Bilsteintal e.V.


#deinsauerland / Outdooractive POIs / Bilsteintal e.V.

Member of the Stadtmarketing Warstein e.V.

Platzhalterbild Vereine


Bilsteintal e.V.

Im Bodmen 54

59581 Warstein

Telefon: +49 2902 2731



The association

"Bilsteintal e.V." was founded on May 4, 2011 in Warstein.
The founding was preceded by a dramatic event: The Old Youth Hostel
in the Bilsteintal was to be demolished due to the danger of collapse.
Through civic engagement, the demolition was averted. The city council agreed to the repair, which was financed solely by donations, on one condition: a sensible use was to be found for the building.

Founding idea of the association

We did not think it made sense to look at the Old Youth Hostel in isolation. For years, the number of visitors to the cave has been declining. Financing the Bilstein Cave and the Wildpark is becoming increasingly difficult.
The idea was born to found a supporting association that would provide the urgently needed new impetus for further development in the Bilsteintal.

Potentials of the Bilsteintal

The association focuses on the special features that the
Bilsteintal has to offer:

  • The Bilsteintal is a historically grown natural and cultural landscape. As in only a few places in the Sauerland, aspects of nature and culture are concentrated here in a manageable space; the geological features of the karst landscape, caves, rocks, sinkholes, stream meanders and karst springs.
  • In addition, interactions between landscape and history are clearly visible: Already in the Middle Stone Age the caves at the Bilstein rock were inhabited, the oldest metal object of the eastern Sauerland was excavated in the Bilstein cave. Historical mining has left its traces in the valley; iron smelting was also practiced in the Middle Ages, colorful slags can still be discovered in the Bilsteinbach. The valley was used as a hayfield for the town.
  • The wildlife park, which was established almost 50 years ago and has been expanded several times since then, provides insights into the animal world of the Arnsberg Forest Nature Park.

Aims of the association

The Bilsteintal e.V. association would like to bring all these special features into focus by taking over the area, the Bilstein cave, the game park and the old youth hostel.
The Bilsteintal is to become an attractive destination for education and recreation in nature.

  • We want to open the eyes of visitors of all ages to the special features of this natural and cultural landscape. The motto for our activities is "Learning to read the landscape".
  • With guided tours and excursions through the Bilsteintal and the Bilstein cave we want to sensitize visitors: Those who have learned to read the natural and cultural landscape with us will look at landscapes and forests with completely different eyes, as many phenomena tell them something about the landscape and its history
  • We would like to secure the Bilsteintal as a place of recreation and education in the long term: the show cave and game park will remain open all year round, the game park will remain freely accessible, and there will be no entrance fee.

Approach of the association

By combining voluntary and full-time work, the association aims to gradually increase the attractiveness of the Bilsteintal:

  • New path concept for the game park,
  • Use of the old youth hostel as the center of the Bilsteintal (store, toilets, exhibition), wide range of programs for all ages,
  • signposting of the area,
  • improvement of the game enclosures.

In the medium term, it is planned to renovate the building of the Old Youth Hostel and to use the upper floors for an exhibition that will deepen what has been experienced in the terrain and in the cave.
Bilsteinhöhle and the Bilsteintal are to become a space for experience and discovery that will leave lasting impressions: this is how exciting our landscape can be when you look at it with your own eyes, guided by people who are themselves enthusiastic about the nature and landscape of the Bilsteintal.

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