Sat 07: Teutoburger Wald west of Ibbenbüren

Westphalian Naturist Days (WNT) started in 2021 with a 16 km hike over the western foothills of the Teutoburg Forest between Ibbenbüren and Riesenbeck with 18 naturists from Belgium and all kinds of German regions. The Hermannsweg as the most famous hiking trail in the Teuto was of course also presented.
<br />The WNT 2021 hikes begin in the saturated, lush green in Teutoburg Forest. Almost nothing reminds of the parched forests of the last drought in 2018/19
Lush green in Teutoburg Forest <br />To the right and left of the path, ferns and other green plants thrive on the forest floor. <br />A climber is practising his skills on the steep sandstone wall. Further down, 2 of his comrades are watching him to make sure he finds the right path. Photo: Friedhelm <br />Such a walk is certainly not for everyone. Photo: Friedhelm <br />A heliport for emergencies. Photo: Friedhelm
After a steep ascent, the hike first led to a former quarry with views of the almost vertically sloping sandstone walls. Ibbenbüren sandstone was quarried here for a long time. Today the area is leased to a climbing association and fenced off for safety. A large white “H“ on the ground marks the landing site for rescue helicopters.
<br />While the slower hikers follow, the nimble lead group has a little break chat.
Little break chat <br />In time for the last day of the 2021 Olympic competitions in Tokyo, the nude hikers are already training on the Vogelbeeren-Pfad [en: Rowan (Berry) Trail] for their discipline on the balance beam. <br />Among the numerous commemorative stones in the Teuto, the Dreihasenstein [en: Three Hares Stone] plays an unusual role: It transfers the symbolism of the Trinity from a window of Paderborn Cathedral into the middle of the forest. Three-hare ornaments were, however, already common in ancient Rome – Christians only copied them. <br />There were only a few drops of rain, but those, who didn't have a towel with them, reached for their umbrella early on – who knows, how quickly a single drop can turn into a flood in these stormy times?
17°C air temperature at the start of the hike and overcast skies increased to 23°C in the afternoon with alternating sunshine and occasional raindrops. The dark sky on the smartphone's rain radar was then the reason to shorten the route a little - but unnecessarily, because soon after the decision, the dark clouds passed.
<br />Arriving back from the mountains in the plains of northern Münsterland, the hikers still had to cross a road, in order to reach the Dortmund-Ems Canal.
Road crossing <br />A bank along the canal served as a bench, while those who had sweated the most during the hike, bathed in the canal. In this way, the sweat was washed off their skin and their microbiome was replenished by a species-rich selection of microorganisms from the canal water.
The last part of the hike led along the Dortmund-Ems Canal in sunshine, which of course some took advantage of for a swim. An optional conclusion was a visit to the Botanischer Garten Loismann [en: Loismann Botanical Garden], where a sequoia tree is the best-known representative of exotic plants. In addition, however, there are numerous other botanical attractions to admire – and today, in addition, the eagerness of the nude hikers to learn.
<br />The last kilometre of the hike led along the canal back to the car park at “Loismann Botanical Garden“, whose exotic exhibits awakened the nude hikers' thirst for knowledge and eagerness to learn.
Final promenade along the canal

Sun 08: Teutoburger Wald and Nasses Dreieck

<br />On Premiumwanderweg “Waldroute“.
10/15: Premiumwanderweg “Waldroute“

Translation of a German definition of Premiumwanderweg [en: Premium Hiking Trail] by

“Premium hiking trails are route and circular hiking trails, which are superbly marked and have a particularly high experience value. A balanced, beautiful hiking experience is guaranteed on premium hiking trails. Pleasant trail surfaces, a selected dramaturgy with great views, beautiful forest images, bodies of water, rock structures, well-kept resting places, cultural-historical treasures and many other diversions make hiking on premium hiking trails a special pleasure. […] There are over 600 premium hiking trails in Europe that have been certified by the German Hiking Institute.“

Despite Germany, this website lists certified premium hiking trails in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and – no joke! – two in Rwanda.

Our Sunday hike started at a car park north of Riesenbeck in the Teutoburg Forest and led along the Hermannsweg and a section of the premium hiking trail called Waldroute over the northern slope of the Teuto down into Tecklenburger Land towards Püsselbüren. We passed the DA-Kunsthaus Kloster Gravenhorst, a former monastery, since 2004 Denkmal-Atelier, and followed the small river Hörsteler Aa to our resting place at the Mittelland Canal.
<br />Along the small river Hörsteler Aa
11/15: Hörsteler Aa
The Mittellandkanal (MLK) [en: Mittelland Channel] isT-junction MLK in DEK with a length of 325.3 kilometres, is the longest artificial waterway in Germany and (after the Kiel Canal) the second most important in the east-west direction. Here in the west, it joins the Dortmund-Ems Canal (DEK). We followed the Dortmund-Ems Canal for a short while and then climbed back up into the Teuto above Riesenbeck. With views over Riesenbeck and into Münsterland, we soon reached the Hermannsweg again and found our way back to our starting point via narrow paths.
<br />Today's group of nude hikers on the Hermannsweg
12/15: Today's group of nude hikers on the Hermannsweg
Despite moderate weather forecasts, we were lucky: After starting clothed, to protect ourselves from cool gusts of wind, we were soon able to take off our clothes to enjoy nature and interspersed sunny moments without clothing. During the two Teuto days, we covered a total of 31 km and 660 m of difference in altitude. Many hikers, walkers, cyclists and steersmen from freighters and private ships, who met us, returned our greetings in a friendly manner and waved.
– Report: Rainer; photos: Rainer, except denoted ones

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