Two late-winter walks in Brandenburg

Temperatures shot up in Berlin and its surroundings in February, bringing a sudden end to winter. It’s possible that this is just a “Fool’s spring” as people call it, and the temperatures could drop again in March or April, but so far the warm weather is holding. Last weekend and this weekend we made use of the warmer weather to go for some day walks in Brandenburg. There are endless possibilities for nice walks in the countryside of Brandenburg, and you could do a different walk every weekend of the year without running out of options.

Around Buckowsee and Schermützelsee (Märkisches Schweiz)

With glorious sunny weather on Sunday, we headed to Buckow, which is in Märkisches Schweiz, a relatively hilly part of Brandenburg. Schweiz means Switzerland, so if you are looking for hills in Germany, just look for a Schweiz. In general, Brandenburg is relatively flat, so don’t expect mountains. The highest hill is 201m, and that is near the border with Saxony. However, since Berlin is even flatter, it’s always a nice change for us to walk up and down a few slopes in Brandenburg.

By the time we got to Buckow we were hungry, so we had lunch at Restaurant Stobbermühle. Tastebuds and stomachs satisfied, we were then ready for a hike, and picked up some pamphlets with a map at the information centre. Buckow itself is a pretty town and worth a wander around.

We headed off in the direction of Buckowsee, and followed a wooden walkway halfway around the lake for nice views of the Schloss and church of Buckow.

Then we headed over a hill to the nearby Schermützelsee, an even bigger lake. Our walk took us all the way around it, with lots of ups and downs.

Now it is spring, and the crocuses have started to push their way up from the soil. The hazel and alder trees are also flowering, which causes terrible hayfever in some people (luckily these are not pollens that bother me, though I dread the birch pollen to come).

Afterwards we headed back to Buckow and ended our trip on a high note with coffee and cake at the Cafe Am Markt.

We walked back to the parking place through Schloßpark Buckow, and discovered a place for kneippen, which is a therapy invented by Sebastian Kneipp where you walk around in cold water to improve your circulation. We had found out about it when hiking in Bavaria, as it’s also great for refreshing tired feet and legs. We’ll definitely have to come back to Buckow in summer and try it!

Practicalities

You can get information on the hiking trails at the Tourist Info centre in Buckow (Wriezener Str. 1A), which is also open on Sundays. Main walking routes are assigned a symbol (usually a coloured shape on a white background) that is painted onto trees along the way. My husband also uses the App “Mapy.cz” to find hiking trails.

From Neuruppin to Wustrau-Radensleben

The blue skies and sun disappeared on Friday and this weekend was decidedly grey and chilly, but nonetheless we decided to go for another walk in the woods. This time we took the RE6 (regional train) to Neuruppin, a town situated next to Ruppiner See about 60km from Berlin. It was very chilly when we arrived and already past lunchtime, so we walked a few kilometers to the Hotel & Restaurant Waldfrieden to have lunch. The food was delicious – my husband had trout with boiled potatoes and salad, and I had the baked turkey steak with cheese, green beans with brown butter sauce and potato croquettes.

Afterwards we walked through the nearby village, through some countryside, and then along the length of Ruppiner See, which was a very pretty trail on a narrow path near the water’s edge. We heard and saw a number of different birds in the trees and on the water, including some storks returning home in the direction of Linum. We visited Linum last autumn, but unfortunately the storks had just left and the cranes had not yet arrived.

At the end of the lake we walked through another village, now enjoying views of countryside and ponies, before heading along a road and then through a forest to the train station at Wustrau-Radensleben.

Practicalities

Once again my husband used Mapy.cz to plot a course, but there is also a tourist info centre in Neuruppin (Karl-Marx-Straße 1).

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