What would you do if your house were ravaged by the winds and the weather? The people of Monschau and its surrounding regions had an ingenuously simple, simply ingenious idea. Hedges would do the trick! Hedges offer ideal protection from the elements, provided that they are wide and high enough to shield an entire house. And the hedges you'll find in Monschau, Roetgen and Simmerath certainly are. They are enormous beechwood thickets, planted by our forebears generations to protect their dwellings. Some hedges have entrances, windows and curved gates. One is prettier than the next, and all are lovingly looked after - indeed, tending to these hedges has long become a high and holy duty for their owners. They have thus evolved into a very special landmark of our region, and are definitely worth viewing.
Another type of hedges cutting through the landscape around towns and villages are the so-called cattle hedges. Lining the pastures in place of barbed wire, they provide ideal protection to the animals when Eifel storms rage over the plains.
Höfen is one of the villages of Monschau. Original there had been only a few farms, and that's also where the name come from (Höfe = farms). The village is mostly known for its hedges, although you can see similar ones also in other villages nearby. There's a special "Heckenweg" (hedges path) through the village, where you can see many of these beechwood hedges which are all well maintainted. It's really interesting to see these high hedges, with their gates and windows! And you also will see some old houses - half-timbered houses or thatched houses.
There are two versions of the "Heckenweg", a short and a long one. The short one is pretty even and only goes through the village, so it's suitable for wheelchair users; the longer one is 5,2 km with a level difference of 51 m and will go through the field also. The "Heckenweg" is well signposted, if you want to take the short one follow the signs that say "Leichte Strecke".