namely the Adorfer Bay and the Diemel-Bergland to the north . On this border, not far from the Dommel, lies the Diemelsee . West of the Dommel and separated from it by the Itter valley, the Treis (Dreis) ridge stretches from the Langenberg massif over the 805.0 m high Hoppernkopf to the eponymous summit. Immediately to the west of this, beyond the Hoppecke , starting from the Hoppernkopf, the ridge of the Schellhorn , which reaches 761 m in the center, runs north, from which a western branch leads to the 728.0 m high Istenberg .

The north-west slope of the Schellhorn and Treiswald forests at the interface with the Briloner Land (part of the North Sauerland Oberland , main unit 334), which touches the Olsberg urban area on the 670.2 m high Borberg , represents an independent natural area under the name Habuch (333.83) .


A section of the Rhine-Weser watershed runs over the main ridge of the Rothaargebirge . This runs in the area of ​​the Rothaargebirge from Brilon in the northeast, first to the south and, after a southeast dangling south of the Langenberg, finally over the Kahler Asten to the eastern Siegerland in a southwestern direction. In the Wittgensteiner Land it finally runs in an easterly direction to leave the mountains behind the bagpipe in the northern Hessian hinterland . (For the exact sequence of the surveys, see here .)

The watershed forms the border between the Diemel and Eder river basins, which are part of the Weser catchment area, and those of the Ruhr , Sieg and Lahn , which drain towards the Rhine .

Main rivers

In terms of catchment area and discharge (MQ), the Ruhr (on the Rhine side) and the Eder (on the Weser side) are the main rivers; in the second line the Lahn and Diemel follow, while the river system of the Sieg only has a share in the immediate source areas of the Rothaargebirge.

The water of the Ruhr is divided into the main arms Obere Ruhr and Obere Lenne. Ruhr and Lenne are practically equal main arms of the river system of the Ruhr, which is also manifested in the fact that they each bring about the same amount of water at the confluence (Ruhr: 28.8 m³ / s - level Villigst, Lenne: 30.1 m³ / s - Hohenlimburg gauge). Since this confluence takes place well outside the Rothaargebirge, the two sub-river systems should be considered separately here. The same applies to the Obere Lahn and Obere Dill, whose river areas are separated by around 100 km of the Lahn.

The following runoffs and associated catchment areas apply roughly to the Rothaar Mountains:

  • Ruhr: 22.6 m³ / s - 1063 km²
    • Upper Ruhr 13.0 m³ / s - 610 km² (minus the left Wenne)
      (gauge Meschede 1 + Wenne / Wendholthausen)
    • Obere Lenne 9.6 m³ / s - 453 km² (minus Veischede minus Fretterbach)
      (Bamenohl gauge)
  • Eder: 18.5 m³ / s - 1067 km² (minus lower Nuhne, Orke and Aazu rivers as well as smaller ones)
    (to Edersee, minus Riedgraben, Elbrighäuser Bach, Hainerbach, Goldbach, Nemphe, Lengelbach and Lorfe)
  • Lahn: 6.7 m³ / s - 388 km²
    • Upper Lahn 4.0 m³ / s - 221 km²
      (up to the state border Hesse, + Treisbach)
    • Obere Dill 2.7 m³ / s - 167 km²
      (up to and including Dietzhölze, minus Aubach and Haigerbach)
  • Diemel: 4.3 m³ / s - 232 km²
    (Diemelsee + Hoppecke / Bredelar + Rhene)

Diemel river basin

The Diemel rises in the historical and at the same time in the natural spatial upland, on the western slope of the Kahler Pön . It flows off in a northeasterly direction and is dammed at Helminghausen to the Diemelsee . The western tributary of the lake is the Itter , which rises at the Hopperkopf , in the Langenberg natural area . At the confluence of the two rivers in the Diemelsee, the Itter carries noticeably more water at 1176 l / s (MQ) than the Diemel itself (785 l / s).

Only around 400 m north of the Itter spring is the Hoppecke spring at the eastern foot of the Clemensberg , also Langenberg . The Hoppecke , which rises there, flows through a deeply cut valley to the north, before turning to the east south of Brilon. The Schmala dam is located in the catchment area of ​​the Hoppecke . The Hoppecke is in the Schellhorn and Treiswald , the eastern part of the Hochsauerland Schluchtgebirge , the border of the two eponymous mountain ranges. The easternmost part of the Schellhorn and Treiswald around the Dommel is separated from the Itter.

The Rhene rises on the outermost (north) eastern edge of the Vorderpländer Ridge and thus of the entire Rothaargebirge around the Widdehagen , on whose northeastern roof with the Twiste the longest and most water-rich Diemel tributary, but which does not absorb any water from the natural Rothaargebirge.

River Eder

The Eder drains the area southeast of the main ridge. It rises on the Ederkopf , on the southern edge of the Oberste Henn massif , and initially circles this massif half-clockwise, touching the western edge of the Rothaargebirge in the west. In the further course it flows with many windings to the east, with numerous larger tributaries flowing from the main ridge, while the right tributaries remain rather short because of the close proximity to the Rhine-Weserscheide.

