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Das Naherholungsgebiet Edersee – Ein beliebtes Urlaubsziel in Deutschland, Bild: Lauredin / shutterstock

Edersee – Near-natural recreation area in northern Hesse

In the north of Hesse, the Edersee unfolds, an 11.8 km² reservoir that has long been more than just a dam. Its natural surroundings make it a popular destination as a local recreation area and as a tourist dream destination in northern Hesse. From the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park to the popular treetop path to Waldeck Castle, the Edersee region presents a wide range of options for excursion enthusiasts. And the elevations around the lake offer a fantastic panoramic view of the lake landscape. If you are looking for a natural recreation area in Hesse, you should not miss the Edersee and its highlights.

The Edersee Nature Region

The Edersee is embedded in the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park, which extends over about 406 km². It owes its name to the Edersee and the Kellerwald low mountain range, which together form the picturesque natural scenery of the Hessian region. The Kellerwald is known for its distinctive beech forest areas – and surrounds the tranquil Edersee with its elevations and natural greenery. The Kellerwald-Edersee National Park is also located on the Edersee, which is considered the only national park in Hesse. Since 2011, the beech forests of the park area have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the category of primeval beech forests and ancient beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe.

The Edersee itself lies on the eponymous Eder, a tributary of the Fulda that flows through the Edersee. In addition, the Edersee has numerous tributaries – such as the Aselbach, the Itter or the Werbe. The lake has long since emancipated itself from its function as a reservoir and is considered an important nature and recreation area in the north of Hesse. In addition to the special beech forests, exotic fauna has also settled here for Hesse. In addition to the lively fishing grounds in the Edersee, the region is home to raccoons, which spread from here to large parts of Germany, and European wildcats, which were sighted for the first time in 2009. The Edersee forms a special habitat in the heart of Germany.

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History and function of the reservoir

Schloss Waldeck, Edersee
Waldeck Castle, Image: Tobias Arhelger / shutterstock

In fact, the Edersee is not that old. Between 1908 and 1914, today’s reservoir with its Eder dam was built, which still shapes the geography of the region today. Within sight of the Uhrenkopf mountain lies the large dam wall, which reaches a width of 400 meters at its crown. The reservoir was intended to contribute to being able to supply water to the Mittelland Canal. It is also used to generate electricity from the local storage power plant. This well-planned construction of the reservoir ultimately gave rise to a very special living and recreational space, which is unique to discover in northern Hesse. Today, the Edersee is one of the three largest reservoirs in Germany.

Activities – hiking, water sports and co.

The Edersee, like many similar bodies of water of this kind, is of course ideal for water sports activities. The lake is particularly popular with sailors, and there are several sailing schools on its shores. Sometimes visitors to the Edersee also dedicate themselves to windsurfing or kayaking. Of course, the fascinating natural region offers extensive opportunities for hiking. The Urwaldsteig Edersee, which leads through the middle of the untouched nature of the region, is particularly popular here – ideal for switching off. A slightly different perspective on the natural surroundings of the Edersee is offered by the Edersee treetop walk with its squirrel path, which runs about 750 meters along the wooded nature of the Edersee. Parts of the path function like a TreeTopWalk, which leads over the treetops of the local forest section. If you want to spend a varied and lively holiday at Lake Edersee, you can expect a wide range of possibilities.

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Sightseeing at the Edersee

Scenic lake landscape, historic primeval beech forests, the elevations of the Kellerwald low mountain range – the Edersee is a highlight for nature lovers. But the cultural programme does not have to take a back seat when visiting the reservoir. In the surrounding area, there are a number of sights waiting for curious visitors to see. Towering above the lake is the historic Waldeck Castle, which is reminiscent of medieval times long before the construction of the reservoir. In the 12th century, the foundation stone was laid for the historic castle, which is built as a hilltop castle on a wooded hill by the lake. It is the historic home of the Counts of Waldeck, who lived here until the middle of the 17th century.

Today, the historic walls have a hotel, a restaurant and a museum. One of the most famous elevations at the reservoir is the 405-metre-high Uhrenkopf, from which there is an excellent view of the dam wall of the Edersee in good weather. The panoramic view is popular for photographing the scenic view of the Edersee. The Edersee is also just under 50 kilometres from Kassel – ideal for getting to know the Hessian city and its sights such as the historic Orangery. A popular destination for families is the Edersee Wildlife Park, which has been in existence since 1970. In the middle of the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, a wide variety of red deer species, raccoons, foxes and wolves live here. The Edersee corn maze, which leads through nature at the Edersee in the style of a maze, is also a somewhat different destination. Whether classic sightseeing, the advantages of water sports or hikes through untouched natural routes – the Edersee unfolds in the north of Hesse as one of the most fascinating holiday regions in the central state