Limestone Grassland

It couldn't be more species-rich: up to 40 or more different plant species and numerous animal species adapted to them can be found per square meter of limestone grassland.

Limestone grasslands are among the most species-rich grassland communities in the country. Up to 40 or more different plant species and numerous adapted animal species can be found per square meter. From early spring to the start of winter, violet pasqueflowers, yellow sun roses, blue gentian, colorful orchids and bright gold thistles delight us with their splendor of color. Common companions are juniper bushes, which are despised by grazing animals because of their prickliness and have spread as pasture weeds.

  • wandering through juniper heathland
  • juniper heathland
  • juniper heathland at Gönnersdorf

Open heathland landscapes

The lean grasslands are mainly found in the Middle Devonian limestone hollows, several of which run through the Vulkaneifel (Dollendorfer, Hillesheimer, Gerolsteiner and Salmwald limestone hollows). The open heath landscapes of the limestone hollows were created here through forest clearance and centuries of agricultural pasture use. Often in flat hilltops and south-facing slopes, they have summer dryness and a warm microclimate. Numerous relics of this originally widespread landscape type have been preserved in the Gerolstein/Pelm, Üxheim/Niederehe, Wiesbaum-Mirbach and Gönnersdorf/Lissendorf areas. They are maintained today by continuing traditional sheep grazing.

Hiking trails
through the limestone grasslands near Gönnersdorf

  • Hippelsteinchen

    Wanderwege im Gerolsteiner Land Gönnersdorf: Hippelsteinchen und Fernsichten

    Ein abwechslungsreicher Rundweg mit geologischen und botanischen Highlights, sowie herrlichen Panoramablicken über die Vulkaneifel.  

    • Schwierigkeitsgrad: leicht
    • Strecke: 7,6 km -
    • Dauer: 2:15 Std.
    • Aufstieg: 148 hm -
    • Abstieg: 148 hm


  • Mühlsteinhöhle Gerolstein-Roth

    Muße-Pfad Vulkanpfad

    Im Reich seiner Majestät Vulcanus - dem Gott des Feuers
    Von Jünkerrath nach Gerolstein

    • Schwierigkeitsgrad: mittel
    • Strecke: 31,1 km -
    • Dauer:  8:30 Std.
    • Aufstieg: 433 hm -
    • Abstieg: 544 hm


  • Löwenzahnblüte bei Birgel

    Wanderwege im Gerolsteiner Land Hirschbergsattel bei Birgel

    Rundtour nördlich von Birgel über den Butterley durch das Natur- und Erlebniswandergebiet Hirschbergsattel

    • Schwierigkeitsgrad: mittel
    • Strecke: 9,3 km -
    • Dauer: 2,3 Std.
    • Aufstieg: 115 hm -
    • Abstieg: 115 hm


  • Wasserfall Dreimühlen

    Eifelsteig Etappe 08: Von Mirbach bis Hillesheim

    • Schwierigkeitsgrad: schwer
    • Strecke: 26 km -
    • Dauer: 7:05 Std.
    • Aufstieg: 405 hm -
    • Abstieg: 437 hm

    mehr auf dem Tourenplaner Rheinland-Pfalz


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