Martin Donat

Tough trails and adventure – 3 days bikepacking in Lower Saxony


Tough trails and adventure – 3 days bikepacking in Lower Saxony

Mountain Biking Collection by Martin Donat
2-3 days
3-4 h / day
71.0 mi
7,425 ft
7,500 ft

A crystal-clear stream gurgles merrily through sprawling forests and picturesque valleys. Narrow mountain ridges with vantage points give you a fantastic view of the region's diverse landscapes. Ancient breeds of farm animals work hard as caretakers of the landscape in lush green pastures. Last but not least, numerous cultural highlights such as archaeological sites, castles, industrial monuments and idyllic old villages tell of the region’s rich history.

A range of hills in Lower Saxony, the Solling may seem rather unspectacular at first glance. However, on closer inspection, the region reveals its incredible variety. It comes as no surprise that it is protected as part of the Solling-Vogler Nature Park. In this Collection, I have put together a short bikepacking trip for you which brings you close to these beautiful landscapes in the very south of Lower Saxony. All you need is your bike, some light luggage and two or three days spare. Are you ready for an adventure?

The Solling is the second largest forest area in Lower Saxony and also the third highest mountain range in the state. That may sound impressive at first, but the town of Dassel in the north-east and Bad Karlshafen to the south are less than 35 kilometres (21.7 miles) apart. You could easily do a ‘Trans-Solling Tour’ in an afternoon. To make a nice weekend adventure out of it, I’ve criss-crossed my route through the beautiful landscape, drawing inspiration from some of the numerous official mountain bike Tours in the area.

My route starts in the municipality of Bodenfelde in the very south of the mountains. From here, you cycle in a curve to Bad Karlshafen, a baroque, thermal salt spa town. The next day, you follow the Weser River north before turning east again into the centre of the nature park. The village of Neuhaus im Solling, which lies in the heart of the Hochsolling, is the second stage destination. On the last day, you ride past the town of Dassel to Holzminden, where your adventure concludes.

The start and endpoint of the journey both lie on the railway network, so you can plan your weekend trip without a car. In each of the stage destinations, there are numerous places to stop for refreshments, stock up on supplies and stay overnight, including a campsite if you prefer to sleep close to nature. The individual Tours are relatively short, giving you enough time to enjoy longer breaks and stop at the highlights en route at your leisure. Alternatively, you can of course plan longer rides and cross the Solling in two days or even in one go. Whether you want a relaxed trip with your family or a tough endurance challenge, anything is possible – it’s up to you what you make of it.

As the Tours are quite short and you pass towns where you can find anything you need for your trip, you can travel light. A change of clothes, an emergency bike repair kit and some food and drink are all you need. You also don’t need a fancy bike – a normal hardtail is perfectly adequate. Of course, there's nothing to stop you from going on a trip with a fast all-mountain bike. The rule here is to ride whatever you handle best so that you can relax on the terrain. This way, you fully enjoy the beautiful nature and, with a little leg power, have a great weekend. Have fun!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    18.7 mi
    6.6 mph
    2,500 ft
    2,575 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The first stage through Solling begins very relaxed and is a real pleasure tour. With almost 800 meters in altitude on just 30 kilometers, a few crisp climbs are waiting for you. As a reward, there are also great views and lots of really nice opportunities for short or long breaks.It starts in Bodenfelde. There is a train station and good connections so that you can travel comfortably by train. In this way the adventure begins at home! Right at the beginning, a nice climb awaits you, which will bring your muscles to operating temperature. Once at the top, you have a great view of Hesse. To be honest, that's not difficult either, because the route runs very close to the national border. Nevertheless, the view is so good that it is worth taking a short break.The next uphill follows a relaxed descent. This time a real highlight is waiting for you on the summit: the 30 meter high Sollingturm. It is worthwhile to climb up briefly, especially towards the southeast you have an impressive foresight. You have now reached the highest point of the tour and can look forward to a long descent.It leads you through Schönhagen to the small town of Nienover, which has a lot to offer. Here you can admire a medieval town house, pay a visit to rare Exmoor ponies, take a look at the castle or just take a little break at an idyllic village pond. If you want to extend the tour a little, you can add a loop into the beautiful Reiherbachtal.The last section now leads you past the “Lug ins Land”, a beautiful vantage point, towards the stage destination. Bad Karlshafen is located directly on the Weser and on the way there you get a good foretaste of tomorrow's stage, which is characterized by many beautiful trails. In Bad Karlshafen there are accommodations, shopping and refreshment stops and - if you like it close to nature - a campsite. The evening here should not be boring: Bad Karlshafen has a beautiful city complex in the Weser Baroque style, a graduation tower and of course the Weser, which is always ideal for a walk.