The valley of the Odeborn, flowing from the Asten massif in a south-westerly direction, along the B 480 , together with that of the Eder (in the outermost upper reaches itself, the B 62 ), forms the Wittgenstein Chamber . Further east flow u. a. Elsoff and Linspherbach from the Ziegenhelle massif, which adjoins the Asten massif to the southeast, to their destination river.

The Nuhne , which in turn comes from the Asten and drains to the southeast, forms the (north) eastern border of the Ziegenhellen massif to that of the Bollerberg in the headwaters and upper reaches of the B 236 , around the Rothaargebirge below Hallenberg in an initially clear eastward sweep towards the East Sauerland Leave the edge of the mountain and only flow into the Eder below Frankenberg . The B 236 shortens the path to the Eder and follows the lower reaches of the Linspherbach creek to the south of Bromskirchens.

The Orke , which rises near Küstelberg , also flows to the southeast. It first circles the Reetsberg massif , on the north flank of which it rises, in a counterclockwise direction and forms its south-western border to that of the Bollerberg, in order to quickly leave the actual Rothaargebirge in the direction of Medebacher Bucht . Your left tributary Wilde Aa , the source of which lies on the eastern slope of the Krutenberg in the Langenberg natural area , leaves the "actual" Rothaargebirge after just one kilometer of the source towards the edge of the mountain. The Neerdar flows towards it from the left , the upper course of which lies along the B 251 in the natural upland. Their source is in the immediate vicinity of the Diemel, on the eastern slope of the Kahlen Pön .

River area Lahn

The Lahn rises six kilometers southeast of the Eder spring at the Lahnhof located between the Lahnkopf in the northeast and the Stiegelburg in the southwest . The Lahn flows first to the northeast, later with many windings to the east and leaves the area of ​​the Rothaargebirge. The water of the Treisbach , which rises at the bagpipe and flows parallel to the north, comes to him only east of the mountains over the Wetschaft . From the right and thus south is the eastern watershed of the Banfe , main river of the Wittgensteiner Bergland , to the (other side) Perf exactly the border of the Rothaargebirge to the Gladenbacher Bergland , which is then half-circled clockwise by the Lahn until the Lahn about 100 river kilometers later and 40 km south of its exit point via which dill again takes up water from the Rothaargebirge.

The Dietzhölze rises immediately south of the sources of Banfe and Lahn on the Haincher Höhe , whose ridge line running to the southwest also represents the border between North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse. Following the ridge line 5 km further, there is also the source of its mother river Dill, which, like its tributary, soon leaves the mountains. Between the Dietzhölze, which initially flows to the east, and the Dill, which only turns to the east after a course to the south, lies the Struth , a ridge that looks like an extension of the Haincher Höhe in relief, but is already part of the natural Westerwald .

Sieg river basin

The catchment area of ​​the upper reaches of the Sieg is almost identical to the natural Siegerland , which the Rothaargebirge covers to the west. Nevertheless, the headwaters of the Sieg and some of its tributaries initially run for a minimal distance in the mountains themselves.

The Heller rises from the Kalteiche , the most south-westerly massif of the entire Rothaargebirge, on the northern slope of which its tributary Wildebach as well as, at the immediate interface to the Haincher Höhe, the Weiß rises. Their common mother river Sieg rises a good 15 km northeast of it on the Aukopf , directly between the sources of Eder (northwest) and Lahn (south) at a distance of only 3 km.

The right tributary of the Sieg Ferndorfbach , which frames the extreme western foothills of the mountains, the Hohe Wald massif , to the south, rises a good 10 km northwest of the Siegquelle in the west of the Rothaargebirge. The source of its tributary Littfe , which forms the western limit of the mountains, is located on the southwest slope of the Wolfshorn in the north of the aforementioned massif.

Ruhr river area

The Ruhr- Lenne sub-river system drains via the Hundem and its tributaries Olpe and Albaumer Bach the north-west of the Rothaargebirge, north-west of the south-west main ridge. The Olpe, already outside, at the southern foot of the Steinbrink in the southern Sauerland Rothaarvorhöhen , more or less frames the mountains along the B 517 and drains it via numerous right tributaries. Albaumer Bach and Hundem arise opposite directly on the main ridge at the respective north-west feet of Riemen and Hoher Hessel .
Even further northeast, where the main ridge is already part of the Winterberg highlands , the Latrop rises about 2 km northwest of the Rhine-Weser watershed between Saukopf and Albrechtsberg . The Lenne itself rises at the base of the ridge, on the Kahler Asten , and the B 236 follows its course .

