Finish

Hikes to the Ore Mountains and Thuringian Forest — #FinishSavesWater for Nature

Wanderkaiser Opilio Martinus I.

Hikes to the Ore Mountains and Thuringian Forest — #FinishSavesWater for Nature

Hiking Collection by Finish

7

Tours

22:09 h

51.0 mi

3,300 ft

When we are stressed, we escape to the forest to relax. But what if the forest itself is under stress? Due to climate change, summers are becoming hotter and wetter. As a result, the water table is falling and young trees and shallow-rooted species can no longer reach this vital elixir of life. Signs of this so-called drought stress include bare patches, dry tree crowns, bark beetle infestation and even the death of the tree.

Large-scale spruce monocultures which prefer a wet, alpine climate, are particularly badly affected. In every German state, but also in Austria and Switzerland, you can discover forests where large areas have been razed to the ground by pests or storms.

Our forests as we know them are changing. But there is still hope to preserve our green lungs. Many monoculture plantations, areas of single species that serve primarily as wood suppliers for us humans, are being converted into diverse and species-rich mixed forests. Species from other regions of the world, such as the Douglas fir and the black walnut, are also a ray of hope.

In this Collection, we present seven day Tours covering Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. From vantage points, towers or treetop paths you can see the bare patches in the canopy particularly well and have an overview of the forests. On the suspension bridge in the Bear Valley, you can discover one of the driest areas in Germany.

In Saxony-Anhalt, you'll hike to an episodic lake that can simply disappear as if by magic – a bitter taste of what lies ahead. In the Leipzig floodplain forest, you'll get to know an urban forest that is increasingly drying out. Most of the hikes can be reached by public transport and some only by car. All Tours are easy to do and require average stamina.

Natural forests give us so much: they reliably filter pollutants from the air, bind large amounts of CO2 in the soil as well as in the wood, and provide us with valuable oxygen every day. It is time to give something back to them and every individual can contribute to the preservation of our forests.

It’s not only climate change but also the extreme extraction of groundwater and the draining of wetlands for residential areas and farmland which is making it increasingly difficult for trees to survive. So, let's save water and preserve our forests together! The challenge is great, but it also offers opportunities. The future could become more species-rich and colourful again if we all just do our small part.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    02:53
    6.59 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Although beeches are particularly drought-resistant, tree deaths occurred in the Hainich National Park (one of the largest original beech forests in Germany) due to the unusually dry summers. Ancient giant trees showed damage such as brown leaves, dry branches or even died completely. The effects of climate change are analyzed here in regular workshops and strategies for the Hainich beech forest are developed.

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  • Intermediate
    03:18
    7.10 mi
    2.2 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Bare, brown and desolate: the forest in the Selke Valley is changing and is struggling with massive tree deaths. The spruce monocultures are no longer able to cope with the …

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  • Intermediate
    03:52
    9.38 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Leipzig alluvial forest is a landscape worth protecting in the middle of the city. Due to climate change and the extensive hydraulic engineering measures of the last few decades, …

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  • Intermediate
    04:38
    11.3 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Dubringer Moor in the district of Bautzen is one of the largest nature reserves in Saxony with its 1711 hectares. Here between the Elbe and Oder you will discover …

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  • Difficult
    02:19
    5.07 mi
    2.2 mph
    500 ft
    700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Sometimes he's there, sometimes not. The Bauerngraben in the Harz Mountains is a real surprise bag and shows you what it would be like if a pond were simply no …

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  • Intermediate
    02:16
    5.14 mi
    2.3 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Drought damage and bark beetles: The Thuringian Forest is suffering. This is especially true for the Kyffhäuser area, because the small town of Artern is considered the driest place in …

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  • Intermediate
    02:54
    6.49 mi
    2.2 mph
    625 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    A moor for dry feet: The Schützenbergmoor near Oberhof is the only high moor educational trail in Thuringia. On a 230 meter long, barrier-free footbridge you can discover the five-hectare …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    51.0 mi
  • Duration
    22:09 h
  • Elevation
    3,300 ft

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Finish

Hikes to the Ore Mountains and Thuringian Forest — #FinishSavesWater for Nature