It’s finally summer again! Even though trips to faraway countries are not possible this year, you don't have to miss out on a break in wonderful nature. With warm temperatures and blue skies, it's the perfect time to head off to your local countryside. The picturesque lakes in and around Berlin are perfect for a hiking adventure. Enjoy walking through shaded forests before jumping into the cool water of a lake – the perfect summer’s day.
We’ve selected eight idyllic lakes in Berlin and Brandenburg for you to discover on foot. There's something for everyone: long hikes for endurance outdoor sports enthusiasts, shorter rambles for relaxed walkers and fantastic beaches for water lovers.
You probably won’t be the only person heading to the countryside on a summer weekend. To make sure you don’t get stuck in traffic jams, you can take the S-Bahn or regional train to the start of the hikes. Hop on the train and get out of the city – beautiful summer lake days are waiting.
Around the Müggelsee you will find numerous rivers, streams, ponds and smaller lakes. The two most enchanted lakes are the Crooked Laake and the Devil's Lake. Both hide between vast moors in the middle of the forest south of the Great Müggelsee. The lakes were created after the last ice age. The waters of the melting glaciers formed two long channels. Two larger lakes remained. Without natural inflow, the water levels of the Devil's Lake and the crooked Laake sank - it created extensive moors. The wet bogs and the small remnants are preserved to this day. You can visit both lakes on a hike from the Wilhelmshagen S-Bahn station to the Friedrichshagen S-Bahn station.In 10-minute intervals, the S-Bahn Wilhelmshagen by the S-Bahn line 3 is approached. Here you get off the train and wander first towards Dämeritzsee. The path leads you through a fragrant pine forest. At Dämeritzsee you follow the canal road between residential buildings along to the Spree. You cross the river and enter the forest on the other side. Far away from the bathing spots on the Müggelsee, you will meet other hikers less often. You pass a small residential area and a little later you reach the crooked Laake. On the densely wooded shore here grows a broad reed strip. The trail meanders along the water between the tree trunks and offers you a beautiful view of the lake. Afterwards you walk for a short distance through Müggelheim and on through the forest to the Teufelssee. Below the Müggelberge you will find the small lake and the quiet moor. After a walk around the lake, you follow the hiking trail to the tourist restaurant Rübezahl on the banks of the Müggelsee. Over the Uferweg and through the Spreetunnel you finally go to the S-Bahn station Friedrichshagen, the destination of your hike. From there, the S-Bahn line 3 will take you back to the center of Berlin every 10 minutes.
The Briesetal in the north of Berlin is a very special place. The breeze flows here with all ease through a wooded valley. Over time, the riverbed widened, creating a unique wetland. In the middle of the shallow water are countless dead trees that give the place a ghostly atmosphere. East of Borgsdorf, the breeze has accumulated naturally over a wide area. Here you will find the Briesesee. The Borgsdorf S-Bahn station is the perfect starting point for exploring the Briesetal.The small S-Bahn station Borgsdorf can be reached with the S-Bahn line 1, which runs every 20 minutes. From the S-Bahn station you follow the small road in the direction of the forest. On a wide trail you walk here in the shade of the big trees. The trail meanders through the forest in the direction of Briesetal. You cross the street poplar rack and shortly after you reach the small Briesesee. The lake is completely surrounded by forest and lures with a lawn and a swimming area. On the shore of the Briesesee is the small housing colony Briese. In the village center there is a summer beer garden and a climbing garden. From Briesesee, the trail leads along paths and wooden bridges through the moorland of the Briese back to the S-Bahn station Borgsdorf.
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At the southernmost foothills of the Märkische Schweiz is on the edge of Waldsieversdorf a small group of lakes. The largest lakes are the Papillensee, the small Däbersee and the large Däbersee. Like the hills of Märkische Schweiz, the lakes are a result of the last ice age. The towering hills marked the southern boundary of the glaciers. As the ice retreated and the meltwater raised valleys and hollows, individual icebergs remained in the middle of the Märkischen Sand. Submerged by sediments, they developed underground dead ice. As they melted, the caves collapsed and filled with water. From Müncheberg train station, you can visit the lake group on a circular walk through forests and across meadows.Müncheberg station is the gateway to Märkische Schweiz. From Lichtenberg station, the regional train RB26 runs once an hour to Müncheberg. You can easily reach the Lichtenberg station with the S-Bahn lines 5, 7, and 75. After leaving the station, turn right and cross the railway tracks. You turn off the main road on a narrow driveway. Soon, a trail branches off to the left, which leads you on the edge of wide fields towards Däbersee. Afterwards you wander into a dense mixed forest. In the shade of the trees you continue to the Papillensee. Here the path runs close to the shore. Between Papillensee and Groß Däbersee there is a large marsh area, where you can observe many different types of birds. On the northern shore of the Great Däbersee, it is worth visiting the beach and the café Tilia. After a break, continue your hike. On the tree-lined banks of the Great and the Small Däbersees it goes back towards the train station. On the already known trails, you will hike through the forest and along fields back to the starting point of your hike.
