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Nature photography Teutoburg Forest

  1. Location and arrival
  2. The Battle of Teutoburg Forest
  3. The Furlbach valley
  4. The Moosheide
  5. The Silberbach valley
  6. Hünenburg Bielefeld
  7. Mushrooms in the Teutoburg Forest
  8. The equipment
  9. Conclusion
  10. Download maps Teutoburg Forest

Location and arrival

The Teutoburg Forest is a mountain range that stretches for about 100 km, starting in Höstel (west of Osnabrück) in Lower Saxony and extending to North Rhine-Westphalia, passing through my hometown of Bielefeld and into the district of Lippe towards Horn-Bad Meinberg. In Horn-Bad Meinberg, the southeastern part of the Teutoburg Forest, it borders the Egge Mountains, which continue further south.

directions to the Teutoburg Forest
For better orientation, I have attached an overview map on the left (for more details, please click on the map on the left). If you want to visit the southern part of the Teutoburg Forest, the best way to reach the forest is via the A2 motorway. On the other hand, the northern part of the Teutoburg Forest, which is also commonly referred to as the Teuto, is better reached via the A1 motorway. Since I only know certain parts of this fairly large mountain range well, I will limit my travel report here to a few forest sections that I consider particularly worthwhile.
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The Battle of Teutoburg Forest

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Many people may associate the Teutoburg Forest with the Battle of Varus or the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Somewhere in this forest, in 9 AD, three Roman legions suffered a crushing defeat against the leader Arminius ("Hermann") of the Cherusci tribe and his Germanic army. Although the exact location of the battle can only be speculated, the Hermannsdenkmal monument in the Teutoburg Forest near Detmold commemorates this historic event. Equally well-known as the Hermannsdenkmal are the nearby Externsteine, which are an impressive sandstone rock formation that formed millions of years ago.
Overall, the Teutoburg Forest offers many other varied sections, which are mainly characterized by different deciduous and coniferous trees. Although no special requirements are placed on visitors to the forest, the Teuto is located in a mountain range and therefore there may be some heights to overcome that require a little effort.
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The Furlbach valley

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The Furlbach valley is a nature reserve that is mostly located in the municipality of Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock. To the southeast of this forest area is the Senne military training area, which is used by British forces. To the southwest, the Stukenbrock Safari Park borders the Furlbach Valley. The quickest way to reach the Furlbach Valley is via the A33 motorway (exit 23, Stukenbrock-Senne) and driving in a northerly direction, then turning right onto "Am Furlbach" road after approximately 1.5 km (see directions). At the end of the road, there is a sharp left turn onto "Mittweg," and then you will arrive at the A3/A4 hiking trail, which leads you directly to the stream after a few meters. Unfortunately, there are virtually no parking facilities directly on site, so it is advisable to look for a parking space near the "Am Furlbach" restaurant.
The Furlbach, which winds its way through the valley for approximately 14.6 km, is a tributary of the Ems, which in turn originates nearby in the Senne. Upon encountering the creek for the first time, one will be amazed at how clear the water is in the shallow stream. This impression is further enhanced by looking at the clear bottom of the stream, which is made up of sandy substrate. The sand in the Senne is the result of the melting of a glacier approximately 200,000 years ago. At that time, the melting water carried large amounts of sand, which settled in the Senne, creating a very valuable habitat for flora and fauna. From a photographic perspective, the Furlbachtal offers many opportunities to showcase the stream amidst a mixed forest. At some points, one can take excellent photographs of the valley from above, while at other points, one can directly search for their motives by the creek. The flow rate of the creek is very low, giving the Furlbachtal a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
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The Moosheide

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The Moosheide is a nature reserve covering approximately 440 hectares, stretching across the districts of Paderborn and Gütersloh. Here, I am describing a small part of it in Schloß-Holte Stukenbrock that directly borders the Furlbachtal. This area is also home to the Ems' seepage sources. To get to the Moosheide, take the A33 and exit at exit 23 (Stukenbrock-Senne) heading north. After approximately 200 meters, drive along the "Holzweg" next to the police training institute and turn onto the "Emser Kirchweg" at the end. After approximately 500 meters, you will reach a car park located directly on the hiking trail to the Ems sources (see directions).
To the east of the Moosheide is a military training ground that is off-limits to the public. The Moosheide mainly consists of low sand dunes, sparse pine forests, dry grasslands, and open heathlands. The protected habitat provides a home for many endangered plant and animal species. From a photographic perspective, there are opportunities to capture the heath landscape as well as close-up macro shots. Compared to the Furlbachtal, the Moosheide receives much higher foot traffic, so early morning hours are better for photography.
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The Silberbach valley