The Ruhr spring is located at the Ruhrkopf , in the south of the Nordheller heights . The sub-river system Obere Ruhr mainly drains the elevations between the massifs of Hunau , Asten and the Langenberg Group to the north through the more western Hochsauerland gorge mountains ( Ramsbecker heights ), which are cut by the eponymous gorges of the river valleys. The Wenne rises just west of the actual mountains, on Robecker Berg , and frames the Hunau massif and gorge mountains , from which right tributaries come, from the west, with the B 517 following its valley. Henne , Kleine Henne , Brabecke , Valme , Elpe and Neger join to the east . To the right of the Ruhr accompanied by the B 480 in the upper reaches , directly on the Langenberg , is the source of the Gierskoppbach , whose valley separates the eastern part of the gorge mountains , the Schellhorn and Treiswald .

The Möhne rises only about two kilometers north of the Rothaargebirge in the south of Brilon , in the Brilon highlands (commonly known as the Brilon heights , with less defined boundaries ). To the north-east of that spring, in the same natural area, there is that of the Alme , which already drains to the Lippe . However, both rivers do not contribute to the drainage of the Rothaargebirge.

Table of the most important rivers in the Rothaar Mountains

In the following, the rivers of the Rothaargebirge and the immediately adjacent mountain ranges with a catchment area of ​​at least 30 km², listed clockwise, starting on the north side of the Rhine-Weser watershed.

For a better overview or for sorting downstream, depending on the river system, hyphens are inserted in the DGKZ digits after the digits of the respective main river.

Rivers in italics and marked with an asterisk (*) arise just outside (up to 4 km), on the outer slope of the Rothaar Mountains (natural spring area also with a star), but drain the Rothaar Mountains via tributaries.

Catchment area
(MQ) [l / s]

Hoppecke Diemel Diemel (l) 34.7 92.4 1679 Langenberg 333.58 44-2
Itter Diemel Diemel (l) 19.3 52.1 1176 Langenberg 333.58 44-14
Diemel Diemel Weser (l) 110.5 1762.0 15732 Upland 333.9 4-4
Rhene Diemel Diemel (r) 14.9 59.3 733 Upland 333.9 44-18
Neerdar Eder Wild Aa (l) 14.6 37.3 Upland 333.9 42846-4
Wild Aa Eder Orke (l) 27.1 126.4 1815 Langenberg 333.58 4284-6
Orc Eder Eder (l) 38.2 278.9 3845 Reetsberg massif 333.5? 428-4
Nuhne Eder Eder (l) 36.9 156.9 2662 Asten massif 333.5? 428-2
Linspherbach Eder Eder (l) 18.3 33.1 566 Wilde Struth (Ziegenhelle-Msv.) 333.50 428-18
Elsoff Eder Eder (l) 19.0 48.9 948 Wilde Struth (Ziegenhelle-Msv.) 333.50 428-16
Odeborn Eder Eder (l) 21.2 85.1 Asten massif 333.5? 428-14
Eder Eder Fulda (l) 176.1 3361.0 34791 Ederkopf-Lahnkopf back 333.01 42-8
Treisbach ^ Lahn Lahn (l) 26.4 196.2 1702 Bagpipe 333.3 258-18-6
Lahn Lahn Rhine (r) 245.6 5924.5 49500 Ederkopf-Lahnkopf back 333.01 2-58
Request Lahn Lahn (r) 11.8 38.9 Wittgensteiner Bergland 333.2 258-12
Dietzhölze Lahn- Dill Dill (l) 23.7 87.2 1431 Cold oak (with Haincher Höhe) 333.00 2584-4
dill Lahn- Dill Lahn (r) 54.0 717.7 9514 Cold oak (with Haincher Höhe) 333.00 258-4
Brighter victory Victory (l) 30.2 204.2 Cold oak (with Haincher Höhe) 333.00 272-2
Wildebach victory Brighter (r) 11.7 30.7 Cold oak (with Haincher Höhe) 333.00 2722-6
White victory Victory (l) 18.1 71.5 Cold oak (with Haincher Höhe) 333.00 272-16
victory victory Rhine (r) 155.2 2856.9 56600 Ederkopf-Lahnkopf back 333.01 2-72
Ferndorfbach victory Victory (r) 24.3 153.2 Western Rothaar Mountains 333.? 272-14
Littfe victory Ferndorfbach (r) 12.7 37.6 Western Rothaar Mountains 333.? 27214-6
Olpe * Ruhr- Lenne Dog (l) 15.4 47.2 Südsauerl. Red hair protrusions * 336.? 27662-8
Albaumer Bach Ruhr- Lenne Dog (l) 13.2 32.3 Southwest main ridge 333.? 27662-4
Dogs Ruhr- Lenne Lenne (l) 14.5 128.9 Southwest main ridge 333.? 2766-2
Latrop Ruhr- Lenne Lenne (l) 11.0 30.0 Southwest Winterberger Hochfl. 333.5? 2766-19
Lenne Ruhr- Lenne Ruhr (l) 129.1 1353.2 30300 Asten massif 333.5? 276-6
Wenne * Dysentery Ruhr (l) 31.3 218.6 3890 South Sauerland Uplands * 336 276-16
hen Dysentery Ruhr (l) 22.5 97.0 1740 Hunau massif 333.5? 276-14
Little hen Dysentery Hen (r) 15.3 39.8 771 Hunau massif 333.5? 27614-6
Brabecke Dysentery Valme (l) 13.6 32.4 612 Hunau massif 333.5? 27612-2
Valme Dysentery Ruhr (l) 19.7 62.7 Hunau massif 333.5? 276-12
Elpe Dysentery Ruhr (l) 19.7 34.4 Hunau massif 333.5? 276-118
Negroes Dysentery Ruhr (l) 17.7 53.9 Asten massif 333.5? 276-
Dysentery Dysentery Rhine (l) 219.3 4485.4 76300 Nordheller heights 333.5? 2-76
Gierskoppbach Dysentery Ruhr (r) 13.9 35.2 Langenberg 333.58 276-116

