The heart of any railway enthusiast and rambler will quicken on hearing the name “Altenbeken”; a picturesque small town at the gate to the Egge Mountains; where railway history and the love of rambling combine in a most charming alliance.
Altenbeken is situated between the regions of the Teutoburger Forest and the Sauerland in the midst of the Nature Park Teutoburger Forest / Egge Mountains. Over the past few years, this quiet railway community has developed into a very popular rambling centre in the Egge Mountains. The Eggeweg and the long-distance routes, WestfalenWanderWeg and Emmerweg, are nationally acclaimed and are popular rambling routes; they start and/or end in this pretty holiday resort to the East of the Paderborner Land. Its famous Viaduct-Rambling-Route has been rewarded by the German Rambling Association as being a “Quality Rambling Route Germany” several times over; thus placing this community in the Egge Mountains in the league of elite German Rambling Routes.
Walking through countryside that could be mistaken for the layout of a model railway is a lovely experience and recalls the “good old days” when the black “iron horses” steamed across the land. Altenbeken revives that memory every two years in July with its famous “Vivat Viadukt®” festival of railway and culture. The next “festival of steam” will be held in 2013, when both international and regional visitors will travel to Altenbeken to relive railway nostalgia at first hand and perhaps make a childhood dream come true by climbing into the driver’s cabin.
Altenbeken is in season all year round for nature and walking enthusiasts. It perhaps goes without saying that in this area walking and railway nostalgia go hand-in-hand. The Viaduct-Rambling-Route (Viadukt Wanderweg) around Altenbeken takes you along a trail of railway history; where else could you start a railway history route with a historic steam engine locomotive, and finish the walk in the evening with the 1941 Black 044 Series steam engine illuminated and shining in all its glory?
Being close to nature, yet still conforming to the very highest standards, the Viaduct-Rambling-Route provides it all; strolling through soft meadows and along natural paths and enjoying splendid views while experiencing unforgettable landscapes that are filled not only with vivid natural beauty but with culture and history as well. By the way, the Viaduct-Rambling-Route is very well signposted in both directions and provides a guaranteed wonderful walk whichever way you choose to go. Another attraction is a specially designed punch-card, which can be “punched” at five points along the way. This means that ramblers, who have completed the whole walk, can be awarded a Viaduct-Rambling-Route certificate on production of the card. Farmhouse cafes and a beer-garden in a former monastery also invite ramblers to take a well-deserved rest and to enjoy the refreshments they provide.