Forest, lakes and rivers. Peace and solitude. Northeast of Berlin, between the Feldberg Lakes and the Oder River, lies the Brandenburg Uckermark. This is a place where many city dwellers long to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a place where you can be close to unspoiled nature.
The Märkische Landweg leads you 190 kilometres (118 mi) across the Uckermark. From west to east, you pass through three large protected areas: the Uckermark Lakes Nature Park, the Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve and finally the Lower Oder Valley National Park. You roam through glacial landscapes with many lakes, lush meadows, green forests and magnificent floodplains. Often, you won’t meet any other hikers for hours in this sparsely populated and very charming area. You pass through small, lively towns with many sights for those interested in culture and history, or through tiny villages with pretty farms and gardens.
I’ve divided this beautiful long-distance trail into eight stages between 20 and 29 kilometres (12.4 and 18 mi) in length. You can find accommodation at each stage destination or not far from it. At each stage, or not far from it, you can find accommodation. I definitely recommend booking in advance as the guesthouses often only have a few spaces and may be full if you arrive spontaneously. You can find a good overview of accommodation on the Uckermark website (tourismus-uckermark.de/gastgeber.html).
You can also plan day trips or tailor the routes to your needs. It’s easy to arrive with the train via Neustrelitz, Templin, Angermünde and Schwedt. From there, the buses of the Uckermärkische Verkehrsgemeinschaft will take you to the start in Feldberg (uvg-online.com).
You hike alternately along hiking trails, farm roads, and narrow paths. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enough to drink. As the area is sparsely populated, there isn’t an opportunity to stop for refreshments on every stage.
Nothing stands in the way of your time-out in this wonderful, natural and water-rich landscape. Pack your rucksack, lace up your shoes and enjoy the hike through one of my favorite regions.
You leave the old rafting town of Lychen to the southeast and initially walk about seven kilometers past two connected lakes. The Zens and Platkow lakes are channel lakes that were left behind by the last ice age. The high bank, shaded by beeches and other deciduous trees, is beautiful and idyllic. You might even see one of the ospreys or sea eagles that breed and hunt here.
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In Templin you leave the Uckermark Lakes Nature Park and enter the Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve. Extensive and lonely forests with pines, old hat oak or lowland beech await you, in which endangered animal and plant species find undisturbed habitats. On this stage there should be space for a picnic and enough drinks in your backpack, because the places to stop for refreshments in this beautiful, but sparsely populated area are rare.
In Ringenwalde there is a wooden statue opposite the village church. It bears the name "Goddess of Peace" because it was carved from the wood of the peace oak, which was planted in 1870 on the occasion of the victory in the Franco-German war. In 2010 it had to be felled and this beautiful statue was made from its wood.