Picturesque green meadows interspersed with wide fields and dead-straight canals. Beautiful lakes in unique nature reserves and meandering rivers that flow happily through the flat landscape of northern Germany. Windmills, charming villages and staggering beautiful towns: This is the former Elber-Weser cycle path.
Today, the old Elbe-Weser cycle path no longer officially exists. Having been barely used for generations, the government rendered maintenance efforts pointless and pulled the plug on the path back in 2015. Today, however, the path is still there and still very much rideable—you'll just encounter way fewer people as you ride.
In four days, you can cycle comfortably from Otterndorf on the Elbe to Bremen on the Weser - perfect for a short holiday or a long weekend. The four stages of the largely flat bike ride are between 37 and 60 kilometers (22-37 miles) long, and you can comfortably get to the starting point in Otterndorf by train. Departing from Bremen, which is connected to both local and long-distance rail services, is also just as simple.
While cycling the former Elbe-Weser cycle path, you'll bike by numerous places to top up on refreshments, to grab a bite to eat, and to get a good night's sleep. Charming villages and small towns, as well as camping sites and bathing lakes, offer plenty of places to enjoy a quick afternoon rest or an overnight stay. So all that's left is for you to pack up your bike, head to Ottendorf, and rediscover the beautiful Elbe-Weser cycle path.
In the charming town of Otterndorf, which lies on the Elbe, the former Elbe-Weser cycle path starts, which once connected the two popular cycle paths, the Elbe and Weser cycle paths. Although the bike path is no longer officially signposted today, you can still drive it anyway. The starting point in Otterndorf is best reached by train. From there, the first stage takes you 44 kilometers south to Bad Bederkesa.It starts with a small dangling north to the Elbe. There you cross the Hadelner canal, which together with other channels creates a connection between the Elbe and the Weser. After the crossing you follow the canal for a short distance and then turn south, where you cycle through Otterndorf again. From there, the flat route leads you through beautiful moorland and heathland, past windmills, small rivers and large lakes. Now and then you come through a small village where you can rest.In the stage destination Bad Bederkesa you can pay a visit to the medieval castle of the place or end the day at the lake Bederkesaer. Around the lake you can experience a lot of nature and enjoy delicious fresh fish in the cozy restaurant right on the shore.
On the former Elbe-Weser cycle path, it continues today towards Beverstedt. The also largely flat second stage is 37 kilometers long and leads you through wooded Geest and moorland.Right at the beginning of the trail, you can stop in Bad Bederkesa for a stop in the old mill, which you can visit. Especially beautiful is the view from the mill to the small town and the Bederkesaer lake. From the mill, we head south out of Bad Bederkesa past beautiful fields and wide meadows. After a few kilometers you cross the Baderkesa Geeste Canal, which also belongs to the Elbe-Weser-Schifffahrtsweg. Shortly thereafter it goes over the Geeste, which is lined with lush green meadows. On the way you come again and again through beautiful villages where you can rest well and stop in restaurants or cafes. Otherwise, the Silver Lake offers for a long break. Here you can not only refresh yourself while bathing in the cool water, but also eat something delicious at the kiosk.Refreshed and invigorated, you can then enjoy the last few kilometers to the final destination to Beverstedt, where you can rest in one of the many accommodations for the next stage, which promises a lot of excitement.
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From today it will be exciting because for the section from Beverstedt we have only vague information about the route of the former Elbe-Weser cycle path. Today's 60-kilometer stage to Gnarrenburg is therefore an adventure on the trail of the old Elbe-Weser cycle path.Through spooky beautiful moorland, it goes first on quiet roads towards Bremervörde. The place is not only halfway to the stage destination, but also right in the middle of the Elbe and Weser. In Bremervörde offers a long break, because in addition to a large selection of cozy restaurants and cafes to stop by, you have there also the opportunity to visit the Bachmann Museum or enjoy the beautiful nature of the Oste.After this great break you cycle past wide meadows and fields parallel to the Oste to the south, where you pass the romantic Dutch windmill "Sabine". On an almost flat stretch we continue to the Huvenhoopsmoor, where you can make a short detour on the Moorerlebnispfad, before you cycle the last few kilometers to the final destination to Gnarrenburg.In the stage destination Gnarrenburg you can refresh yourself to the swim of the day in the forest swimming pool and end there the exciting day, which has brought you this stage.
Today is already the last day on the former Elbe-Weser-Radweg, which leads you to the goal of the tour to Bremen. 57 flat kilometers will take you on the last leg from Gnarrenburg to the Weser.Let's head south along the dead straight Hamme-Oste-Kanal. Afterwards you follow the Hamme, which meanders through wide green meadows and then turn west to drive a nice dangling through the moor. At the detour you cycle through the enchanted fortune and devil moor. Here you can also pay a visit to the Museum Moorkate, where you can get an impression of the life of the region at that time.From there, it's along the Beek through the beautiful nature reserve "Wide Water", which is home to many birds that you can watch with some patience. Past countless streams and lakes you will cycle through this wet area towards Worpswede. About Lilienthal it goes through the nature reserve "Western Hollerland" directly to Bremen, today's stage destination and the goal of the four-day bike ride.Before you return home from Bremen by train, you should absolutely pay a visit to the beautiful old town and if you have more time, it is worthwhile to visit the meadows of the Easter dike in the evening. Here you can enjoy the sunset over the Weser on balmy summer evenings. A finer conclusion for the bike ride from the Elbe to the Weser there are hardly any ...