Discover how the Ice Age shaped Berlin with the S-Bahn

Collection by S-Bahn Berlin

Berlin's famous Kreuzberg district, the popular Weißensee Lake with its lido, the panoramic Havel high trail, and the massive granite bassin in front of the Altes Museum are all remnants of the Ice Age in Berlin. Glacial masses and meltwater from the Vistula Ice Age shaped our capital more than any other city with more than one million residents.

You can find traces of the Ice Age all over the city – Spree Island, the lush Grunewald forest, and the cobblestones pathways between houses and churches in tranquil villages.

If you find this as fascinating as we do, then join us on seven exciting Tours through Berlin's icy past. The routes take you to Brandenburg's largest boulder, along riverbanks and into the depths of Berlin's glacial valley to the campsites of Ice Age reindeer hunters (yes, there really were reindeer in Berlin) where mammoths and wooly rhinos once roamed. The walks take you to the location where the theory of glacier movements was first proven and explain how giant boulders made their way from Scandinavia to Berlin to be used in the building of churches and streets.

All seven Ice Age adventures are easy to reach with the Berlin S-Bahn. You can warm up from winters icy conditions or cool off in the summer heat and leave your car behind.

One thing is guaranteed on these walks – mammoth fun!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Easy
    01:50
    5.55 mi
    3.0 mph
    125 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Sandy and boggy, rippling meltwater and deep lakes - you will come across the Ice Age in the Berlin area again and again at every step. Over a distance of around nine kilometers, we will take you to another phenomenon from the time when glaciers ruled, slowly melted and left behind so-called dead ice holes. Quite a few of them are popular bathing waters today. So it's worth packing your bathing suit.With the ring train S41 / S42 or the lines S8 and S85 you can comfortably arrive every few minutes at the S-Bahn station Landsberger Allee, your starting point for the exciting tour. Before it gets wet, it goes upstairs. With the Hohe Plateau you climb one of the highest peaks in the Prenzlauer Berg district. However, the plateau is not of natural origin, but a renatured mountain of rubble. Which doesn't detract from its beauty.A few meters it goes back down, through allotment gardens and sports stadiums to Lake Orankesee. With him you stand in front of the first dead ice hole. It was formed when the last ice age glacier melted. Huge blocks of ice broke off and their weight was pressed into the ground. Over 500 to 1,000 years they slowly thawed and left behind the almost seven meters deep Orankesee, which is ideal for swimming.Between Orankesee and Obersee you walk on to Faulen See, a boggy biotope that houses all kinds of amphibians and birds. It goes on and on to the outskirts and out to Malchower See. The almost circular lake is also a dead ice hole and a popular destination for walkers.It is now not far to the Wartenberg S-Bahn station. Every 20 minutes you can get on the S75 here and have it take you home.

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    Intermediate
    03:15
    7.79 mi
    2.4 mph
    225 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A valley only really becomes visible when you look down from above. That is why we take you with this tour to some of the most impressive heights and finally to the tranquil Erpetal in Berlin's glacial valley.The S5 S-Bahn takes you to Biesdorf station every 20 minutes. You stroll briefly through the castle park of the same name and then climb the Biesdorfer Höhe. The small mountain was created around 10,000 years ago and was around 46 meters high at the time. One of the numerous windmills that were erected on the glacier edge of the Berlin glacial valley stood here until the 18th century. Deposits of rubble and rubble, especially in the post-war years, increased the height of the mountain to 82 meters.From the Biesdorfer Höhe you descend to the Wuhle. First you follow its course, then you cross it and walk on to the Butzer See with its mirror-smooth surface. The view now opens in front of you and you are standing by some wooden staves on the Berlin balcony. Although the difference in height is only a few meters, the drop from the slope of the Barnim plateau to the Berlin glacial valley is particularly evident here.Via Rahnsdorfer Straße, you continue out of the city and into the wonderful Erpe Valley. Of course you are on the trail of the Ice Age again here. As the Vistula Ice Age drew to a close, the water from the melting glaciers flowed from the north into the Berlin glacial valley. Today, thanks to this, you hike along the leisurely babbling Erpe through beautiful nature.Your excursion into the highs and lows of the Ice Age ends at the Friedrichshagen S-Bahn station. The S3 S-Bahn line brings you back home every 20 minutes.

