The Rureifel & Hürtgen Forest

Start Hürtgen Forest
End Vogelsang IP
Duration 5 Days
Developed By
Name Rureifel Tourismus
Country Germany

During the autumn and winter of 1944-45, the longest battle of the Second World War on German soil took place in the Hürtgen Forest. With this battle, the war precipitated by the Nazi regime returned to Germany. The battle caused numerous casualties on both sides. For the American soldiers, its very name – with its first syllable ‘hurt’ – became synonymous with injury and death. The Hürtgen Forest consisted of thick woodland, bare hilltops and deep gorges. In the fall and winter, heavy rain and snowfall and a lack of roads made it extremely difficult to penetrate, either by foot or vehicle. Nonetheless, the Allies pushed into the rough and unfamiliar terrain in order to secure their advance towards the Rhine. The battle proceeded from mid-September 1944 to mid-February 1945, and ended with an Allied victory.

The Rureifel & Hürtgen Forest
Day 1

Travel to the Rureifel area in Germany and the Hürtgen Forest at the heart of it.

Day 2

Explore the German region ‘Eifel’ located at Germany’s western boarder and which used to be known as the poorhouse of the Prussian Rhineland. Travel to the forest for an afternoon of hiking through the Hürtgen Forest along the remaining traces of World War II, which caused numerous casualties on both sides. Visit the Huertgen War Cemetery and the Museum Huertgen Forest 1944 and in Peacetime.

Day 3

Walk through the historic hiking trails, including Siegfried Line Trail, Kall Trail and Ochsenkopf Trail, where you can learn about this significant battle of the war and its processing. Stop at the Rureifel Visitor’s Centre for detailed maps and brochures for each of these historic trails. Also check out the Church Vossenack and the Vossenack German Cemetery to pay tribute to the many German casualties.

Day 4

On your last day, drive to Vogelsang International Place, which was built as a National Socialist SS training institution before becoming an international military training area. Today, Vogelsang IP is an international place of active remembrance, where in addition to conveying historical facts about the Nazi era, issues, messages and reflections regarding our present social life are also addressed.

Day 5

End of tour.