The Nature Park Trail

Step by step to happiness

Published: May 31, 2024

907 kilometers across the nature parks of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: The nature park trail offers an incredible amount of variety and is perfect for newcomers. Marie and Linda take on the hike!, © TMV/Gross

Published: May 31, 2024

Marie loves long-distance hiking, whereas Linda is a complete novice. And so the two friends venture out on their first big hike together on the nature park trail in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The trail is mostly flat and leads from the Schaalsee biosphere reserve to Usedom through seven incredibly varied nature parks and the Müritz National Park: from dense forests, glittering lake landscapes and picturesque manor houses and fishing villages to the Baltic Sea coast.
The two of them sit excitedly on the train from Berlin to Neustrelitz. Here, just an hour away from the capital, they board the long-distance hiking trail and want to cover a whopping 220 kilometers on foot in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern over the next ten days! Will they succeed?

A good starting point is Neustrelitz, which can be reached quickly from Berlin by ICE train. The two friends start their hike on the nature park trail here in the Hebetempel in the chic baroque garden., © TMV/Gross

Let's go!

Start in the castle garden in Neustrelitz

We laugh out loud. Dressed a little strangely, because we are prepared for hiking from head to toe, we already feel like we are in the beautiful castle park in Neustrelitz. We start our hike here at the Hebetempel. This is my friend Linda's first time on a long-distance hiking trail. All we have to do is follow the sign with the blue horizontal stripe on a white background: It couldn't be easier. Our legs are still fresh, the sun is shining cautiously and the anticipation is great. We cross the baroque garden in this mood. It starts very impressively.

There are plenty of wonderful picnic spots along the nature park trail in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Like here at the lake in the Müritz National Park., © TMV/Gross

Picnic by the lake in the Müritz National Park

We soon reach the Serrahn Forest near Carpin in the eastern part of the Müritz National Park. Dense beech forests, which are even a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surround us – silence, nobody is here. That's how quickly we end up in this natural idyll; step by step, the meditative pace of hiking sets in. Our thoughts are only in the here and now. And suddenly the forest opens up into a mystical lake. Hundreds of barren tree trunks protrude from the calm water and are reflected in it. Right next to it is a picnic area. „Perfect!" exclaims Linda, dropping her rucksack on the bench. „Here we eat!“

Feldberg lake landscape:

Eagle ...

In the meantime, we have covered around 40 kilometers. Towards the end of the second day of hiking, the rucksacks feel surprisingly easy and we reach the Feldberger Seenlandschaft nature park almost effortlessly. The cute little café "Sommerliebe" in the lively village of Carwitz rejoices with rhubarb cake, after all it is spring - even if it is raining outside. Not so bad, we are prepared. Freshly fortified, we put on our rain jackets. The view across the waters of the Schmal Luzin is magnificent, the crystal-clear lake is framed on all sides by wild greenery, the dramatic clouds add even more relief to the scenery. An osprey sails silently over the lake in search of prey. I tug Linda by the sleeve and point at the majestic animal. We marvel for minutes before descending further, rain or no rain: it's magical here. Then we discover the old Luzin ferry, which is currently being replaced and is about to take us across the narrow Luzin river.

… and a dip in the water

„Look“, this time Linda's index finger points to a branch jutting out over the amazingly clear water on the bank. A swinging rope dangles lonely and tempting from it. „We are already wet anyway“, she says and unfastens her harness from her rucksack. „Our destination for the day is almost here.“ I also get out my swimming gear and know immediately: jumping into the lake in the drizzle feels like freedom. The atmosphere is enchanted and so special that this will be the highlight of this hike on the nature park trail.

Be sure to stop for a bite to eat: Café Sommerliebe in the lively village of Carwitz offers refreshments for hungry hikers!, © TMV/Gross
Ferryman Tom has been ferrying hikers across the Narrow Luzin for decades, including Marie and Linda. The hand-operated cable ferry is one of the last in Europe., © TMV/Gross
The view over the Feldberg lake landscape is enchanting - and with a bit of luck you might spot one of the white-tailed eagles that have resettled here!, © TMV/Gross
Need to cool off? Despite the drizzle, Linda dares to jump into the water of the Schmal Luzin - and has great fun! No wonder, it's one of the most beautiful lakes in Mecklenburg., © TMV/Gross

A city and its four windmills

A stop in Woldegk at the Mühlenmuseum is a must when hiking along the nature park trail. Museum keeper and painter Toralf Pfeiffer gives us a warm welcome. We take the precaution of putting down our rucksacks, as the stairs up to the roof are very narrow. The sloping 18th century Holländermühle is the only one of its kind left in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern! However, from every window of the shaded floor you can discover another hollow. No wonder the place is also known as „Mühlenstadt“.

