At 23 nature stops you get the best views and interesting information about cultural and natural highlights of the biosphere reserve. They are best reached by bike. Seating possibilities invite you to stay and/or picknick.
Wind caresses the reed grass and ducks dabble in the water while the branches of the nearby oaks offer pleasant shadows. This is the first image visitors of this place get. Yet almost nobody knows what violent forces of nature are responsible for the creation of this idyll.
Near the Elbe embankment the dynamic of brackish waters in the biosphere reserve can be observed. Tables and benches invite you for a picknick.
Slavic Wall Kietz
Castle by the river
Town names like Lennwitz, Bälow, Garsedow, Groß and Klein Leppin, Wustrow, and Kietz along the Elberadweg hint at the region's Slavic history.A tangible impression of this history can be experienced in the immediate area: the ruins of a former Slavic castle as well as an old manor of the von Wenckstern a little further, which now houses a lovely café. Experience the region's history at this nature stop.
Ice oak Mödlich
An incisive meeting
Passing a curious sculpture that seems to want to teach you the meaning of fear, you trundle towards the shores of the Elbe. There at the side of the road, you'll spot it. Bruised and battered.A century old oak that has gone through a lot as it seems. But who has ravaged it so badly? Experience the force of nature by the means of this natural landmark.A walk along the Elbe is worth a while at this spot as it opens beautiful views over the river, which seems so harmless during summer months.
Old boarder tower Lenzen
Perspectives of the boarder at the Grünes Band (“green band”)
“Nobody intends to build a wall!” GDR chief of state and party leader Walter Ulbricht uttered this sentence on June 15, 1961 at a press conference. The boarder tower Lenzen is one of the many remnants that prove those words a lie. However, this isn't only a place of a dark past, but also a space that was left to nature for decades. Thus, a fascinating symbiosis between nature and history was created. Climb the historical tower and enjoy the view. Mind the wind.
Castle park Lenzen
Experiencing the flood plains with a historical backdrop
Due to its narrow streets and old half-timbered houses, Lenzen seems very medieval but is worth a visit nevertheless. In the Southern part of town, framed between meadow orchards and the river Löcknitz, you'll find Castle Lenzen and its natural castle park.A speciial hiighlight is the newly opened “Auenreich” (“realm of the flood plains”) which makes the flood plains come alive not only for children. Pay a visit fo the café and the vitiors' centre, and take in this unique scenery. The visitors' centre of the biosphere reserve offers a lot of interesting information.
Rudow's lake view
A valley of lake and moor
The Rudow lake, the Rambow moor and the attached diverse flora and fauna can be marvelled at here. Softly undulating and with small hills the landscape doesn't seem Brandenburgian at all. Take in the vastness and structural diversity of the area. The observation tower, which is hidden from view and cannot be spotted from the road, offers the best option to overlook the landscape. You can find out here what this landscape has got to do with salt stocks and nuclear waste desporitories.
Moor view Rambow
Roosting place for globetrotters
This observation tower is especially interesting for ornithologists. The Rambow moor offers migratory birds from all over the world a safe roosting, breeding, and overwintering place. With some luck, herons, cranes and great bitterns can be observed. Proceed to take a walk around the 12 kilometres long hiking trail “Zweiseitenweg ” around the Rambow moor to discover this unique area. In 2014 it was voted the greatest natural wonder of the year by the Heinz Sielmann foundation.
Moor view Boberow
Moor panorama at the bittern tower
Alongside a shady forest strip, on the opposite side of the little place Rambow, winds the circular path around the moor.A lot of stops inform about history, use of land, and creatures of the moor. At this observation tower you can learn more about the loss of moors, their importance and protection. From the top of the tower you have a spectactular wide view over the moor. This nature stop is especially nice for ornithologists.
Seep water plank Lenzen
Where water seeps and frogs spawn
What even is seep water?A walk across the oak posts might prove to be a tricky balancing act and answer your question along the way. At their end you'll find an observation deck with information boards. If the sink contains water, don't get distracted by the peculiar little creatures that inhabit the space below your feet on your way to the platform. Seating possibilities on the deck invite you to take a break. For adventurers only!
Between Lenzen and Rühstädt
Flood plains view “dike relocation Lenzen”
More room for the river
“Down with the dike! Long live the dike!” seems to be the motto in this place. Explore the old part of the embankment, pass a riparian forest that's still in the fledgling state, and enjoy the view over the Elbe, which was given more room to unfold here. This model project of nature protection is the first of its kind in Germany and shows how conservation of nature benefits humans, and cultural landscapes. The flood plains created protect from floods and are a habitat for many species of animals and plants at the same time. Grazing sheep and horses are used for landscape conservation purposes. This is a great area with a lot to see. Hike along the 7 kilometres long path as well.
Gallery forest Cumlosen
Soft wood at the strong current
Here, where the Elbe twists in a big arch towards the former inner-German boarder, you'll find the gallery forest Cumlosen. At the end of a plank you feel as if you've travelled back in time to a jungle-like place. It's hard to believe that whole areas around the river looked like this before human settlers came. Today, this part of the river is one of the few where riparian vegetation still can be found. Take a break on one of the benches and relax amid the rich greens of the gallery forest.
Ferry dock Wahrenberg
You might ask yourself why the Wahrenberger Chaussee doesn't lead to Wahrenberg. But as soon as you see the sandy beach and dip your feet into the fresh, cool water of the Elbe on a warm day, you forget about this, admittedly not entirely unfounded, question entirely. Ever since the Elbe bridge near Wittenberge was built in 1979, there has been no more ferry traffic. Before that, people either rowed or punted across the river to get to the other shore. The history of this place continues to live on at this nature stop.
