Hohenfinow is located about 8 km (5.0 mi) east of Eberswalde. It is part of a rural area on the northeastern rim of the Barnim Plateau, south of the Finow River and the Finow Canal. The glacial valley in the north with the neighbouring municipality of Niederfinow separates it from the adjacent Uckermark region. The historic village centre is surrounded by extended fields, meadows and pine forests.
A fortress overlooking the Finow valley and a ford across the river was erected about 1220, after the area settled by Polabian Slavs had been conquered by the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg. The foundations of the parish church date back to around 1250. The settlement itself was first mentioned in a 1334 deed issued by the Wittelsbach margrave Louis I.
In 1855 the Hohenfinow manor was purchased by Felix von Bethmann-Hollweg (1824–1900), scion of a Frankfurt banking dynasty and father of the later German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, who was born here in 1856. In the last days of World War II, a unit of the "Army Detachment Steiner" rested near Hohenfinow before the troops withdraw to Eberswalde.
Development of population since 1875 within the current boundaries (Blue line: Population; Dotted line: Comparison to population development of Brandenburg state; Grey background: Time of Nazi rule; Red background: Time of communist rule)
Population development within the current boundaries (2013)