Vulkamaar-Pfad: Windsborn-Kratersee, © Eifel Tourismus GmbH - D. Ketz
  • Strecke: 27.1 km
  • Duration: 08:30 h
  • Schwierigkeit: hard

VulkaMaar Trail


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“Wander through” millions of years of history in a single day along the 26-kilometre VulkaMaar Trail around Manderscheid. Over the first few kilometres, the trail follows the Eifelsteig route. The small river Lieser accompanies you down in the valley. Later, the trail crosses the Kleine Kyll on a wooden bridge, before a very narrow path ascends up to the Wolfsschlucht ravine over large rocks, some of which are slippery. The VulkaMaar Trail continues towards the Windsborn hill crater lake, the only crater lake north of the Alps. It is part of the group of volcanoes of the 517-metre high Mosenberg hill. The route soon passes through the small town of Meerfeld before continuing uphill. At the next place offering an opportunity to rest, you can enjoy the wonderful view onto Meerfeld and the maar of the same name from the “Landesblick” viewing tower. Up and downhill, following narrow paths and with a final look out onto the Manderscheid castles, the start and finishing point of this nine-hour hike is reached at Manderscheid.

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Marking of the tour:

  • Wegmarkierung Wanderweg VulkaMaar-Pfad
gpx: files/vulkamaar-pfad-routenanpassung-2021

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Highlights auf der Strecke

Windsborn Kratersee

Windsborn Kratersee, © GesundLand Vulkaneifel/D. Ketz

In contrast to a Maar rainwater collected in the cinder cone crater which was formed during an explosion about 80,000 years ago. This is how the only crater lake north of the Alps was created, which is constantly filled with rainwater: Windsborn Crater Lake. The lake lies 497 metres a.s.l. The crater has a diameter of 300 metres and is about 30 metres deep. The lake is a little smaller. Its surface has 13,000 square metres and it is 80 to 150 centimetres deep. However, the crater lake is silting up from the outside in and is slowly shrinking.
Many feel the atmosphere on the shallow lake as fairy tale. Narrow wooden walkways protrude onto the water and invite you to look at the reflected sky on your stomach. Rare plant species like blooming white fever clover, marsh blood eye or peat moss settled on the lakeside areas. Also rare animal species like endangered dragonflies found a new home in the siltation zones. The unique biotope has been under protection since the 1990s. Therefore, in addition to swimming, fishing at the lake was also prohibited and a substitute fishing water was set up between the Mosenberg and the small village Bettenfeld.
The lake is surrounded by a ring wall of slag agglomerate up to 30 metres high. An absolute if sweaty must is the ascent to the crater rim rising above the water level. Once there, the summit offers a unique view of the surrounding Eifel landscape und the Mosenberg-Meerfeld volcano group.

Visitors should use the parking places Hinkelsmaar/Kratersee or the parking place near the substitute fishing water. Starting in Manderscheid you can take road no. L16 and simply follow the signs at the entrance of Bettenfeld. From here, it takes about twenty minutes to hike to the crater lake.                                                                                                                                                                            

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More information about this route

Start: Kurhaus Manderscheid

Destination: Kurhaus Manderscheid

Distance: 27.1 km

Duration: 08:30 h

Difficulty: hard

Tour-type: Hiking

Ascent: 1,022 m

Descent: 1,022 m


  • Round tour

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54595 Prüm
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