The Potsdam cityscape is dominated by the Havel and the countless lakes and canals. But north of the city center and separated from the rest of the lake landscape is a picturesque forest lake - the Sacrower lake. The large lake is not crossed by the Havel and is located completely in the nature reserve Sacrower See and Königswald. A hiking trail leads around the tree-lined shore and with every step you enjoy the magnificent view over the deep blue waters.With the S-Bahn line 7 it goes to the S-Bahn station Babelsberg, which is approached in 10-minute intervals. Through the tranquil Babelsberg you walk to the park Babelsberg and on to the Teltow Canal. Here it goes on a bridge over the canal and after a short distance through Klein-Glienicke you reach the Schlosspark Glienicke. On wide paths you walk through the park to the ferry dock. After a short ride on the Potsdam Water Taxi you walk past the church of the Savior on the shores of Lake Sacrow. With a great view you follow the path along the shore and around the lake. On the North Beach you can refresh yourself in the water or take a break in the restaurant Landleben. Once you have completely surrounded the lake, take the water taxi back to the Krughorn. Once there, you follow the already known way back to the Babelsberg S-Bahn station.
In the north of Lichtenberg, just before the Berlin city limits, lies Lake Malchow. Surrounded by fields and heathland, it is a true natural idyll. Unlike many other lakes in the city, Lake Malchow is not a gravel pit. It originated after the last ice age as a so-called dead ice hole. The glaciers raised a deep, sandy hollow here. As the glaciers retreated, a huge block of ice remained as dead ice in the hollow. The meltwater filled the trough and this is how Lake Malchow came to be. The lake and the surrounding forest are today an important habitat for waterfowl and amphibians.Your walk begins at S-Bahn station Wartenberg, which the S-Bahn line 75 runs every 10 minutes. On a tree-lined road, it goes to the last Lichtenberger Plattenbauten continue towards Malchower See. At the end of the road you follow a path through a small forest. Directly behind are wide heathlands. Until the 1960s were here Rieselfelder, but now the landscape was renatured. With a bit of luck, you will also meet the landscape gardeners - Scottish Highland cattle graze the heath today. Shortly thereafter you will reach Lake Malchow. On a leisurely circuit you stroll along the lake and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The north shore is very boggy and in the sprawling reed area especially many birds breed. Therefore, the path leads you away from the shore and on to the road. After a short stretch along the road, you hike back over the heathland to Wartenberg S-Bahn station.
The Liepnitzsee on the outskirts of the town Wandlitz is one of the most popular lakes in the Berlin area. And rightly so, because the large forest lake is easy to reach and still lures with hidden and secluded bathing spots. A real highlight is the island of Grosser Werder in the middle of the lake. In summer, a small ferry brings you from the lake to the island. On Grosser Werder the cozy excursion restaurant Insulaner Klause awaits you. From the station Wandlitz you reach the Liepnitzsee on a comfortable circular walk.The S-Bahn line 2 takes you every 10 minutes to S-Bahn station Karow. From there the regional train RB27 will take you to the station Wandlitzsee every 30 minutes. You leave the train station and follow the trail past the Three Sacred Peaks. You walk along the bank of the Regenbogensees and you reach the jetty at the Liepnitzsee. With the small ferry you will transfer to the island of Grosser Werder. It is definitely worth a visit to the beer garden Insulaner Klause. After your break, take the ferry to the southern shore of Lake Liepnitz. Along the lake you walk comfortably to a beautiful swimming area. From here you follow the trail through the forest back to the station Wandlitzsee.
Schlachtensee, Krumme Lanke, Teufelssee and Grunewaldsee - everyone knows the lakes in Grunewald. But attentive hikers can discover even more in the big forest. Southwest of the Teufelssee lie in a depression of the lake Barssee and the Pechsee. Both lakes are remnants of the last ice age, but that is also true for the other lakes in Grunewald. The two small lakes are unique because they are the lost lakes. As Berlin's groundwater level has steadily dropped in the last 100 years, the two lakes have gradually silted up. From the Pechsee only a small pond is preserved, the lake Bars has disappeared completely except for a bog area. Nevertheless, life thrives here, because many unique plants grow on the marshes. Both lakes are now under protection and they strive to maintain their current water level permanently. From the station Grunewald you can start your discovery tour to the Lost Lakes.Every 10 minutes, the S-Bahn line 7 stops at the Grunewald station. Through the tunnel, it goes under the tracks and you're already standing in the Grunewald. A wide forest path leads between the huge oaks, beeches and pines along the sand pit. Below the sand dune lies the small Teufelssee and the Ökowerk. At the Teufelssee you will find a swimming area, which is also visited by nudist friends like. The path winds its way through the forest to the nature reserve Barssee and Pechsee. Here are information boards along the way, which explain the emergence of the bog areas. After your tour around the two lost lakes, you will hike through the forest back to Grunewald S-Bahn station.
If Berliners fancy greenery and nature, then Strausberg is always a popular destination. In addition to the lake of the same name, not only the vast forests, but also several remote lakes invite to discovery tours. Hidden in the forest, west of Strausberg, lies the Fängersee. It is connected to the nearby Bötzsee via the Fredersdorf mill stream. A circular path leads you around the tree-lined shore around the lake. There are even small swimming spots to refresh you on your hike in the cool water.Every 20 minutes the S-Bahn line 5 takes you from Berlin to Strausberg Stadt. You get off the train and walk in the direction of Straussee. Along the shore, you stroll along the promenade past the open-air swimming pool in southern direction. At the southern tip you circle the lake. On a wide forest road it goes now into the forest. Even in midsummer, it stays pleasantly cool in the shade of the tall trees. At an intersection, turn left and shortly thereafter you will reach the shore of the Bötzsee. This is not the goal of today's hike and so you turn right here. After a few meters the path meets the shore of the Fängersee. Just pick your favorite bathing spot while you circle the lake. After splashing in the water, head back through the forest towards Strausberg. On the west bank of the Strausse you get on the ferry, which brings you comfortably over the lake. From the ferry dock it is only a short walk to the S-Bahn station Strausberg city.