Ruhrgebiets best kept secret? Hiking with a dog in the Westruper Heide
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A heath in the Ruhr area? Exactly, there is. The Westruper Heide (Heath) is located in Haltern am See between the lake and the northern edge of the Haard. The dune landscape, which is actually a dwarf shrub heath area, was placed under nature protection in 1937 and really doesn't need to hide behind other, much better-known heath landscapes such as the Lüneburg Heath. In the sandy, colorful landscape you feel like you're on vacation within a few minutes. The Halterner Heide is not as large and extensive as the Lüneburg Heath, but you can still go on great hikes with or without a dog.
Westruper Heide: when is the best time for hiking?
Of course, the period from July to September is particularly nice to visit the Westruper Heide. Because then the heather is in full bloom and shines brightly in all shades of purple. But there is also a lot going on during this time, which you should definitely take into account when planning. While the photographers are still waiting for the perfect sunrise in the early morning, families are on the heath, especially around noon. The time from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. is perfect for a relaxed hike with your dog. But the Westruper Heide is also worth seeing when it is not in bloom. In winter, for example, hoarfrost covers the heath early in the morning, giving it a particularly mystical effect.
Westruper Heide directions and parking
Due to its proximity to the A43, the Westruper Heide is easily accessible. In addition, we have never had any problems getting a free parking space on the Halterner Heide. There are several hiking car parks with direct access around the heath. Only at noon can they be quite full. In my opinion, the best parking space for the Halteer Heide is on Flaesheimer Damm.
Hiking in the Westruper Heide
I'll admit it - I've roamed the heath quite haphazardly in the past. We just let ourselves drift, which works wonderfully due to the manageable size. Within the Westruper Heide you can hike from about 2 to 4 kilometers. It doesn't sound like much, but I guarantee that even this short distance will take you a lot of time, simply because it's hard to resist stopping for photos again and again. The heath is just too photogenic.
However, there is also the possibility of making larger hikes in and around the Westruper Heide and passing through the Westruper Heide as a section. Then you can include Lake Stever or the Haard, for example.
Dogs in the Westruper Heide: worth knowing
The Westruper Heide is a great excursion destination with a dog. However, there is a leash obligation throughout the heathland, so you should definitely stick to it. And since the sand gets really hot, especially in summer, you should definitely bring water for your dog. In any case, our dog is very enthusiastic about the many smells and the soft sand. By the way, it is an advantage if the dog is well tolerated, because one hundred percent you will meet some other dogs.
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