(^: For this table, the Treisbach has been extended by the estuary of the Wetschaft - which is hydrologically sensible as the Treisbach brings more water to the confluence with the Wetschaft than it does itself. Under the name Treisbach, the river is only 17.2 km long with 68.2 km² EZG and 810 l / S MQ!)

Still waters

The Rothaargebirge itself has hardly any lakes worth mentioning; however, its slope in all directions is rich in such:


Mountains according to natural areas and groups

The most famous (but not necessarily the highest) mountains of the Rothaargebirge, some of which consist of porphyry , include all "eight hundred" - primarily according to mountain ranges / natural areas, secondly according to height in meters (m) above sea level ) sorted:

Main mountains in tabular form

The following mountains of the Rothaargebirge are locally among the highest or have a particularly high dominance and / or prominence , so that they can be viewed as the main mountain of a natural area or at least a mountain group. The Roman numbers at Langenberg, Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge, Nordheller Höhen, Wittgenstein / Sackpfeife and Hoher Seite go from west to east, at Rothaar from northeast to southwest, at Ederkopf-Lahnkopf-ridge from north to south and at Kalteiche / Haincher Höhe again northeast to the southwest (contrary to the name). Main mountains of an independent montane natural area are lightened again, less dominant and prominent mountains are darkened.

Sub-natural space Height above sea level Dominance Prominence Remarks
Langenberg Langenberg I. 843.2 m 116 , 00km 557 , 0m
Hegekopf Langenberg IIIa 842.9 m 2.2 0km 77.3 m
Bare branches Astenberg 841.9 m 11.8 0km 184.3 m
Ettelsberg Langenberg IIIb 837.7 m 0.9 0km 40 , 0m Hochheideturm
Clemensberg Langenberg II 837 , 0m 1.9 0km 61 , 0m Summit removed and then backfilled
Hopper head Langenberg IIII 832.3 m 1.8 0km 78.4 m
Hunau Hunau 818.5 m 6.9 0km 139.0 m
Goat light Goat light 816.1 m 6.3 0km 170.5 m
Bremberg Astenberg-N 811.0 m 0.97 km 61.3 m
High Eimberg Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIIIc 806.1 m 3.5 0km 224 , 0m Schellhorn and Treiswald c
High Pön Langenberg IIIII 795 , 0m 1.3 0km 109 , 0m
Gerkenstein Astenberg-S 792.7 m 1.04 km 24.2 m Transition to Langewiese near Neuastenberg ; highest point in the Wittgensteiner Land (but now urban area of ​​Winterberg)
Nordhelle Nordheller heights II 792.6 m 4.4 0km 122 , 0m
Reetsberg High side IIb 791.6 m 3.5 0km 130.6 m Fuselage and highest mountain of the north wing of the High Side
Schlossberg High side IIc 790.8 m 1.65 km 95.9 m northernmost mountain on the high side, beyond the Küstelberg – Medebach road; defunct hill fort
Bald pon Langenberg IIIIII 775.6 m 2.43 km 80.8 m
Albrechtsberg Redhead Ia 771.2 m 6.9 0km 83.9 m Kühhuder Rothaar a; Base and main mountain of the same
Foremost high bone Lennekessel-SO 765.1 m 1.39 km 97.8 m
Rimberg Nordheller heights III 764.6 m 1.13 km 94.2 m
Hardt Hunau-NO 761.6 m 0.70 km 42.4 m
Big dud Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIIIb 760.0 m 0.97 km 78.3 m Schellhorn and Treiswald b
Bollerberg High side Ic 757.9 m 5.1 0km 124.9 m Highest mountain on the south wing of the High Side; Observation tower, telecommunications tower; borders directly on the Medebacher Bay to the southeast
Härdler Redhead IIa 756.0 m 11.9 0km 123.9 m Rüsper Rothaar a; Main mountain of the same
Istenberg Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIIIa 756.0 m 2.33 km 81 , 0m Schellhorn and Treiswald a. Without field stone 728 m, the southern neighbor Hömberg is only slightly higher at 730 m.
Old Grimme High side IIa 755.1 m 0.89 km 73.6 m westernmost higher mountain of the north wing of the high side
High side High side Ib 752.5 m 2.3 0km 92.5 m Fuselage of the south wing of the high side
Zwistberg Goat Light NW 747.0 m 2.6 0km 57.2 m southeast of Langewiese
Bastenberg Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIa 745.1 m 9.6 0km 248 , 0m Ramsberger back a
High Hessel Red hair IIb 743.4 m 2.29 km 60.5 m Rüsper Rothaar b; slightly south of the ridge line
Sow Inner Upland 741 , 0m 2.8 0km 130 , 0m
Big head Redhead ib 740.8 m 4.2 0km 43.6 m Kühhuder Rothaar b
Jüberg Hunau-SW 739.1 m 0.68 km 51.7 m northeast of Holthausen
Dommel Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIIId 738.0 m 3.8 0km 143 , 0m Schellhorn and Treiswald d
Stevenhagen Hunau-N 736.6 m 1.55 km 107.2 m 1.6 km southwest of Bödefeld ; The back ends there through the confluence of the palm in the Brabecke
Kahlenberg Nordheller heights II-N 732.8 m 2.5 0km 56.6 m
Wiedegge Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIc 732.3 m 5.15 km 190 , 0m Ramsbeck back c
Stick Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIb 731.8 m 2.73 km 190.0 m Ramsbeck back b
Heidberg Lennekessel-N 729.6 m 1.69 km 53.3 m
Steinberg Nordheller heights I 728.1 m 1.57 km 63.7 m NSG Steinberg an der Renau
Waldemei Lennekessel-M-NW 725.7 m 1.60 km 46.8 m south of Mittelorpe
Brings Hunau-NW 725.7 m 2.3 0km 99.4 m Base of the ridge to the Bastenberg , which only rises south of the Bödefelder Mulde
Stone marrow head Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIb-S 723.5 m 2.88 km 106.4 m Ramsbecker back bS, immediately north of the Bödefelder Mulde; NSG Steinmarkskopf-Hardenberg