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For me, the Silberbach valley is one of the most beautiful parts of the Teutoburg Forest. The Silberbachtal is located on the eastern edge of the Teutoburg Forest, south of the small town of Horn-Bad Meinberg, and borders on the Eggegebirge Nature Park. You can reach the valley via the B1 federal highway, turn south onto "Leopoldstaler Straße," then onto "Neuer Teich," and follow the road to the end (see directions). At the end of the road, you will find a paid parking lot (daily fee: 2 €) and a guesthouse with overnight accommodations. If you want to save on parking fees, you can find a free parking lot a few hundred meters before reaching the paid parking lot.
The Silver Creek, meandering through the valley, originates in the southern Veldrom and flows approximately 11 km northward, where it ends in Horn-Bad Meinberg. As a nature photographer, I find the section that starts at the inn and continues approximately 1 km southwards the most interesting. It is a relatively small section, but one can find many subjects that can keep them occupied along this stretch. The creek is characterized by more or less large boulders that offer a preview of the neighboring Egge Mountains and can be set together with the creek very well. A visit is worthwhile in every season, and it is interesting to observe how the Silver Creek Valley changes its character over the year. Starting from the inn, a 3 km long hiking trail leads northwest towards the Externsteinen, which also offer plenty of photographic opportunities.
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The Hünenburg Bielefeld

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Since the Teutoburg Forest runs right through my hometown of Bielefeld, it is only natural for me to explore the forest photographically in Bielefeld as well. A worthwhile section is the path to the Hünenburg. The Hünenburg is a castle ruin in Bielefeld, located northwest of the district "Quelle". However, there is not much left to see of the castle ruins, except for a few foundations. Instead, the 165 m high radio tower next to the Hünenburg is unmissable. There are various ways to get to the Hünenburg. The shortest way to the castle ruins is the route that starts from an excursion restaurant on Bergstraße (see directions). Personally, I find the route starting from the Olderdissen Zoo more appealing. The route leads along the ridge path, from which you have a beautiful view of a small gorge on both sides.
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Mushrooms in the Teutoburg Forest

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As in any forest, mushrooms can be found in the Teutoburg Forest in every season. Since the Teutoburg Forest has very diverse areas, the types of mushrooms that can be found vary in different regions. The occurrence of different mushroom species depends not only on the trees present in a particular area but also on the soil types. For example, in the Sennelandschaft near Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, due to the sandy forest soil, one can discover completely different mushrooms compared to the Osnabrück region of the Teutoburg Forest.
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The equipment

For my forest pictures, I usually use lenses ranging from wide-angle to medium telephoto lenses. A tripod should not be missing in any case, as the exposure times in the forest are usually very long and the tripod also helps with image composition. A polarizing filter is also useful, as it emphasizes the colors in the forest and helps to reduce disturbing reflections. Since close-up views in the forest also provide beautiful subjects, a macro lens should also be packed in the camera bag.


A visit to the forest is worthwhile at any time of the year, but for me, the most beautiful season for forest photos is definitely autumn! If you're lucky, you'll also experience fog in the forest in autumn, which makes for particularly atmospheric shots. In sunny weather, due to the high contrasts, it is difficult to take photographs in the forest and only the early morning or evening hours are suitable for photography. Otherwise, it is also particularly worthwhile to go to the forest on rainy days, as the colors of the forest are very vivid and the contrasts are not so high in rainy weather.
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Download maps Teutoburg Forest

Here you can download maps of the Teutoburg Forest. To view and print them, you will need a PDF reader. I hope these maps will help you get a better orientation in the area around the Teutoburg Forest.

 map of Teutoburg Forest

written: November 2012, (author: Olaf Juergens)
updated: November 2023

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