We love to explore nature, it’s a great way to relax. So after doing the fun and obvious around Berlin we started to explore the parks, and as those had been exhausted we ventured further into the hiking (or if you refuse to call flat trails that… “walking”) scene of Berlin. After looking up a few popular hikes we got interested in what else was out there. Eventually we stumbled upon the “66 Lake Trail” (“Der 66-Seen-Wanderweg” in German), a 416km long trail that loops around Berlin mostly in the state of Brandenburg, connecting many (72 in total) lakes. It’s divided into 17 stages, mainly as each stages starts in one town and ends in the another before it becomes the next stage. Though Berlin and Brandenburg’s landscape doesn’t vary a whole lot, the idea of being out in nature and exploring all these lakes was very attractive so we put it on the list.
This blog is partially for the purpose of detailing our adventures, but also to help other English speakers who might have the same problems we had in exploring the trails, perhaps because most of the information is only available on German sites.
The trouble only started when we got ready for our first day of checking out the trail. Since most of the sites dedicated to the 66 Lake Trail are in German, we were always a bit unsure if we were missing something. But in general the sites that mention the trail or feature all of its stages are pretty vague. The more we searched through the information we found none of them really explained where the trail was in detail. Just a pin on a map with no address or coordinates to aim for.
There were two real difficulties for us in getting out and hiking, first was we didn’t have a long day ahead of us, so we weren’t planning to hike an entire stage in one day, each stage averages roughly 25km, we have just an hour or two to get out and explore one of them, so finding something nearby was important. The second issue was that for a while, as I researched where all the trails were. None of the websites or blog posts actually provided an address or GPS coordinate for the trails. So getting started was not easy, and we didn’t want to be lost in one of these random towns off the beaten trail.
There is an ebook about it, the book can be viewed here and purchased here for 14 euros. And many sites list varying details such as this one and this one on scoutlander.com which happens to make a similar attempt as KS and I will try for – documenting their exploration of the trail. Also trip advisor has a string about hikes in Berlin, in which the 66 lake trail is mentioned, but there’s not much more to go on then that. What ended up being the most helpful was this page on “Wanderkompass.de”, which actually shows a Google Map with full GPS outline of the trail.
So, all of that complaining now behind us, we’ll see how much better I can document the trails, how to find them, and what to expect!
First Trail: The first trail we tried was a piece of the 21km 8th stage stretch, running between Strausberg and Rüdersdorf. I had stumbled upon photos of Herrensee and wanted to go see the trees growing up out of the water. But there doesn’t seem to be much documented about Herrensee and the 66 Lake Trail yet. So search by that criteria was difficult and a waste of time. Instead of locating a good place to start on the trail, we just headed to the end of the S5 line and got off at Strausberg-Hegermühle S-Bahn stop with some google maps cached onto my phone we wandered off into the woods looking for a trail around Herrensee.
After located the lake we started to see the 66 Lake Trail marker, a white square with a blue circle. Finally, we had found the 66 Lake Trail, and suddenly the excitement and energy for discovering all 72 lakes was fresh again!
This small section, on the rainy cold day was enough to wet out interests. We knew the days would be getting longer, and the long hikes were a fun way to get out of the city and explore Germany’s countryside in a day. I hope this blog ends up full of useful information to help others get out and hike the many trails around Berlin.