Hürtgen Forest

The Hurtgenwald is about 20 km long, mostly wooded and up a high ridge 15 km from Aachen in Aachen region and in the district of Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany).

Geographical location

The Hurtgenwald is located in the North Eifel Nature Park, the northern part of the cross-border German-Belgian Nature Park Venn-Eifel. It is located in the square of the towns in the north Eschweiler, Düren in the Northeast, the South and Simmerath Roetgen the southwest. The municipality is located Hurtgenwald – including the district Hürtgen – east of its main ridge.

The Hurtgenwald rises to the southwest, where he (the long lap) obtained at the federal highway 399 in the forest standing next to a water tank its highest point. Its ridge thus rises approximately over its foreland. The highest point in its northern part is the high Knipp cats.

The above ground drainage from the Hurtgenwald takes place mainly in the north on the dammed through the northeastern Wehebach dam Wehebach which opens at Lamersdorf in the Inde. Even in its southwestern part of the current flowing through the dam Dreilaegerbach Dreilaegerbach Vicht drained by the creek in the Inde. The forest lies within the catchment area of the river Meuse.


The Hurtgenwald receives high rainfall of the advancing pressing from the west Atlantic low foothills. The mean annual rainfall is between 800 mm and 1,000 mm in the northeast in the higher southwest.


The near-surface geological subsoil of Hürtgen consists mainly of Devonian sandstone s, s mudstone and greywacke and slate n Carboniferous age.


The Hurtgenwald was part of the defense of the Western Wall. He was therefore known during the Second World War through the Battle of the Hurtgenwald in autumn 1944. This called on both sides many lives.

In memory of the devastating battles every year on the second Saturday in October, the Hürtgenwaldmarsch place of, organized by the German Armed Forces reservists, many civilian participant.


The ridge of Hürtgen is predominantly forested. Main tree species is spruce, but does not occur there naturally. Due to the extensive forest destruction by the fighting in the Second World War, but also because of large Reparationshiebe large areas were planted from the 1960s. The majority of the forests in Hurtgenwald is not older than 50 years. For afforestation s first was only the quick vigorous spruce available. With the swing of forest policy in North Rhine-Westphalia towards near-natural forest management was mainly planted with hardwood and especially with beech from the 1990s again. Beech forests provide to almost all our sites Hürtgen the potential natural vegetation. The beech is given under the high rainfall optimal growth conditions. The vigor shows itself, for example, that they can be used in open areas for the rear plantations and several times cut back without taking. In open areas and in villages on the outskirts of Hürtgen characterize many old and tall beeches grew up the landscape. The cooler climate here has the contract terminates, Beech replaced the heat-loving summer Linde, which gives the town its image in lower layers.

Economic use

The “Forest Hurtgenwald” has a total forest area of ​​300 km ² and lies both in the area of ​​Düren and the district of Aachen. It was identical to the former District Forest Office of Hurtgenwald was composed of private, municipal and state forest. The “State Forest Hurtgenwald” is 110 km ². Owned by the Land North Rhine-Westphalia, represented by the Regional Forestry Office Rureifel Jülich crimp the country’s forest operation and wood NRW. Of about 90 to 100 km ² core area of state forest s is between Wehebach Dreilaegerbach dam and reservoir. Both dams are the water Eifel-Rur affiliated and provide the Aachen area with drinking water.

In the villages on the western fall of the Hürtgen are several sawmills. The wood processing industry there has its rightful place. Location influences were the timber wealth of the forest and the possibility of utilizing the water power at the foot of the ridge. The many creeks with permanent water flow allowed the establishment of sawmills.


The Hurtgenwald part of the North Eifel Nature Park. A landmark in its northern part is the ruin of monastery Schwarzbroich. In many places, there is wide views of the Bay of Cologne and the Zuelpicher flare.

The Hurtgenwald itself is accessible by hiking trails. One of a club founded specifically to supervised forest trail opens up on several boards information about forest history of the North Eifel. He is the oldest trail in the North Eifel Nature Park and goes through the Gieschbach and the Solchbachtal in two cases. The trail is part of the “Moor-route”, the German-Belgian cycling and hiking trail through the cross-border nature reserve. On forest roads and bike can be ridden.


The federal highways 264 in the north and northeast, east and southeast in the 399 and 258 in the southwest and west pass by the Hurtgenwald. Of these, several roads branch off running through the woods country road n.

Forest area in Europe

Forest area in North Rhine-Westphalia

Forest area in the Aachen region

Geography (Düren)


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