Coal, wind & water tour — in 6 stages through Elbe-Elster-Land

Bike Touring Collection by
Kohle, Wind & Wasser-Tour

Refreshing lakes and rivers, picturesque meadows and shady forests, rugged mining areas and idyllically restored areas where nature is gradually reclaiming the landscape marked by coal mining: The coal, wind and water tour, which we present to you in this collection in six stages, takes you through the varied Elbe-Elster-Land over a distance of around 250 kilometres. Further information on the tour can also be found in the latest edition of the ADFC brochure "Discover Germany by bike", which you can view online here or order as a printed version at home:

Along the route you'll come across exciting stations that are not just places of interest, but part of the region's history. They tell stories about people's lives, about the way of life in the Elbe-Elster-Land and about the past and future of the region. The topic of energy is always present. Whether coal, wind or water — on this tour the name says it all and is embodied by windmills, historical power stations and old conveyor systems. And of course through the Black and Little Magpie with their tributaries, which are omnipresent and make a remote water mill rattle here and there.

The officially designated stages are mostly flat and so short that they can also be mastered in a relaxed manner by occasional cyclists. If you are used to riding longer tours, there is no reason why you shouldn't combine individual stages and complete the tour in just a few days. On the way you will always find opportunities for a little rest and in the villages on the way you can replenish your supplies. The stage locations are sometimes quite small, so that the choice of overnight accommodations is often small. We therefore recommend that you plan and book your overnight stays in advance so that you don't have to stand in front of closed doors. If you make other plans along the way, for example because the weather changes, you can take a bus or train back to the starting point in Bad Liebenwerda. However, the connection is not always optimal and you have to change several times. Many buses even carry bicycles — to be on the safe side, you can check your connection here:

As this is a round trip, you can always join the tour from any stage. We have chosen Bad Liebenwerda as our starting point. The cosy health resort is easily accessible by car or train, and there are also many accommodations here, so that you can arrive the evening before the tour start and have a good rest.

We wish you lots of fun on this energetic bike tour with all its mills, industrial monuments, nature and culture.

On The Map

The Stages On The Coal, Wind & Water Tour

  • Intermediate
    33.7 mi
    10.2 mph
    725 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Already on the first leg of the "coal, wind and water tour", it immediately becomes clear why this bike tour through the Elbe-Elster-Land is exactly the same. From the beginning, the water is always present, as you cycle on a beautiful, quiet bike path along the black Elster, which leads you directly to the first "water highlight" of the tour. The Hochpolgenerator Neumühl marks the oldest mill location of the district and offers itself for an informative break, which can be combined excellently with a cake stop in the neighboring Elsterstube.A few miles further, the coal comes into play. For the visit of the former briquette factory Louise you should plan a longer break. There is much to discover, learn and admire here. At the latest, when the old steam engines are fired, action is really in the game.Then it gets quiet again. A short detour leads you to a "rest hole" of the former coal mining. The huge holes of the old opencast mines have run aground with water today and are gradually being renaturally restored. So you can enjoy here today the beautiful view of the large wetlands that hardly give any idea what the coal mining has done here once.After about 55 kilometers, you reach the finish line Herzberg. The small town has a cozy town center with medieval cobbled streets, a historic town hall building and a medieval church. Worth seeing is the city park, the longest-running planetarium in Brandenburg and the animal enclosure just outside the city. In Herzberg there are all sorts of pensions, private rooms and a few hotels and inns, so you can easily find a suitable accommodation. If you want to ride the stage individually, you can easily return to the starting point in Bad Liebenwerda by train or by bus.

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  • Easy
    13.1 mi
    10.9 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second leg on the coal, wind and water tour is quite short at around 21 kilometers, and is almost flat so you have enough energy and enough time to enjoy the beautiful, tranquil landscape here and there Stop in and see the sights in the waypoint.On the way you can expect a rustic restaurant, a lake and a picnic area right on the bike path. So you have the free choice: idyllic, refreshing or "original" - the right place will be found.In the stage destination Schönewalde is again a station of the coal, wind and water tour on the program - today it's all about the wind, with its force in the mill on the outskirts of the village for centuries, the millers have ground the grain. Today, unfortunately, this is only the case during a guided tour, which you should register in advance, if you want to admire the mill not only from the outside. Also highly recommended is a trip to the baroque castle in nearby Ahlsdorf. The castle is unfortunately not open to the public, but there is the beautiful park in front of it, where the historic tea house, once built by the Georg von Siemens family, is located.In the small town Schönewalde there is a single hotel, the Parkhotel. Otherwise you will find here a few guesthouses and pensions and a manageable number of restaurants and snacks. If you want to end your tour here, a bus connection brings you back to Herzberg, where you can change to Bad Liebenwerda.

