Sorpesee – The Sorpe Dam – NRW, Germany (March 2017)

The Sorpe Dam (German: Sorpetalsperre) is a dam on the Sorpe river, near the small town of Sundern in the district of Hochsauerland in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is a short 55km drive away from Dortmund (~40 minutes one-way).

Together with the Biggesee, the Möhne Reservoir, and the Verse reservoir, the Sorpe Reservoir is one of the major artificial lakes of the Sauerland’s Ruhrverband reservoir association. Besides serving as a water supply, it is utilized for electricity generation and as a leisure and recreation area.

Private motor boats are prohibited on the reservoir to prevent oil spills and for maintaining a high drinking water quality.

Today, the Sorpe Reservoir affords opportunities to several recreational activities like scuba diving, rowing, yachting, windsurfing, beach volleyball, and recreational fishing, while the surrounding area offers a golf course, hiking trails, rock climbing, four lakeshore campsites on the west bank, and more. It has therefore become a favourite local recreation area for residents of the nearby Ruhr Area and is also popular with Dutch tourists. The passenger motor ship MS Sorpesee is available for outings during the summer season. Four DLRG lifeguard bases as well as a Red Cross base on campsite 3 provide safety.

We arrived on a Saturday at around 12:00, so the place can feel a little empty in the first photos. On weekends people in Germany don’t go out so early (in Spring).

1. There are multiple parking options. You can park directly on the street (the Promenade) and pay 1 EUR / 40 minutes, or you can use the larger parking lots and pay 1 EUR / 1 hour.


3. Hotels and restaurants are right here, on this side of the reservoir. Both fine dining and fast-food are available.

4. This is a very good place for families with children. We spent about 40 minutes just in this one spot.

5. In Summer this lawn must be full of people.

6. Don’t be alarmed by the lack of a ramp for wheelchairs and strollers. There is a big ramp ~200 meters away, right near the main parking lot.


8. There is plenty of space for numerous activities.


10. This is a magnet for the smaller children.



13. After 13:00 the sun came out and so did the people.


15. This is the “main” entrance with the big accessibility-friendly ramp and the main parking lot (on the left, out of view).

16. A small drinks bar is on the left, haven’t seen food there, just light drinks I think.

17. A stage for presentations and performances with Amphitheatre-style seating, as well as a basketball hoop. A very friendly and multipurpose area.

18. There is a boating club nearby.


20. Let’s continue our short walk.

21. Separate parking for bikers, which was quickly filled.

22. Hotel & Restaurant Seegarten is visible on the left. Notice the couple in the infinity pool on the roof :) At the time of writing this (March 6, 2017) a room costs ~85 EUR / night (8.8/10 rating on Booking.com).

23. Every 5 seconds at least one biker would drive by.

24. A lot of old-timer automobiles too.

25. This playground can get a lot noisier, which is why it is located a little farther away from other areas of activity. Across the street you can go up to the mini-golf course.

26. When driving from this side the town looks almost like a ski town.

27. Yachtclub Sorpesee e.V.

28. The ducks here are very, very courageous. I was almost able to pet them.

29. I really liked these stairs. At first I thought that these stairs are only for drainage, but apparently they are filled with water in Summer time.

30. I’ll let you guess the nationality of these party-goers :)

In Conclusion

Compared to Möhne Reservoir this place looks much more interesting, as there are more activities for families with children. I’ll be sure to visit this place in a few months and show you what it looks like in better weather.

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