You probably wouldn’t expect the biggest natural reserve close to Cologne right at the Cologne/Bonn airport – but there it is! Just as surprising as the location of this place is the atmosphere it brings with it. Not exactly a big secret to people from Cologne and the surrounding cities, you won’t be the only ones trying to catch the first rays of sunlight in spring or enjoy the last sunny days in autumn, but it certainly never feels overcrowded.
It is the natural reserve in North Rhine-Westphalia that hosts the biggest number of different species and for a bird lover like me (bring your binoculars!), Wahner Heide is simply a great place. If you’re less of an ornithologist, you might appreciate the cute donkeys ans sheep you will meet along the way.
And Wahner Heide is a place with history. Even until 2004, it was used as a military training area, first by the Prussian Army since 1817, then by Germans, the Royal Air Force and the Belgian army. Be cautious and don’t leave the trails as there might still be live ammunition in the ground.
There are different trails of different lengths, so you can decide how much time you want to spend there.