In the North Eifel you can rely on two things: on the ringing of the church bells and the rain. Water means life, and in times where also in the Eifel longer periods of drought have occurred and the tourism strategists advertise the „core competence“ water, the wet treasure is looked at from a new point of view. 900 – 1300 millimetres annual precipitation on the hills of the Eifel is good for land and people.
Only recently many people in the region have realized, which value the Eifel water delivers to them free house – also for leisure activities.
15 larger lakes and water reservoirs are found in the North Eifel, seven bigger rivers flow down into the valleys. Particularly in winter the Rur and other rivers are often unpredictable and dreaded for the thread of flooding, which was the reason that in 1900 the construction of river dams was started. Between 1934 and 1938 the Rur dam Schwammenauel was built and from 1952 increased to a storage volume of 205 million cubic meters. The increase (upper lake) entailed the loss of the village Pleushütte, about 100 families lost their property.
The main planning engineer of the water association was given the doubtful title “executioner of Einruhr”. Today people know that the dam brought them prosperity. The Rur is the most romantic river of the North Eifel. It origin lies In the Walloon part of the Venn, but already after a few kilometres, at the estate Reichenstein, the spring, supplied from the high-moor with its abundance of water, has become a rippling low-mountain stream.
In Monschau the river Rur slowly flows through the romantic old town and after smooth bends through the valleys in Hammer and Dedenborn reaches the lake at the said former village of Pleushütte. The village of Einruhr, located on the opposite side (today called „village at the lake”), has been offered best conditions by the dam, to develop into a first-class holiday resort. Here bubbles the Heilstein spring and the historical stage coach commutes through the valley of the Erkensruhr.
Rurberg and Woffelsbach gained their development potential also from the Rur dam.
Today 2500 sailing boats moor at the piers and the ships of the “White Fleet” show thousands of passengers the Eifel from its most beautiful side. At the third weekend in July they all achieve top form, when at the local festival “Rursee in Flammen” (Lake Rursee in Flames) their fireworks turn the water surface into a summery shining sea of lights. Forests, water and rocks offer fascinating insights and views at any time of the year and take the visitor on a pleasant journey for soul and senses, which simply magically attracts the people.
In the year of 1972 the villages Simmerath, Kesternich, Einruhr, Erkensruhr, Rurberg, Woffelsbach, Dedenborn, Hammer, Steckenborn, Strauch, Rollesbroich, Huppenbroich, Eicherscheid and Lammersdorf joined into the Greater Community of Simmerath. The economic recovery, through the establishment of two industrial zones, was followed by an increasing touristic attractiveness of the community of 15000 people. Today large sections of population take their advantages and their income from this development. The Eifelsteig runs right through the community, the national park Eifel reaches to the shores of the lake Rursee and the Castle Vogelsang is within easy reach. Through this constellation the Rursee region has become a very popular daytrip relaxation destination, and offers a potential, which also in future can surely be relied on.