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    25.2 mi
    7.0 mph
    2,950 ft
    2,100 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The second stage through Solling is incredibly varied. You drive over many beautiful trails, enjoy great views of the Weser Valley and the Weser Uplands, you can always relax on short cycle path passages and come across cultural highlights that are really worth seeing.It starts in Bad Karlshafen, where a steep climb brings you to operating temperature right from the start. Hardly out of town, you are right in the middle of the green and enjoy the wonderfully quiet forest landscape in the west of the Solling. You roughly follow the course of the Weser, on which you can always enjoy a beautiful view. This first section is characterized by many short trail passages that provide fun and variety.A first cultural stopover is ideal in the small town of Fürstenberge. Here is the castle of the same name, in which not only a bistro invites you to take a short break, but above all the porcelain museum. Here you can learn everything about the world-famous porcelain factory, which has been based here since 1747.A crisp trail east of Höxter finally spits you out directly on the Weser, which you follow a short distance on the beautiful bike path. Perfect for resting - or for a short detour. From here you can quickly reach Höxter and Corvey Castle on the other side of the Weser. This is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and is well worth a visit if you fancy another cultural contribution.Now you are heading for the center of the Solling-Vogler Nature Park and the stage destination, the small town of Neuhaus im Solling. It is a popular holiday and recreation area and is embedded in the forests, meadows and pastures of the nature park. If you haven't had enough bike action yet, this is a great place to extend your tour. To the north-east of Neuhaus is a mountain bike course with a circuit that is around nine kilometers long. From here it's not far to the high moor, which is also worth a detour. Incidentally, there is a campsite right on the edge of the moor. In and around Neuhaus you will also find numerous accommodations with a roof over your head.

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  • Intermediate
    27.1 mi
    8.6 mph
    1,975 ft
    2,825 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    At the end of this short Solling adventure, another really nice tour awaits you, which can be a bit demanding here and there. It leads up and down through the Hochsolling and takes some crisp climbs and beautiful trails with it. In return, there are wonderful views - partly as far as the Harz Mountains - and an impressive landscape.You start in Neuhaus im Solling and if you haven't done it yesterday, you should - if you have time - think about a short detour to the bike trail and into the high moor northeast of Neuhaus. Both in terms of trails, but above all because of the beautiful nature here, it is very worthwhile to extend the circuit a bit. The actual tour then takes you over beautiful forest paths and isolated, quiet roads in the direction of Dassel. Here you can take a break at the Heinrichruh rest area. If you want to go shopping or are looking for a place to stop, you can simply drive a little further to Dassel and fill up your energy supplies. And while you're already there, a stop at the historic Blankschmiede technology museum is a good idea. Here you can see an old hammer forge and learn everything about the traditional craft.Behind Dassel, two particularly beautiful sections are waiting for you. In the idyllic Hellental you drive through a picturesque meadow landscape and shortly afterwards the beautiful Hasselbachtal is waiting for you. Along the stream of the same name you roll over a simple forest path and can enjoy the beautiful nature in peace. It's not far to the destination of the tour: Not only does this route end at Holzminden train station, but also your bikepacking adventure in Solling. A wonderful time lies behind you, which you can look back at on the relaxed return journey by train.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    71.0 mi
  • Duration
    09:37 h
  • Elevation
    7,425 ft7,500 ft

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Martin Donat

Tough trails and adventure – 3 days bikepacking in Lower Saxony