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Day trips are the best! They’re not as expensive as going on a full-blown vacation, but they also help get you out and exploring so that you can get back to work fully refreshed for Monday. Sunday’s in Germany are a day for rest and relaxation, or spending time with your loved ones, right?
Every Sunday, I try to get out and explore something new, this time it was the Baldeneysee (in the middle of the winter)!
There are so many beautiful hikes around the area of the Baldeneysee (lake) that are suitable for both young and old. So get on those hiking boots and get out there! If you don’t have hiking boots – you can get inexpensive ones at awesome shops like Decathlon!
I chose a 45-minute hike (as it was my first hike with a baby stroller), but there are longer hikes like the Korteklippe – Burgruine der Neuen Isenburg Loop, a 3-hour hike along the Baldeneysee, passed the Neuen Isenburg ruins and ending at a beautiful cafe with a great view of the lake. If you’re looking for something longer or shorter than the ones I’ve mentioned, Komoot offers a great guide of 15 great hikes around the Baldeneysee that you can check out.
Regardless of which hike you choose to take, there are plenty of things to see and do around the area. Here’s some inspiration!
Places to See Around Lake Baldeney
Villa Hügel is a mansion from the 19th century that was once owned by the Krupp family. Today, Villa Hügel is home to the Ruhr Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung Ruhr) while also serving as a concert hall, an art gallery, and a small historical museum about the Krupp family.
The Eisenbahnbrücke Kupferdreh is an old railway bridge that runs over the Ruhr valley and the Baldeneysee. Today, the bridge is used for cyclists and hikers/walkers to cross into Heisingen and Kupferdreh, two districts in Essen. It offers beautiful views of the water and it’s definitely an Instagram-worthy spot for photos!
Burgruine der Neuen Isenburg
There is something about ruins that makes them so magical! The Neuen Isenburg was a castle built around 1240 by Count Dietrich von Altena-Isenberg up in the hills overlooking the Baldeneysee. It only lasted about 48 years until the castle was destroyed and turned into ruins. Today, you’ll stumble upon the ruins along one of the hiking trails and it is free and open to the public.
The Baldeney Castle is more like a small mansion or home, but nonetheless, beautiful. It is a small moated castle from the medieval times, built in 1933.
While I don’t have any historical story to tell you about the Korte Klippe, it is still definitely worth mentioning. There are numerous beautiful scenic lookout points along the hiking routes surrounding Lake Baldeney, but Korte Klippe is definitely one of the best. It can only be reached by foot or bike which means you’ll have a better opportunity to enjoy the view without a crowd of people overlooking your shoulders.
The Hespertalbahn is known in English as the Hesper Valley Railway, which is a heritage line operating between Haus Scheppen and the Kupferdreh Train Station. It is a steam locomotive that runs on certain days of the month and also offers a couple of special train operations including Saint Nikolaus-Express and Kid’s Day. You can check out the schedule on their website.
Places to Eat Around Lake Baldeney
When the weather is cold and you’re up for a warm coffee or tea with a view, Wirtshaus zur Heimlichen Liebe is a great place to visit. Their cakes looked amazing, yet sadly didn’t live up to the test, but the flammkuchen was delicious. From this restaurant, you’ll get a great view of Villa Hügel in the background, and in the winter months, you can enjoy the view outdoors on their patio around a campfire (though you may need to call and book in advance).
If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, perhaps for a date night or a hearty meal, Jagdhaus Schnellenburg also offers a stunning panoramic view of Lake Baldeney. You can take a look at the menu online, most of their main dishes run between 20 and 30 Euros, but they offer an excellent selection.
Close to the Isenburg Ruins is Café Schwarze Lene. Sadly, while we were hiking there on a Sunday afternoon, the restaurant was closed. However, it is still definitely worth mentioning due to the impeccable location – another stunning panoramic view of Lake Baldeney. It might be hard to spot, but it’s in the photo below on the left-hand side. They offer up a number of traditional German dishes and Argentinian steaks as well.
If you’d like to turn this trip into a weekend getaway, here are some accommodations in the area:
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