Would you like to immerse yourself quickly in the quiet nature and get other thoughts off the beaten path if possible, get out of the city quickly and not drive far? In the near eastern Berlin area you can discover a real gem and natural paradise. This circular hike takes you on lonely forest paths, through moors, pastures and wet meadows to a refuge for endangered species. The two Stienitz lakes, embedded in a serene atmosphere with the Berlin garden neighbors between Strausberg and Rüdersdorf, offer you the obligatory relaxing view of the water in the Seenland Oder-Spree.
Your nature experience at the gates of the big city:
Your nature experience at the gates of the big city:
Relaxed half-day tour on the "66 Lakes Hiking Trail" and "Orchideen Trail"
Diverse: Picnic areas with viewing points, wooden walkways and stairs over hills, dams and babbling creeks in different landscapes
Informative: observe native orchids and special animal species in the nature reserve with an educational trail
Wide views: over the extensive valley, over the Großer Stienitzsee or from the viewing platform on the quail tower
Cozy: watch the hustle and bustle in the gardens at the Kleiner Stienitzsee in Hennickendorf
Ultra-clear: discover secret bathing spots on the Great Stienitzsee on the Bohlenweg
Start & finish: Strausberg S-Bahn station
Length: 10.5 km / approx. 3.5 hours
How to get there by public transport: RB26 or S5 from Ostkreuz / Lichtenberg to Strausberg train station
Exit public transport: Strausberg train station: RB26 or S5
Along the dam and into the countryside
After only a short ride on the S-Bahn or regional train, the 66-Seen-Weg in the direction of Rüdersdorf will quickly bring you to the countryside. Entry is behind the train tracks a few hundred meters east of the Strausberg train station. You will immediately notice the height differences when you dive over the wall-like elevations and dams from the Ice Age into the Lange Dammwiesen nature reserve. A varied terrain and an exciting landscape were created on the spring-rich areas, through which your late riser tour will lead you. The path runs along one of the most varied fens in Brandenburg. After you turn south on the railway line, you can take the small trail to the right, which will later bring you back to the 66-Seen-Weg. Here it goes along the edge of the forest and wet meadows and you cross a small stream. Many calcareous springs ensure particularly clear water, e.g. in the nearby Großer Stienitzsee. The spring moors are home to numerous rare plants, such as several species of orchids. As carbon stores, the intact moors counteract climate change and are therefore particularly worth protecting.
Buffalos let orchids bloom - nature conservation in practice The area in which you hike offers an enormous natural diversity and habitats for partly endangered animal and plant species. Based on historical forms of cultivation, conservationists and local farmers take care of the landscape today. They are supported by primitive Heck cattle, horses, sheep and goats, which you will definitely see on the extensive meadows and in the pasture forest. Even water buffalo graze on the wet pastures. The grazing projects promote the preservation of a diverse open landscape, from which birds that breed in the meadows benefit in particular. But also endangered butterflies, such as the great fire butterfly, benefit from the nature-friendly grassland management.
Discover rare species
Your tour takes you along a nature trail that provides information about the area and its peculiarities. Are you a bird lover? Then, depending on the season and with a bit of luck, you will be able to observe some rarities: in autumn and winter time, kingfishers, goosander, common scot and golden-bellied duck at the Großer Stienitzsee, near the Lemke feed mill, the mountain wagtail feel at home and at the allotment colony you can see the courting common snipe and watch lapwing from April to June - don't forget your binoculars! Here on the northern outskirts of Hennickendorf you have a particularly beautiful view over the extensive valley and the pastures where cranes stop during the summer months.
Berlin garden neighbors: Hennickendorf and the small Stienitzsee
In the cozy Hennickendorf, things are relaxed. Green gardens approach the small Stienitzsee, children's laughter can be heard. The view from the almost 30m high quail tower provides a good overview (only on weekends). You can see the lakes and the Langen Dammwiesen, with good visibility you can see the Berlin TV tower. Snack-stop: You can get supplies in the Lemke mill's farm shop, at the bakery across from the church or at the ice cream paradise.
For insiders: Stienietzsee bathing area on the north-east bank
A romantic wooden plank path with bridges to hidden bathing areas and small resting places begins on the marshy banks of the Großer Stienitzsee. From here you have wonderful views over the entire length of the particularly clear Stienitzsee and of course you can also immerse yourself in the cool water. Water lilies, fish and mussels and a depth of view of up to 5m prove the best water quality in one of the clearest lakes in the state of Brandenburg. The orchid trail with yellow markings takes you back through the Torfhaus district into the green again. It goes along the edge of the meadow and through the forest to the starting point and now the end point at Strausberg train station. Here you can stop for the popular “coffee break” before leaving for the big city. The ice cream and cake creations by pastry chef Andreas Dietrich are not only extremely popular with hikers.
Info tips for those who are particularly interested in nature:
Important animal and plant species
- Birds: White-tailed eagle, crane, corncrake, common snipe, lapwing, reversible neck, sparrowhawk, swirling owl, bag tit, gray bunting
- Mammals: otters
- Amphibians: fire-bellied toad, crested newt
- Insects: Large fire butterflies, pearl grass meadow birds
- Plants: numerous types of orchid, Turkish lily, cotton grass, swamp rush, globe flower, swamp heart leaf, splendid carnation, swallow root, medicinal ziest, willow tree, cracked strawberry (edible!)
Your "packing list"
- The free App Flora Incognita can help you identify plants
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellants
- Drinks, possibly snacks
- Birdwatchers shouldn't forget their binoculars!
Seasonal calendar nature observation
March - June: common snipe and lapwing
May - July: the yellow oriole, red backed killer, orchids, various types of butterflies
August - September: Red-backed shrike, various species of butterflies
October - February: waxwing
all year round: crane with resting place, kingfisher, water buffalo & co
If you are interested in more background information on nature conservation and landscape management in the Lange Dammwiesen area, you can find it at the Landschaftspflegeverband Mittlere Oder e.V., NABU or the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Fund (Stiftung Naturschutzfond Brandenburg.)
- Hennickendorf: Mühle Lemke farm shop with bakery (Mon-Sat) and ice cream paradise on the church square
- Strausberg train station: snow-ice in the café and wine bar "coffee break"