Vast forests & pretty lakes – discovering Leipzig’s surroundings on foot

Hiking Collection by Leipzig Travel

Leipzig, the largest city in Saxony in eastern Germany, has a lot to offer. Here, you can look back on more than 1,000 years of history, explore the city’s diverse cultural landscape, and enjoy beautiful nature. With the White Elster River flowing through its heart, Leipzig also boasts a beautiful forest that stretches from south to north through the city.

Outside of the city, there is also a lot to discover. South of Leipzig, the vast Leipziger Neuseenland, former open-cast mines that have been turned into a wonderful lake district whilst to the north and east of the city, you can find extensive hiking trails through thick forests. In this Collection, we’ve put together some great hikes around Leipzig so you can explore all the city and its surroundings have to offer for yourself. In the evening, after your hike, you can take a stroll through Leipzig’s charming old town to round off your adventure.

In the far north-east of Leipzig, you can enjoy the Dübener Heide forest as you hike from the villages of Bad Düben to Bad Schmiedeberg. On the way, you can explore a moated castle, sculpture park, beaver dams, and pine trees that are as tall as buildings. At the Werbeliner See lake to the north of Leipzig, you can gaze in awe at the clear waters and see how far rocky boulders moved during the Ice Age. You can also visit one of the largest bucket-wheel excavators in the world – a testament to the region’s open-cast mining history.

The lake landscape around Lake Kulkwitz and Lake Störmthal is also characterised by the area’s mining legacy. Here, you can visit huge machines as well as nature reserves which are home to diverse birdlife. Don’t forget to pack your swimming gear for your hike. There are lots of small sandy beaches to stop off and the water in the lakes is excellent quality.

On the Mulde Valley hiking trail, around Kriebstein municipality and the villages of Grimma and Höfgen, you can discover medieval history at impressive castles, stone towers, magnificent palaces, and romantic Renaissance buildings.

Most of the hikes are round trips, so you can choose where you start and end. The hikes are also easy to reach with public transport from Leipzig. So, get out of the city and into Leipzig’s beautiful Neuseenland and surrounding landscapes.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Difficult
    07:52
    18.7 mi
    2.4 mph
    775 ft
    725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The semi-natural heather beaver tour is a tough one with around 30 kilometers. You will be rewarded with a wonderful hike on which the forest and open heathland alternate and you even have the chance to watch a beaver at work. At least you will encounter his works in the form of beaver castles and gnawed tree trunks.With bus line 196 you can easily get from Leipzig to your starting point in Bad Düben. At the Kurpark you start the tour and walk past the moor adventure garden and the post mill. On the banks of the Hammerbach you have the opportunity to discover a few beaver tracks for the first time. After you have passed the settlement area Hammermühle, you disappear on forest paths and soon dive into the Hammerbach valley. There, an old coal plant still carries out the craft of charcoal extraction and you will find a beaver observation tower very close by.You now hike through the pine-lined area of the Düben Heath to the magnificent Reinharz moated castle, whose tower you can see from afar. After an extensive tour, we continue to the heath pond and through beautiful forest to the Kaiser Wilhelm Tower with its inn “Schöne Aussicht”. Here you can fortify yourself, then the last few kilometers to the finish in Bad Schmiedeberg. From here you can also take the 196 bus back to Leipzig.

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    Difficult
    06:39
    16.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This sweeping, 25 km long loop takes you around the entire Lake Störmthal. With its crystal-clear water, small sandy beaches and the impressive mining technology park, you embark on a wonderfully varied day tour.You start at the parking lot on the south bank at Markkleeberger See near the canoe park. From here you can see the mighty construction machinery of the mining technology park. Here you will be impressively shown on a site typical of open-cast mining what the region around today's lake landscape looked like at the time of lignite extraction. Among other things, the impressive bucket wheel excavator and a huge belt discharge device are on display.From the west bank you have a beautiful view of the nature reserve of Goehrener Insel, where animals and plants can develop freely. Once you have reached the southern tip of the lake, you hike towards a small peninsula. Here you can relax on narrow bathing bays and have a bite in Lagovida harbor. If you want to see the island of VINETA with its church - an art installation - a boat will take you there from the harbor.You can enjoy magnificent views from the east bank of Lake Störmthal, which accompanies you back to the starting point. If time permits, you can still watch the canoeists in the white water park mastering the artificial obstacles.

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  • Intermediate
    04:39
    10.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    525 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the Muldental hiking trail from Rochlitz to Sermuth you will get plenty of culture and history on almost 18 kilometers. One castle chases the next on the tour, but fascinating nature along the Zwickauer Mulde is not neglected.You start your hike at the starting point of the fifth stage of the 134 km Muldental hiking trail in the tranquil Rochlitz. Before you leave the village, it is worth taking a detour to the castle of the same name, which towers above the Zwickauer Mulde. You walk north towards Colditz, cross the Zwickauer Mulde, walk across vast fields and pass the villages of Penna and Kralapp.In Colditz you can climb the imposing home tower, which was realized by donations from the residents of this area. From Töpelsberg-Felsen you have a great view of the winding Zwickauer Mulde and the city below. From here you can also make out the magnificent Renaissance Colditz Castle, which has an eventful history.The Zwickauer Mulde accompanies you on your left to Sermuth, where you cross it again and end your tour at Kötteritzsch Castle. Regionalbahn 110 takes you back to Leipzig from the closest train stations in Großbothen or Tanndorf (each around four kilometers on foot).