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  • Difficult
    05:12
    12.4 mi
    2.4 mph
    450 ft
    375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Many theories have been about how the landscape around Berlin-Brandenburg was formed and how mighty boulders made their way from Sweden, Norway and Denmark to here. The breakthrough and proof of the glacier ice theory came at the gates of Berlin. With this tour we take you to the place where it all happened: to Rüdersdorf.With the S-Bahn line S3 it goes every 20 minutes to Erkner. Soon you will leave civilization behind you and walk on the Flakenseeufer and on the Theodor-Fontane-Weg to Kalksee. The elongated lake is a relic of the last ice age, when meltwater flowing off under the glacier formed a channel. In addition to the Kalksee, it also includes the Straussee, the Stienitzsee and the Flakensee, which you have already passed.At the very end of the Kalksee, Rüdersdorf welcomes you and with it a large area where limestone is still mined today. In 1875 there were still the Rüdersdorfer Kalkberge here, which for Otto Torell provided evidence that massive glacier movements and meltwater created the landscape through which you walk today. He found scratches on the tops of the limestone mountains, which he was later able to clearly identify as glacier tracks. In the Rüdersdorf Museum Park you can find out more about this geological phenomenon and mining in the region.The path leads you along the former meltwater channel to the picturesque Stienitzsee. If you want to freshen up your ice-cold thoughts even more, it's worth jumping into the cool water. You go through the nature reserve Lange-Damm-Wiesen and Unteres Annatal to Strausberg train station. From here the S5 S-Bahn will bring you back home.

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    Intermediate
    04:30
    10.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Mammoth tooth and woolly rhinoceros pine - what was not found in excavations in the Berlin underground? In order to extract building sand, numerous gravel pits were dug, which often brought amazing things to light. The sensation was great when around 1900 bones of large Ice Age mammals were found in the former Rollbergen in Neukölln. Most of the gravel pits have now been filled in and renatured. This tour, however, takes you to where relics of the frosty phase are still emerging.Every 20 minutes the S46 S-Bahn stops in Wildau at the gates of Berlin. No sooner have you left the train station than you are in the shady forest area and reach the bank of the Dahme. Three ice ages have had a lasting impact on the Dahmeland with its advancing glaciers and meltwater: the Elster, Saale and Weichsel ice ages.You cross the Dahme over a small pedestrian bridge and walk past the Niederlehmes landmark: the impressive water tower made of sand-lime brick, which was built on the model of the Istanbul Galata Tower. It goes comfortably past the Niederlehmer Luch and into the dense forest area.Between the pine trees you can always see a glimpse of the still active gravel mines. In this layer of gravel, the so-called "Rixdorfer Horizont", which stretches from the Körnerpark in Berlin to this point, countless remains of mammoths and co. Have been and are still being excavated today. You can marvel at them in the Museum of Natural History in Berlin.At the southern end of Niederlehme you hike back, say goodbye to the water tower again and get back on the S-Bahn home in Wildau.

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    Intermediate
    04:27
    10.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    When you think of the Ice Age, you probably immediately think of mammoth herds and fur-clad prehistoric people who chased them with clubs and spears. On this tour you will follow in the footsteps of the hunters of the Vistula Ice Age, who set up camp right here on the Tegeler Fliess.The S25 S-Bahn takes you to Tegel station every 20 minutes. You walk a bit along the railway tracks, over the north ditch and finally turn into the idyllic Fliessal. The ice age meltwater channel is not only a gem for hikers, it is also a habitat for numerous animal species. At the end of the Vistula Ice Age, herds of reindeer roamed this landscape. The animals reached a ford over the meltwater stream - the ideal place for hunters to lie in wait.In the Reinickendorf local history museum, you can marvel at finds such as arrowheads and flint blades that were found in a large storage area on the south bank of the Tegeler River. The exact location is not listed, so you can think about where you would have set up camp while hiking along. The Tegeler Fließ accompanies you to the tranquil Lübars, where you can satisfy your hunger pangs in the old village pitcher.South of the Niedermoorwiesen you walk to Blankenfelde with its pretty village church. The field stone church would look very different today if countless erratic boulders had not found their way here from Scandinavia. In the Middle Ages they were welcome, because they were freely available, building material for buildings and cobblestones. So you encounter the Ice Age again and again in the city.Along the Nordgraben it goes to the S-Bahn station Blankenburg, which you reach shortly after the Pankebecken. The lines S2 and S8 bring you back to the city center.

