The city of Oerlinghausen lies in the transition area between the Teutoburg Forest and the Senne. Here, the two major German landscapes of the North German Plain and the low mountain range collide directly. The mountain ranges of the Teutoburg Forest reach heights of over 300 m in Oerlinghausen and, in connection with the flat areas of the Senne, represent an extremely varied landscape.
On the western edge of the highest mountain of Oerlinghausen, the Tönsberg, the Kumsttonne is located, the ruin of an old windmill from 1753, near the city centre, a landmark of the city. The glider airfield, the large-scale nature conservation project Senne and Teutoburg Forest and the archaeological open-air museum are further attractions for sports, nature and history enthusiasts.
Extensive forest areas extend over a large part of the urban area.