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    Intermediate
    03:52
    9.50 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Wonderful, quiet bathing bays, relaxed riverside paths and impressive relics from the lignite and ice age make this 15-kilometer circular hike around Lake Werbeliner a great experience. Don't forget your bathing suit on a warm day.The starting point is the public car park on the eastern shore of Lake Werbeliner. Alternatively, you can also take the S2 from Leipzig to Zschortau, then plan around three kilometers more each way there and back to the S-Bahn station. It is only a short hop from the parking lot to the lakeshore. The 450-hectare Werbeliner See was part of the region's open-cast mining area until 1993. The targeted flooding has created a unique natural landscape over the years.You walk along the northern bank and can see numerous species of birds, including red-necked grebes and sea eagles. On the west bank you will meet "immigrants" of a very special kind: A large number of erratic boulders covered the route from Scandinavia to Zealand during the ice age. Each erratic block gives you information on a sticker about where it came from and what stone it is made of.You can see the giant paddle wheel SRs 6300 from afar on the southern part of the lake. It was one of the once largest bucket wheel excavators in the world and is now exposed on the spot. It is a unique photo motif, especially for sunsets and sunrise. The southeastern shore of Lake Werbeliner accompanies you for the last few kilometers back to your starting point.

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    Intermediate
    02:07
    4.73 mi
    2.2 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Water, forest and an imposing castle await you on the seven and a half kilometer circular hike around Kriebstein. The varied tour is crowned with a boat trip over the Kriebstein dam.The tour starts at the parking lot at the dam. Through fragrant, shady forest you hike to Kriebstein and can see the castle complex perched on a rock from afar. Since the circular hike is quite short, you have enough time to visit the Gothic building from the 14th century extensively. Then you cross the Zschopau over a narrow pedestrian bridge and follow the Zschopautalweg along the edge of the forest.If you have left the babbling Erlbach behind you, you will soon arrive at a rustic beer garden in the middle of the forest. Treat yourself to a cool drink and a view of the small bay. Freshly strengthened, you follow the bank edge and take the ferry across the lake. If you like, you can also take a longer boat tour on the picturesque reservoir.The route leads you from the ferry port directly to the dam construction and from there back into the forest. If you want to work out a little more, you can let off steam in the climbing forest just before the parking lot on seven different difficult courses.

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    Intermediate
    02:59
    7.03 mi
    2.4 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    You will get plenty of culture and nature on this relaxed circular tour of over eleven kilometers. On your way from Grimma via Höfgen and Nimbschen, you will be accompanied by wonderful river landscapes and various historical buildings from all eras. And a ferry ride is also included.Your hike starts at the Grimma train station, which you can reach from Leipzig either with the regional train 110 or the bus 690. You stroll north through the beautiful old town, past the medieval Frauenkirche and the pretty Renaissance town hall, which is one of the best preserved in all of Saxony. You cross the hollow over the Pöppelmannbrücke and find yourself in a small forest.Along the Muldenufer you hike to the Rabenstein lookout rock, which offers you a fantastic view of the river landscape from a small fenced platform. We continue on the Mulde to Höfgen, where you can deal with the history of the old watermill and stop off at the inn of the same name.With a tiny yaw cable ferry you cross the trough and take a short detour to the fabulous monastery ruin Nimbschen, which you can visit for free. You walk along the edge of the forest back to your starting point in Grimma.

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    Easy
    01:54
    4.64 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With the Kulkwitzer See you circle one of the older lakes of the Leipzig New Zealand. It was released as a local recreation area in the 1970s and today enchants with a varied vegetation on the banks. On around seven and a half kilometers, you will circle the 150-hectare lake with numerous possibilities to hop into the crystal-clear water.It starts at the parking lot on the north shore of Lake Kulkwitzer. If you are traveling without a car, you can also take the regional train 20 or bus 65 from Leipzig to Markranstaedt. You stroll south through the park near the lake and soon dive into shady forest. From the high cliff it goes a bit down to the southern tip of the lake.The riverside path leads you to an indentation and up to a slightly higher viewpoint. Here, a wide lounger lures you to linger with the best view of the Kulkwitzer See. If you get hungry, you can stop off at the newly renovated ship restaurant. The barge continued along the Elb-Saale route until 1971.The water ski & wakeboard lift restaurant is just a few hundred meters away. With coffee and cake or a hearty little thing you watch the water sports enthusiasts here, then you walk back to the starting point on the north shore.

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    Intermediate
    04:15
    9.98 mi
    2.4 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With varied forests, natural forest paths and countless ponds and ponds, the Dahlen Heath is a wonderful hiking paradise just outside Leipzig. On our circular hike, we take you around 16 kilometers in a large loop across the heath - and among other things to the center of the forest area, to the hunting area.From the Heideorf Reudnitz you hike on quiet forest paths from pond to pond to the hunting oak. Here, at the center of the Dahlen Heath, six different paths come together.It used to be a popular meeting point for hunters and loggers, and because of the magnificent oak that once stood here, people met "at the hunting oak". Later, a wooden memorial column in honor of the Saxon Elector Friedrich August replaced the oak and today a replica of this column decorates the crossroads.From here you continue to the village of Schmannewitz. Historically interested hikers take a look at the baroque village church, animal lovers visit the animal enclosure and then everyone meets in the forest pool or in one of the restaurants.At the end you hike past the pump pond and back to the starting point in Reudnitz.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    81.6 mi
  • Duration
    34:18 h
  • Elevation
    3,150 ft

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Vast forests & pretty lakes – discovering Leipzig’s surroundings on foot
Hiking Collection by
Leipzig Travel