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    Easy
    01:46
    4.20 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You will get an unexpected ice age feeling between the ubiquitous urban canyons with this central walk through Berlin's city center. From the busy Yorckstraße train station, it goes up to one of the most famous elevations in Berlin. From there we take you into the humming city life of the capital on the Spree island with a truly amazing relic of the last ice age.It starts at the Yorckstraße S-Bahn station, which you can reach every few minutes with the S2, S25 and S1 lines. You walk through the bottleneck park with its disused track beds over to the Viktoriapark. The Kreuzberg rises above you, which is one of the few natural elevations in Berlin - and a product of the Vistula Ice Age. Once you have climbed the steps to the monument, you can see Prenzlauer Berg through the trees: the other side of the Berlin glacial valley. Because here on the Kreuzberg you yourself stand on the edge of the bank, where musk oxen, reindeer and ice age horses once passed by.As you descend, you can imagine how a massive glacier formed the 66 meter high Kreuzberg. Arrived at its foot, you are now in the middle of Berlin's glacial valley, which was created by melting glacier water. Where there are mighty houses today, there was once only sandy subsoil, which you can still find in the Berlin area. Berlin is built on sand, as is Großbeerenstrasse and Charlottenstrasse, through which you stroll.The Markgrafenstraße reveals where the journey is going. Once you have crossed the Spree over the Iron Bridge, you will arrive at the Lustgarten and the Altes Museum. In front of it is a huge granite bowl. The granite bowl was carved out of the Great Margrave Stone, the largest Ice Age boulder ever found in Brandenburg. From the roughly 750 ton boulder, King Friedrich Wilhelm III. hew the largest bowl ever made from a single stone.From this fabulous relic it is only a short distance through the glacial valley to the Friedrichstrasse S-Bahn station. From here, several S-Bahn trains will bring you back to your warm home.

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    Intermediate
    04:01
    9.44 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    How massively the Berlin landscape was shaped by the glaciers of the last Ice Age becomes particularly clear when land meets water. Where the city center reveals the Berlin glacial valley through some dry elevations, you will find a genuine Ice Age bank edge along the Havel in the Grunewald: the Havelhöhenweg.From the Schlachtensee S-Bahn station you are almost falling into the forest. The S1 line brings you to the green soul of Berlin every 20 minutes. Fragrant conifers and deciduous trees accompany you and provide shade. You can soon see the glittering water of the Havel in front of you, because the path slowly climbs.If you have crossed the Havelchaussee, you now turn onto the Havelhöhenweg. It bears its name for a reason. The ice age glaciers have massively pushed the bank edge together, so that you can walk a few meters above the Havel. Magnificent views included. The edge of the Teltow plateau is particularly clear along the Havel. Incidentally, the Havel itself is the work of an Ice Age meltwater channel.On the Karlsberg you reach the highest point of the Havelhöhenweg with a good 78 meters and a great view of the elongated Havel and the boats bustling on it. You descend to the bank of the Havel and follow it relaxed. Some bathing bays invite you to linger and one or the other refreshment point offers itself to extend the hiking day.Return from the Pichelsberg S-Bahn station with the S3 or S9 S-Bahn line. Both stop here every 20 minutes.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    61.1 mi
  • Duration
    25:00 h
  • Elevation
    1,875 ft
Discover how the Ice Age shaped Berlin with the S-Bahn
Collection by
S-Bahn Berlin