On the trail of semi-wild cattle and horses, the “Ochsentour” invites nature lovers to hike through the Wistinghauser. From the Archaeological Open-Air Museum in Oerlinghausen, the “Ochsentour” takes hikers across the southern limestone ridge of the Teutoburg Forest. Here beech trees, some of which are over 100 years old, form an internal forest. With a bit of luck, you will be able to see a black woodpecker.
After a few hundred metres you leave the dense Teutoburg Forest and cross a large sand pit. Suddenly you stand in the open landscape of the Senne, surrounded by heaths and sandy areas. Further south the hike leads to a lookout point. From here you overlook the Oerlinghausen glider airfield and a paddock of the major nature conservation project. With a little luck you can see Scottish highland cattle and Exmoor ponies grazing on the sandy grasslands. In the further course the “Ochsentour” lives up to its name. You can now enter the clear forest areas through stiles with the cattle and horses roaming around freely. The hiking trail leads through extensive pine forests. Here you can watch the grazing animals of the large-scale nature conservation project up close while maintaining the landscape. It can happen that the highland cattle block the way for visitors during a digestive nap. But be careful: Even if the animals are very gentle, a minimum distance of 25 m should always be maintained.
After around 1.5 km you leave the grazing land. At the foot of the slope of the Teutoburg Forest, the path leads back to the starting point.
The “Ochsentour” is approx. 11 km long. The duration of the hike is approx. 3:30 h.
- Open-air archaeological museum Oerlinghausen (Am Barkhauser Berg 2-6, Oerlinghausen)
- Glider airfield Oerlinghausen (Stukenbrocker Weg 43, Oerlinghausen)
- Friends of Nature House Oerlinghausen (Welschenweg 111, Oerlinghausen
- Hikers’ car park at the Bokelfenner Krug (crossing Westerholter Strasse and Bokelfenner Strasse, near the Pension Bokelfenn, Oerlinghausen)
Experience senses on the “Ochsentour”
The water treading basin at the source of the Sachsen is located near the “Ochsentour”. Here you can feel the Senne: Step barefoot into the pool and feel the 9°C cold spring water on your skin.
In addition to the refreshing effect, treading in water is very healthy. It strengthens the immune system, promotes blood flow and stimulates the circulation and metabolism. But other senses are also addressed on the “Ochsentour”: Notice your sense of smell or your hearing. In the forests of the Wistinghauser Senne there is a typical smell of cattle and horses. The neighing of the horses and the mooing of the cows can be heard far through the paddocks – smells and noises that are unfamiliar to ordinary forests.
Sights on the ”Ochsentour”
Sand is still actively being mined in the sand pit near Oerlinghausen. Large heaths could develop in areas that have fallen into disuse. A hike is particularly worthwhile when the heather is in bloom in August. Two viewpoints at the sand pit offer a great view of the landscape.At the limestone quarry, south of the Oerlinghausen Archaeological Open-Air Museum, there is another vantage point. After the lime extraction was abandoned, the limestone grasslands and the rocks were secured for nature conservation.