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Hiking Trail

Gambach und Hirtenwiese – Juniper heath south of Burbach

· 3 reviews · Hiking Trail · Siegerland-Wittgenstein
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A touch of the Luneburg Heath – in the Gambach near Burbach visitors can admire the last big juniper heath in the District of Siegen-Wittgenstein.
8.5 km
2:27 h
229 m
229 m
Once the Juniper heathland of the Gambach above the village of Burbach formed a continuous link between the plateau of the Westerwald and the lower-lying southern Siegerland. It served as animal pasture and provided the required area for the cattle drives, which are still recollected by the name "Hirtenwiese" (shepherd's meadow) given to the forest glade near the southern part of the circular trail. Due to changes in agriculture practices and to afforestation, large parts of the juniper heathland were lost.

Starting in 1985, extensive, conservation activities, partly carried out by unpaid volunteers, led to the preservation and restoration of the original landscape character and of the important protected habitats.

Between the Junipers of many different shapes and sizes that characterise the area a diverse range of plants cover the ground. The large areas of Heather are particularly eye-catching. In August its flowers coat the area with a purple sheen. At this time, the warm yellow bloom of the Arnica, an ancient medicinal herb, is already gone. Just like the rare Mat-Grass, Arnica prefers barren locations.

Amidst these botanical highlights, Red-backed Shrikes can also be discovered on the heath in some years.

Author’s recommendation

The juniper heathland presents itself at its best when the heather blooms purple in the autumn. User
Holger Krafft, Katharina Wrede
Updated: March 10, 2020

Highest point
579 m
Lowest point
398 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Because of the rough path through the juniper heathland a degree of surefootedness is required.

Tips, hints and links

A leaflet describing the area can be downloaded from

In the immediate vicinity of the circular path, the nationally-known Rothaarsteig trail traverses the uplands between Würgendorf and Lützeln. It links up with the Rothaarsteig branch-trail "Trödelstein-Pfad" and the Rothaarsteig-Audiowanderweg "Großer Stein".

An unusual hiking trail is the theme trail "Literatur in der Natur - Romantischer Hickengrund". This combines literature audio texts with nature experience.

The local museum Heimatmuseum in der Alten Vogtei in Burbach offers functional historical workshops and information about the history of the town.


Car park Gambach, Burbach (507 m)
50.730131, 8.073427
32U 434606 5620224


Car park Gambach, Burbach

Turn-by-turn directions

From the hiking car park you can follow the path, , which is marked with yellow-topped posts, downhill across the heath. At the bottom fringe of the forest you leave the heath. Passing through a coniferous forest and later through an oak-birch coppice, you return to Burbach. In the village, the path makes a 180-degree turn and then takes you back uphill to an old Oak-Beech forest, where you may be lucky enough to see Middle-spotted and Black Woodpeckers. Now a steep section of the trail again takes you uphill until you reach the hilltop where the storm "Kyrill" flattened large areas of the spruce stands in 2007. The trail continues along the ridge to the Hirtenwiese, from which it is not far to the starting point at the top edge of the heath. The approximately 8-km-long circular route is almost identical to the Burbach circular hiking trail B2.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

The heath is very easy to reach by public transport, because Hellertalbahn trains stop in Burbach.

Getting there

At the roundabout in the centre of Burbach village, drive uphill in the direction of Lippe (L 723). About one kilometre after leaving the village you will already see the heath on your left alongside the road. Drive past the end of the heath and at the top turn left onto a dirt track which leads directly to the Wanderparkplatz (hiking car park).

Address for satnavs: Gambach / L723, 57299 Burbach

GPS (UTM): 32 U 434583, 5620241

Google coordinates: 50.730221, 8.073299


At the hiking car park "Gambach".
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Book „Naturschätze Südwestfalens entdecken“ (ISBN: 9783000481215)

Author’s map recommendations

Hiking map Wanderkarte Burbach, 1: 25,000. mr-cartography, price: € 7.90

Book recommendations for this region:

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Recommended maps for this region:

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Sturdy footwear is recommended.

Questions & Answers

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Jochen Wahl 
September 15, 2019 · Community
Habe die Tour schon mehrfach gemacht. Immer wieder gut. Gut beschildert und zum Ende ein Eis in Burbach.
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Done at July 06, 2019
Dieter Mülhoff 
May 01, 2018 · Community
Schöne Waldwege, herrliche Landschaft
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Maximilian Jedemann
October 31, 2016 · Community
Sehr schöne und abwechslungsreiche Strecke.
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Sonntag, 30. Oktober 2016, 17:25 Uhr
Photo: Maximilian Jedemann, Community

Photos from others

8.5 km
229 m
229 m
Loop Cultural/historical value Botanical highlights


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