Wetland biotope at the edge of Weisen
A pond full of life
The village name “Weisen” is derived from Western Slavic and means “place where reeds grow”. The wetland biotope created by humankind is not only an important habitat for flora and fauna but also does its village name justice.A bench invites you to sit down and watch fish, amphibiens, dragonflies, and other habitants of the ponds. Visit this little treasure of biodiversity at the edge of the Stepenitz valley right behind the sports ground in Weisen.
The land before the dike, Schadebeuster
The Lifeline Elbe
Between the places Wittenberge and Hinzdorf lies the extensive land before the dike, Schadebeuster. Most cyclists on the Elberadweg only see this landscape riding by. However, it is worth leaving the embankment to take a break on one of the grassed areas. Make yourself comfortable and watch the animals along the river as well as the ships on it. Rest a little, since breaks are part of every tour. The only things that break the silence are the gurgle of water, the rustling of grass, and the cows' moos.
Pollard willows Hinzdorf
Cultural assets in the wetlands
The striking pollard willows that flank the village church in Hinzdorf and can also be found at many other places in the Elbe wetlands, are witnesses of a thousand year old tradition. This craft isn't only important for humans; pollard willows offer diverse habitats for birds, small mammals and insects, and should therefore be preserved. Visit this nature stop and learn more about this nearly obsolete economic branch of the region.
The land before the dike, Bälow
Wetlands wild life in the front yard
Along the biosphere reserve Flusslandschaft Elbe-Brandenburg the Elbe is barely rectified and has quite a lot of space to spread out during floods. This is what has saved the village Bälow from being flooded several times. This observation spot allows you to realize the extent and effect of floods. You have a beautiful view over the area from the observation deck, and the resting place is suitable even for bigger groups of cyclists.
Between Rühstädt and Havelberg
Palace park Rühstädt
Garden landmark in the wetlands
Whereas the palace is clearly Baroque, the palace garden in Rühstädt is not exclusively. Interested visitors don't only find Baroque traces in the garden but also some more surprises like ice cellar hill. The vista towards the 10 metres high sandstone obelisk, which was ordered by Friedrich Wilhelm von Grumbkow, is especially impressive. In addition, you can spot some wooden rarities, such as the giant redwood.
On par with Meister Adebar
In Rühstädt everything revolves around the stork. Even the palace, the second biggest attraction, pays the bird tribute with its distinctive water reservoir tower. No wonder then that Rühstädt is a master in all things stork, and on top of that one of the few official stork villages in Europe. What humans and nature have to offer these birds you can find out face to face with Meister Adebar. Why don't you count all the nests visible from the “stork balcony”? Don't miss to pay a visit to the NABU visitors' centre.
On the middle dike
World of birds between Elbe and Havel
The calm Havel seems to hesitate meeting the boisterous Elbe which is why the river decided to run parallel alongside the big current from Havelberg onwards. This creates extensive isles from where you can watch the Elbe on the one side and the Havel from the other and observe their different natural spaces. The observation deck offers a perfect view over the landscape. Benches invite you to take a break and enjoy nature: a gorgeous place between two rivers.
From the observation deck you can see the artificial Havel flood channel and the wide space before the Elbe. After the Havel's mouth has been relocated downstream, the narrow strip of land along the current was cut off from the backlands.A thick forest used to thrive here; today there are only remnants left. However, with the end of agricultural usage, and replacement planting, a new riparian forest is supposed to grow here. The Elbe beaver has discovered this space already.
Inland dune Quitzöbel
The world of the ant-lion
Brandenburg, “the German Reich's grit can” as it was snidely called earlier, does its name justice in this instance. The inland dune Quitzöbel with its knobby pine trees carries this cliché to the extreme while at the same time it offers an important biotope for many interesting species. Marvel at the masses of sand, the smell created when the sun hits the dune, and the big and small plants that thrive under these habitat conditions. The observation deck serves as a resting and picknick place.
Mühlenberg Groß Leppin
View the land
Near the Plattenburg, past a little forest where a an old, seeminly cursed cemetery hides, you can climb the Mühlenberg of Groß Leppin. From there you can cast a wide view over the hinterland of the Prignitz. The make it seem like you're not in Brandenburg anymore. Even slightly bigger groups can find some rest on one of the benches.A tip: Up here a gentle breeze offers a refreshment during especially warm days.
Observation tower Klein Leppin
A wide view over forests and fields
If the embankments of the Elbe wetlands were too busy for you, the hinterlands present a charming sleepiness. The little place Klein Leppin lies between spacious forest and meadow landscapes, and the natural river Karthane. Several circular paths through the surrounding area start from here and cover both historical and cultural themes. The nature stop is right by the edge of the forest and offers a gorgeous view of wide fields and forests.
Insider tip from Jan Schormann
Jan Schormann is responsible for sustainable area development within the biosphere reserve Flusslandschaft Elbe-Brandenburg and loves the region. He told us his favourite place:
“I love to climb the observation tower ”Zweistromland“ between Elbe and Havel at sunset when thousands of Nordic geese fly by over my head to find safety for the night in the surrounding area during the spring and autumn months. As soon as night settles over this place with its wide views and the serene nature, I can slow down my mind, and i feel closest to what this landscape means to me.”