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  • Intermediate
    32.2 mi
    10.6 mph
    575 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The third leg of the coal, wind and water tour takes you almost 52 kilometers, taking you through ancient villages, past idyllic lakes and through shady forests. A baroque church and various windmills provide variety and entertaining as well as interesting opportunities for small breaks.You start in the cozy Schönewalde on a quiet and absolutely flat country road, where you can warm yourself up in peace. After 18 kilometers you reach the small Körbaer lake, which represents a nice opportunity for a break. Maybe you relax a bit by the lakeside or treat yourself to a snack in the café on the south bank. Then you are ready for the next part of the tour, which is a bit hilier than it used to be.In the Rochauer Heath a few climbs are waiting for you, but they are all feasible and do not pose any great challenge. Rather, a bit of variety comes into play as you pedal through the idyllic heather forest. Just when the forest ends, you come to a truly fairytale entity: "Lilliput Castle" is the architectural life's work of a quirky author and artist who gives you an insight into his enchanting world at the monthly "Open Day". Just for that it is worthwhile to time the tour accordingly.Before you reach the stage destination Sonnewalde, you pass the Trebbus wind turbine, which brings you back to the ground and invites you to take a rest in the spirit of the coal, wind and water tour. Leave a lot of time on the way, because in the way point it is even quieter than at the starting point Schönewalde. A few accommodations are at your disposal, where you can enjoy pure village idyll. If you want to stop the tour early, it is recommended to cycle a few more kilometers to Finsterwalde. From there, take regional trains.

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  • Difficult
    39.3 mi
    10.4 mph
    675 ft
    650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On the fourth leg of the coal, wind and water tour, things are getting busier again. If you leave the small town of Sonnewalde, you head for Finsterwalde. There is also no big-city flair, but at least you drive through the most populous place in the district of Elbe-Elster with a beautiful market square, where a small break offers.What follows, on the other hand, is truly gigantic and, after so much wind and water, is fully devoted to the topic of coal. As part of a tour of the F60 conveyor bridge, you can experience in an impressive way how coal was mined here in the past , Even today, the landscape is characterized by it, even if the ugly holes have now been renaturiert mainly to beautiful lake landscapes and green recreation areas. Exactly this contrast you will experience in the further course. From the coal hole at the conveyor bridge you cycle over beautiful bike paths through the renatured lake landscape to Grünewalde and on to Lauchhammer.In the stage destination Lauchhammer there is a lot to see. The many churches in the city are worth seeing and the mill museum fits perfectly with the motto of the tour. Also worth a visit are the "Biotürme". In the past, wastewater from coke production was treated biologically. The towers are today a bizarre setting, one of them can be climbed - from the top you have an impressive view of the former industrial area.In Lauchhammer you will find a good selection of accommodation from the campsite to the hotel. By train you are in about 20 minutes back at the starting point of the coal, wind and water tour in Bad Liebenwerda.

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  • Intermediate
    35.6 mi
    10.1 mph
    275 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The fifth stage of the coal, wind and water tour runs along the black Elster over Elsterwerde to Mühlberg on the Elbe. The route is smooth, so you can easily master the distance and enough energy remains to look at the sights along the tour and in the stage destination Mühlberg in peace.This stage is once again dominated by coal: in Plessa you will pass the world's oldest power plant. Here you should definitely stop and take part in an exciting tour, in which you can understand the path of the coal from the storage silo to the Trafohaus vividly.Significantly "puny" is in Elsterwerda. In the miniature park around 120 historic buildings in the area are rebuilt, so you can undertake a ramble through the district Elbe-Elster in the smallest space. Incidentally, there is also a post windmill that is well worth a visit, and it directs the focus from coal back to the wind.Past churches, through idyllic villages and a picturesque meadow landscape, which is repeatedly loosened up by small waters, you now cycle to the stage destination Mühlberg, where the Elbe once again takes over the water part of the tour. In Mühlberg some sights are waiting to be discovered by you. These include the old town with a beautiful market square, the castle Mühlberg, the museum or the monastery Marienstein. From Mühlberg there is a bus connection to the starting point of the tour, Bad Liebenwerda.

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  • Intermediate
    20.1 mi
    9.5 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Mühlberg the last stage of the coal, wind and water tour leads back to the starting point to Bad Liebenwerda or - to stay with the motto of the tour - from the Elbe back to the Schwarze Elster. The course of the approximately 32-kilometer stage is almost flat, so that today again enough time and energy remains to enjoy the landscape and stop here and there, for example, one of the castles or one of the windmills lining the road, closer to examine.At the beginning of the tour you follow the Elbe Cycle Path for a while until the wind turbine mill Altbelgern gives the signal to leave the Elbe and turn right onto the small road to the east. Shortly thereafter follows the next mill and is even still in use. The Dutch mill in Koßdorf grinds the flour for some bakeries in the region - but not with the power of the wind, but by means of electricity.In the last few kilometers, a stop in the beautiful parish garden of Saxdorf is worthwhile, before the tour finally comes to an end and you come back to Bad Liebenwerda. Behind you are six stages, which were not only beautiful, but equally entertaining and instructive. Better than cycling, you can not explore the landscape and industrial heritage of Elbe-Elster-Land.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    174 mi
  • Duration
    16:58 h
  • Elevation
    2,550 ft

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