Homburg Goat light SW 721.8 m 2.12 km 66.1 m northeast of Wemlighausen
Heidkopf Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IId 715.3 m 2.67 km 220 , 0m Ramsbeck back d
Hömberg Hunau-ONO 714.9 m 0.80 km 92.0 m southwest of Siedlinghausen
Rimberg Hunau-M-WNW 713.1 m 0.97 km 81.9 m
Kahleberg Rothaar IIb-NW 711.4 m 1.48 km 65.6 m Northwest foothills , 1.5 km southwest of Milchenbach
Heidkopf Goat light-SO 704.1 m 1.96 km 63.7 m
Wesenberg Lennekessel-M 705.3 m 1.47 km 50.2 m between Nordenau in the NE and Westfeld in the S
Ohlberg Lennekessel-NW 699.0 m 0.70 km 100.8 m to the north the immediate neighbor to the Hunau massif, but separated by deep gaps; east-northeast of Holthausen
compass Ederkopf-Lahnkopf back II 694.1 m 21.7 0km 127.7 m
Hockenstein Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIa-W 693.4 m 1.29 km 62.3 m Ramsbecker back aW, west (left) of the Nierbach ; NSG Hockenstein
Hackelberg Goat light-NO 690.5 m 1.07 km 53.4 m south of Züschen
Hemberg Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IIIIc-N 688.9 m 2.85 km 80.8 m Schellhorn and Treiswald c, extreme north, west of Bontkirchen
Ebschloh Wittgenstein Ib 686.5 m 9.3 0km 105.8 m
Bear head Wittgenstein IIa 681.2 m 9.7 0km 113.0 m 2 km southeast of Sassenhausen
belt Red hair IIc 678.2 m 5.06 km 62.8 m Rüsper Rothaar c
Schmallenberger Höhe Red-haired Ia-NW 677.9 m 0.82 km 32.7 m Kühhuder Rothaar a-NW, in it an independent sub-natural area, which frames the Latrop Gorge of the Upper Latrop like a ridge . This also includes the height (693.8 m) as its base. Almost 2 km south-southeast of Grafschaft , steeply sloping towards there and very concise from the north side (250 m above the Grafschaft stream ).
Colonel Henn Ederkopf-Lahnkopf back I 676.5 m 4.9 0km 95.8 m
Bagpipe Wittgenstein III 673.5 m 9.2 0km 158 , 0m own natural space; in Hessen
Nesselbergskopf Wild Struth 673.4 m 2.92 km 34.8 m 3.5 km east of Bad Berleburg ; the most dominant mountain of the Wild Struth, in which between the foothills of the Ziegenhelle in the north and the Edertal in the south, the dominance of the more important mountains is mostly only 1–1.5 km
Sellerberg High side Ia 672.6 m 1.91 km 119.9 m Cornerstone of the high side in the extreme southwest, northwest of Liesen
Borberg Hochsauerland Gorge Mountains III 670.2 m 2.85 km 125.7 m Habuch
Winter box High side IId 662.5 m 1.33 km 114.3 m Main mountain of the upstream lower storey of the north wing of the high side; 3 km northwest of Medelon
Hömberg Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge I-SO 661.4 m 1.40 km 118.8 m Henneborner back SO; west of Oberrarbach
Birch hedge Wittgenstein Ia 661.2 m 2.06 km 80.5 m southern neighbor of Ebschloh , west of Rückershausen
Pfaffenhain Redhead IId 658.5 m 4.2 0km 77.2 m Rüsper Rothaar d; The famous Gillerturm is only 560 m away at 653.7 m
Castle head Red hair IIb-SW 661.1 m 2.07 km 54.1 m Auer Ederbergland left of the Eder, 3 km west of Aue ; branches off orographically from the Hohen Hessel; the height of the head of the castle by name (658 m) is often shown on maps on a rough scale
Wilzenberg Lennekessel-W 658.3 m 2.23 km 159.6 m singular edge mountain
High forest Brachthaus Hohe Waldberge I 656.4 m 10.7 0km 185.7 m
Golden shrub Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IN 653.6 m 3.1 0km 138.0 m Henneborner back N
High head Wittgenstein Ic 650.8 m 2.71 km 82.6 m south of the watershed between two stream valleys, east of Amtshausen
Upper corner Wilde Struth (ON) 649.3 m 0.97 km 81 , 0m south of Dachsloch ; the most prominent mountain of the Wild Struth, in which the notch heights of the more important elevations are usually only 30-40 m
Great Ahlertsberg Wittgenstein IIII 644.9 m 5.2 0km 173.1 m on the right the Lahn
High wait Wilde Struth (OS) 644.8 m 1.92 km 60 , 0m despite the seemingly low values, both one of the most dominant and one of the most prominent mountains of the Wild Struth on the eastern edge of the same
stone Wittgenstein IIb 644.1 m 2.7 0km 65.1 m State border with Hesse
Wolf horn Brachthaus Hohe Waldberge IN 643.6 m 2.27 km 116.6 m
shrub Wittgenstein Id 643.0 m 3.98 km 107.9 m Auer Ederbergland to the right of the Eder, northeast of Birkelbach ; Altitude is often shown on rough-scale maps
Buchholz Wittgenstein IIc 643.0 m 2.70 km 103 , 0m in Hesse, 2 km northwest of Weifenbach
Gilsterhagen Hunau-W 642.7 m 1.61 km 44.3 m in the arched ridge of Buchhagen ; Randberg to the Fredeburg Chamber (exit gap at 535.2 m) northwest of Bad Fredeburg
North Hell Cold oak (with Haincher Höhe) Ia 641.1 m 1.74 km 43.0 m Base of the Haincher Höhe , 3 km northwest of Rittershausen
On the highest Brachthaus Hohe Waldberge II 638.3 m 4.4 0km 81.1 m immediately east of Brachthausen
Widdehagen Vorderpländer back 634.7 m 6.1 0km 93 , 0m
Kindelsberg Brachthaus Hohe Waldberge IS 618.5 m 3.36 km 142.3 m
Stüvelhagen Brachthaus Hohe Waldberge II-N 617.0 m 2.49 km 68.1 m immediately west of Albaum
Haincher height Cold oak (with Haincher height) Ib 609.0 m 2.02 km 27.3 m ridge-like continuation of the Ederkopf-Lahnkopf ridge to the Kalteiche
Cold oak Cold oak (with Haincher Höhe) II 579.9 m 6.3 0km 73.7 m Completion of the mountains to the southwest
Lumberg Hochsauerländer Schluchtgebirge IW 559.6 m 2.27 km 114.3 m Henneborner back-W; western cornerstone of the gorge mountains southeast of Bremke


