Kottenforst: The Whispering Woods of Bonn

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Bonn is lucky enough to have its own 40 km² forest, called Kottenforst, which is a popular hiking and walking destination and also houses the Waldau animal park. The forest intrudes into many of its neighbourhoods such as Friesdorf, Ippendorf and Bad Godesberg. It is actually the eastern part of Rhineland Nature Park, which stretches across North Rhine Westphalia, the state that Bonn belongs to.

Being so vast, there are many ways to enter Kottenforst. Without intending to, we discovered more than one route during our explorations. It was almost as though the forest was calling out to us. And we were more than happy to heed its mysterious voice each and every time.

Presenting through photos and memories of a winding walk in spring – Kottenforst: The Whispering Woods of Bonn:

Kottenforst, Bonn
We first chose to enter Kottenforst from Röttgen Merler Allee and passed by this delightful neighbourhood on the way.
Kottenforst, Bonn
A little entryway led us into the forest and we were immediately engulfed by primitive greenery.
Kottenforst, Bonn
We crossed a little stream and walked through the innards of the forest – silent and beautiful.
Kottenforst, Bonn
Presently, we reached a ‘main road’ of sorts, where we passed by cyclists, joggers and people walking their dogs.
Kottenforst, Bonn
A pretty pink patch of flowers greeted us along the way
Kottenforst, Bonn
and seemingly, an earthquake in the sky!
Kottenforst, Bonn
Eventually, we dove back into the deep dark depths of the woods
Kottenforst, Bonn
where still pools of water reflected the arboreal canopy
Kottenforst, Bonn
and a sudden shower created a mosaic of ripples on the surface.
Kottenforst: The Whispering Woods of Bonn
While we could hear numerous birds, this is the only one we managed to get a good photo of!
Kottenforst, Bonn
Somewhere in the midst of all the exploring, we stopped at a clearing to enjoy a picnic lunch of sandwiches, biscuits and tortilla chips.
Kottenforst, Bonn
On our way out (and this was a totally different exit), we passed by this wonderful boulevard of trees in the countryside
Kottenforst, Bonn
and a stable full of healthy horses.

Another time, we encountered a different part of Kottenforst while exploring our very own backyard – Friesdorf. We hiked on an upward path to the 18th century Haus Annaberg and continued further. There, a crossroads led to Kottenforst and an animal reserve called Waldau.

Waldau Tierpark

A child feeds a fallow deer
A child feeds a fallow deer

Waldau Tierpark in Venusberg district houses a nice restaurant (Gasthaus Waldau) and children’s playground, but we went there to see the animals which included red deer, fallow deer, and wild boar. Children enjoy feeding the animals and petting them as they lap up the treats.

A nature exhibit about environmental damage
A nature exhibit about environmental damage

Oaks and pine trees abound in the Waldau, as do badgers, toads, and grass snakes. At night, you might hear an owl or bat. We also enjoyed the exhibits about carbon emissions from various activities like textile production. Entry to Waldau park is free of charge and it is open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM.

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