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Dürres Maar A remarkable moorland landscape

The Dürre Maar is the middle, second oldest of the three maars from the Holzmaar group (Hetsche – Dürres Maar – Holzmaar). Today it is filled with an intermediate moor. The Dürre Maar has been protected since 1979.

The Dürre Maar silted up soon after it was created, and over the millennia a remarkable moorland landscape has emerged. The layer of peat moss that covers the surface is now more than 10 meters thick. Overall, the Dürre Maar offers very special living conditions for very special creatures.


  • Coordinates: 50°07´23´´ N / 06°52´20´´E
  • Altitude: 463 m
  • Age of the Holzmaar Group: approx. 40,000 – 70,000 years
  • Funnel diameter: approx. 163 m in NW-SE direction
  • Funnel diameter: approx. 130 m in W-E direction
  • Today's moor surface: approx. 1.9 ha
  • Moor age: approx. 4,000 years
  • Moor thickness: approx. 12 m
  • Former lake depth: approx. 9 m

  • Das Dürre Maar © Natur- und Geopark Vulkaneifel GmbH, Müller
  • Blick auf das Dürre Maar © Natur- und Geopark Vulkaneifel GmbH, Kappest


The basement here consists of Lower Devonian clay, siltstone and sandstone from the Eckfeld layers, which are partially covered by the maar tuff. The tuffs were ejected to the northeast. There you can still find small pits in the forest today where this volcanic material was mined for road construction in the 1970s.

Special living conditions

The raised moor is divided into three zones:

  1. Various sedge grasses grow from the bank in the Randlagg (bank strip with water).
  2. The peat mosses follow again mixed with the sedges.
  3. The cotton grasses and peat mosses dominate in the center.

After heavy rain, the water ring at the edge beautifully traces the circular shape of the Maar basin. The raised moor in the center of the basin bulges slightly like a watch glass. This is due to the dense peat moss cushions that lie above the groundwater table and can store water up to twenty times their dry weight.

Special living beings

A raised bog consists of 90% water and is very poor in nutrients. Anyone who wants to assert themselves here needs special survival tactics. And so, for example, the rare cranberry has come up with something special to fill you up without drowning. Instead of developing roots or trunks to absorb nutrients, it covers the bulges like a fine web that hangs flat over the peat moss cushions. A number of rare animal species have also adapted to the extreme living conditions: insects such as dragonflies and butterflies or breeding birds such as whinchats and lapwings live here. And during bird migration, short-eared owls and gray herons also visit the Dürren Maar.


The Dürre Maar is located in a natural beech forest near the town of Gillenfeld in the West Eifel, about 400 meters northwest of the Holzmaar.

Highlights nearby

Hiking trails
around the Dürre Maar

The nature reserve at Dürren Maar offers varied hiking tours along the Määrchen natural forest path. The walks begin and end directly at the parking lot and are therefore also very suitable for families with children.

  • Lavaweg Strohn

    HeimatSpuren Lavaweg Strohn

    Diese Wanderung ermöglicht es sich mit dem Vulkanismus zu beschäftigen. Vorbei geht es am Trautzberger Maar und der Strohner Schweiz

    • Schwierigkeitsgrad: mittel
    • Strecke: 20,5 km -
    • Dauer: 5,5 Std.
    • Aufstieg: 293 hm -
    • Abstieg: 293 hm


  • Immerather Maar

    Andere Vulkaneifelpfade Maare-Pfad

    Von Schalkenmehren bis Lutzerath

    • Schwierigkeitsgrad: schwer
    • Strecke: 34,7 km -
    • Dauer:  12 Std.
    • Aufstieg: 657 hm -
    • Abstieg: 672 hm


Directions & Parking

There is a hiking car park west of the K17, north of the L16/K17 intersection. The fairytale natural forest path starts there and leads past the Dürren Maar, the Hetsche Maar and the Holzmaar.



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