The main towns of these independent communities are in the Rothaargebirge or in the immediate vicinity (*) (the districts in North Rhine-Westphalia in brackets - HSK = Hochsauerlandkreis , OE = Olpe , SI = Siegen-Wittgenstein and Hessen - KB = Waldeck-Frankenberg , MR = Marburg-Biedenkopf ) :

Furthermore, in the Hochsauerlandkreis there are districts of Medebach ( Küstelberg , Medelon *), Bestwig ( Andreasberg *, Ramsbeck *), Meschede ( Remblinghausen *), Eslohe ( Reiste *, Beisinghausen *, Bremke *), in the Hessian Lahn-Dill district those of Haiger ( Offdilln *, Dillbrecht *) and Dietzhölztal ( Rittershausen *), in the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg those of Korbach ( Rhena *) and Diemelsee ( Ottlar *, Stormbruch *) in or near the natural area.

It is noticeable that only two cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants (Winterberg, Berleburg) and two independent municipalities (Willingen, Erndtebrück) are located in the interior of the low mountain range - half of these are in the Wittgensteiner Land , while its third location (Laasphe) is not the city itself, but almost all incorporated districts are in the interior.

In the Hochsauerlandkreis, apart from Küstelberg, the high places were largely incorporated into Winterberg, Brilon, Olsberg and Schmallenberg, in the Olpe district all the high villages went to Kirchhundem, in Waldeck-Frankenberg all to Willingen; in the Siegerland, Lützel (to Hilchenbach) is the only high place.


Geology of the Rothaargebirge and its surroundings; the outer boundaries of the Rump Mountains are drawn in with dots.

There are hardly any geological structures of their own in the geomorphology of the Rothaargebirge. The elevation, which is clearly visible from a distance, compared to the surrounding area has practically no effect on the surrounding rocks. From the Siegener Sattel in the southwest to the Wittgensteiner Mulde in the northeast, the rocks from the Devonian to the Lower Carboniferous become younger without any geological peculiarities being recognizable at the edges; whereby the rocks of the Lower Carboniferous lead roughly to the east Sauerland mountain edge, but within the Devonian rocks the altitude does not change noticeably.


Rothaargebirge: Sculpture Stein-Zeit-Mensch on the Waldskulpturenweg near Bad Berleburg -Kühhude

Numerous hiking trails lead through the Rothaargebirge , including the Rothaarsteig , a 154 km long high-altitude hiking trail, and the forest sculpture trail, on which there are numerous works of art and sculptures by various artists.

Every October the Rothaarsteig Marathon starts in Fleckenberg , where the runners have to cope with an altitude difference of 838 m.

In winter there are numerous winter sports opportunities in the mountains. Corresponding possibilities are available in the Postwiesen ski area (near Neuastenberg) Skiliftkarussell Winterberg and in Snow World Züschen .

Within or on the edge of the Rothaargebirge there are the amusement parks Panorama-Park Sauerland Wildpark and the Fort Fun Adventure Land , based on the theme "Wild West" .

