On the edge of the so-called "village republic Rüterberg" lies a natural gem of a special kind. Clay was mined here by hand for more than 80 years. Since the early 19th century, at first sporadically, from 1889 industrially. The area was shut down in 1968 when the border was secured. What remained was an industrial wasteland.
Desert crater landscapes, deep pits and high slagheaps without trees and bushes were the result of decades of clay mining. As more and more people left the then restricted area, nature reclaimed the land. Soon, black locust, aspen and sand birch trees colonized the barren soil, and over the decades a dense mixed deciduous forest developed in and around the clay pit, becoming the habitat for a diverse flora and fauna. The clay pit gradually filled with water, creating a small lake.
Today, an interesting circular path leads around this lake, reflecting not only the traces of human activity, but also the result of almost 50 years of natural development. The association "Naturschutz Elbetal e.V." redesigned the trail into a nature trail, which explains the history of this unique landscape with its geological peculiarities on the basis of information boards and stands. In addition, visitors learn interesting facts about the mining history of the village as well as about the animals and plants living here. The well-signposted circular trail is about 1.2 kilometers long. Anyone who wants to walk to all eight stations and find out more should allow an hour and a half.