Wild bison

European bison have been living freely in the forests of the Siegen-Wittgenstein district since April 2013 . The scientific and legal requirements that had to be met for the release to the wild included, among other things, that natural escape behavior and a natural escape distance should be achieved. For a transition period of two to five years, the herd was equipped with GPS transmitters for tracking purposes. It should grow to an initial size of 25 animals.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Topographical Information Management, Cologne District Government, Department GEObasis NRW ( information )
  2. a b Emil Meynen , Josef Schmithüsen (Editor): Handbook of the Natural Region Divisions of Germany . Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Remagen / Bad Godesberg 1953–1962 (9 deliveries in 8 books, map 1: 1,000,000 with main units 1954, updated 1960), therein in the 4th / 5th. Delivery 1957:
    Wilhelm Hartnack : 332 Wittgensteiner Land (p. 496–500) and 333 Hochsauerland (p. 501–504)
  3. a b c Gerhard Sandner : Geographical land survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 125 Marburg. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1960. →  Online map (PDF; 4.9 MB)
  4. a b c d e f Martin Bürgener: Geographical Land Survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 111 Arolsen. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1963. →  Online map (PDF; 4.1 MB)
  5. a b c d e f Martin Bürgener: Geographical Land Survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 110 Arnsberg. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1969. →  Online map (PDF; 6.1 MB)
  6. a b c Heinz Fischer: Geographical Land Survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 124 Siegen. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1972. →  Online map (PDF; 4.1 MB)
  7. Map and legend of the natural areas of Hesse (online copy of Die Naturraum Hessens , Otto Klausing 1988) in the Hessen Environmental Atlas of the Hessian State Office for Environment and Geology
  8. a b The Kahle Pön is, however, counted as part of the Inner Upland on Blatt Arolsen, although it clearly towers above its mountains and is directly connected to the other mountains of the Langenberg natural area.
  9. Calculated 360 ° panorama ( U. Deuschle ; notes ) from the Haincher Höhe towards Hainchen
  10. Blatt Siegen largely adheres to the map in the 1960 handbook!
  11. a b c Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  12. GeoViewer of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Raw Materials ( information )
  13. ^ Emil Meynen , Josef Schmithüsen (Ed.): Handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany . Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Remagen / Bad Godesberg 1953–1962 (9 deliveries in 8 books, updated map 1: 1,000,000 with main units 1960).
  14. a b Water map service of the Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection ( information )
  15. a b Level directory of the Ruhr dam control center ( information )
  16. ^ Deutsches Gewässerkundliches Jahrbuch Weser-Ems 2008 Lower Saxony State Agency for Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation, accessed on January 22, 2016 (PDF, German, 6184 kB).
  17. a b On sheet 111 Arolsen the Langenberg was added to the Nordheller heights. Its notch to Bremberg, however, is at 688.8 m, while its to Remberg and Steinberg is at 664.4 m. Therefore, it is more like a branch offshoot.
  18. Dominance to Asten , notch at about 768.5 m
  19. Dominance and prominence to Sange in the south, notch at 719.2 m
  20. Notch from Hömberg to Nordriedel of Langenberg at 665.3 m.
  21. a b See also Ziegenhelle # Mountains and peaks of the natural area !
  22. Dominance and prominence to the Heikersköpfchen in the north; Notch at 687.4 m
  23. dominance for Kahler Bauke the east, col, 629.4 m immediately east of Osterwald
  24. Dominance and prominence to the northwesternmost Astenberg foothills, notch at 676.3 m on the northeast flank
  25. Dominance to the Kuhlenberg , Scharte to the Langenberg at 664.4 m.
  26. Dominance and prominence to Heidberg , Scharte at 678.9 m northeast of the mountain
  27. Dominance to Lansenberg , north-west summit of the Hardt , in the south; Prominence to the Stüppel in the north, Scharte at 619.3 m in Heinrichsdorf
  28. Dominance to Sange , Prominenz to ebender or to Hardt ; Notch at 622.9 m on the western flank
  29. Dominance and prominence (notch at 645.8 m) to the Riesenberg , which, like the Hohe Hessel , has its ridge base on the Wildhöfer .
  30. Dominance to Heerhagen in the northeast, notch at 655.1 m on the eastern flank (to Astenberg foothills from Neuastenberg )
  31. Dominance and prominence to the Jüberg in the north, notch at 598.2 m.
  32. Dominance and prominence on the Bastenberg ; Notch at 631.1 m on the southeast flank
  33. Dominance and prominence to the northeastern foothills of the Ziegenhelle (Bächenkopf / Radenstein), Scharte at 637.1 m
  34. Dominanz zum Dommel , Scharte zum Dreiskopf at approx. 608 m immediately southwest of the Hembergs.
  35. Dominanz zum Ebschloh , Scharte to the same place at 568.2 m on the state road Leimstruth - Amtshausen
  36. Dominance and prominence (notch at 645.2 m) to the height (693.8 m, dominance 1.03 km, notch to the northwestern foothills of the Albrechtsberg at 659.6 m), which in turn is part of the Schmallenberger Höhe in the broader sense . The height is shown on sheet 111 Arolsen from 1963 as a normal part of the Kühhuder Rothaar, but in sheet 110 Arnsberg (also Martin Bürgener), published six years later , it was interpreted as part of the sub-natural area Schmallenberger Höhe.
  37. Dominance and prominence on the Hemchesberg in the northeast; Scharte in the south of Latzbruch at 638.6 m
  38. See also Hohe Seite # Sellerberg Group .
  39. See also Hohe Seite # Winter box group .
  40. Dominance and prominence for the inhibitor in the southeast; Notch at 542.6 m on its own southeast flank; Martun Bürgener just added it to Hunau on sheet 110, but marked the border as not definable as a line . If you count him and the Oberrarbach basin, which is locked by him, to the Hennebornern, the boundaries are very sharp, as his gap is very deep. The basin is also very typical of the natural area (which also otherwise contains the entire catchment area of ​​the Rarbach upper reaches), while the Hunau, apart from the Osterwalder Senke, is free of lowlands.
  41. Dominanz zum Ebschloh, Scharte to the same at 580.7 m
  42. ^ Dominance to Colonel Henn , prominence to the belt ; According to the DGM, it is 581.3 m between Hüttenberg and Buchhelle
  43. Scharte to Hohen Hessel , at 607.0 m where the Dengelsiepen (easternmost brook from the Röspe system ) and the Kappel almost touch; the main summit of the long ridge (1.25 km from Heiligenholz in the N to the Burgkopf in the S at always over 646.7 m) is actually nameless
  44. Dominanz zum Ebschloh , Scharte to the main ridge at 568.2 m on the state road Leimstruth - Amtshausen .
  45. Dominance and prominence to the Habichtscheid in the north, Scharte at Dachsloch
  46. Dominanz zum Burgkopf , Scharte to Ebschloh at 535.1 m in Melbach , roundabout exit towards Rinthe .
  47. Dominance to the stone , notch to the north-western neighbor pin according to the old measuring table Laasphe at 540 m; at a scale of 1: 12,500, only 638.3 m are displayed.
  48. ↑ The northern neighbor (632.4 m) is called Gelsterhagen , on the local mountain the field name Aufm Gilsterhagen is written ; Dominance and prominence to the Bergstey (660.9 m) in the northeast, highest point of the Buchhagen; Notch at 598.4 m.
  49. Dominance to the compass , prominence to the Jagdberg , notch at 598.1 m.
  50. Dominance to the Zapfen near Rothaarkamm, Scharte there at 557.2 m between Schartenberg and Albaumer Höhe , southeast of Brachthausen
  51. Dominance to Auf dem Höchst im S, Scharte then at 548.9 m
  52. Dominanz zum Hansbeul (574.3 m), notch at 445.3 m northeast of Kirchilpe
  53. Deutsche Welle: “The bison are returning to Germany”. Accessed April 11, 2013
  54. Information Service Science - Katja Knoche: Wisents are ready to be released
  55. bison world Wittgenstein: "Bison-knowledge" Retrieved on April 11, 2013


Web links

Physico-geographical sources


Commons : Rothaargebirge  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Rothaargebirge  - travel guide