The highest peak in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Linda next to me is still breathing heavily from the climb - who would have thought that we would run out of breath on the nature park trail in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. But the Helpter Berg is 179 meters high. On the summit in the small wooded area between heathland and fields, there is not only a cross marking the highest point in the state, but also a summit register showing who has already been here. Today, we are the second to proudly sign it.

Sunset in Ukranenland

The sun is low as we reach Ukranenland near Torgelow in the Szczecin Lagoon Nature Park. We are now deeply relaxed, walking happily and silently in step. The Uecker flows gently between fields and meadows, the small early medieval Slavic village with its historic Slavic ship lies alone in the midst of idyllic nature on the other side of the river. The thatched cottages immediately make you want to explore the archaeological open-air museum. The Ukranians settled in the Uckermark from the 10th century onwards, and today Baltic history is brought to life here in great detail with music, crafts and hands-on activities.

The blueberry town of Eggesin

In front of me is a plate of blue soup with two dumplings in it. Linda has already tasted the blueberry soup and sticks her blue tongue out at me. The Blueberry Barn, which was opened in 2006 in a historic square farmhouse, is inclusive - and you should bring an appetite with you. Luckily we did, because it tastes heavenly. In addition to the blue berry delicacies, you can also buy all kinds of local products in the farm store. There's still room in your hiking rucksack for a little culinary souvenir! And a blueberry jam for your next picnic.

A fish sandwich along the nature park trail is a must! For example, at the harbor in Altwarp with a view over the water. Linda hasn't had the courage to try rollmops yet - maybe next time! This time it was a baked fish roll., © TMV/Gross

Spring on the Szczecin Lagoon

We are getting closer to the coast! But the small beach that we head for at sunrise in Warsin lies on the Szczecin Lagoon - an inner coastal waterway. This vastness! And this peace! The first rays of sunshine of the day warm us. The spring weather is good today. That's why we sit at the small fishing port in Altwarp for our lunch break in our T-shirts, legs dangling. What's on the menu? Fresh fish sandwiches, of course! We haven't dared to try rollmops yet, but Linda nods contentedly as she dips heartily into her fried fish sandwich with plenty of onions. Hopefully the mice won't discover us!

From Ueckermünde, the bicycle ferry crosses the Szczecin Lagoon to Usedom. Beautiful views for the two friends included., © TMV/Gross

With the ferry to Usedom

Relaxing in the beautiful spa area at the Haffhus Hotel & Spa has done our bodies good. So we take it easy today – and simply take the cycle route from Ueckermünde across the Szczecin Lagoon to Kamminke on Usedom. Not only do we save ourselves 80 kilometers, but we can also explore this unique habitat from the boat. „Do you think we will see a sea eagle? “, asks Linda. I hope so! After all, there are more than 15 breeding pairs on the Szczecin Lagoon.

The destination at the Koserow pier

We have reached the Usedom Nature Park and the final stage of our 220-kilometre hike! Two lonely pillars in the middle of the forest mark the border with Poland. We hike further west, passing the pretty town of Heringsdorf with its beautiful architecture. We reach our destination in Koserow just in time for sunset. We can hardly believe our luck, our permanent grins defy the stormy wind that whips us in the face as we walk out onto the Baltic Sea on the wooden pier, newly opened in 2021. People sit in the beach chairs and look at us in amazement. If only they knew that we had hiked here!

The waves roll beneath us onto the wide beach. Let's put our feet in the water right away!" suggests Linda. Oh yes! When we get to the end of the sea bridge, I raise my hand for a high-five. „That was definitely not my last hike!“ Linda beams with enthusiasm. To all the unforgettable experiences, to this beautiful nature, to the peace and quiet and hiking on the nature park trail, which is an adventurous idyll in Germany that is second to none! Uniquely beautiful.

Hiking on the nature park trail through the landscape of the Mecklenburg Lake District at Rötelberg, © TMV/Gänsicke

Nature Park Trail in MV E9a

  • Length: 681 km
  • Duration: 136:48 h

The nature park trail in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern runs right through the inland from the Schaalsee biosphere reserve to the island of Usedom. It connects countless glistening lakes, rolling hills and shady forests with beaches and the sea. All seven nature parks in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern can be discovered along the way. But also romantic manor houses and picturesque villages, sea eagles and ospreys, cranes and storks above the hikers as well as otters and beavers among water lilies, irises and orchids in the water guarantee unique nature experiences. The southern route to Altwarp is designated as European long-distance hiking trail E9a.

Read more: "Nature Park Trail in MV E9a"

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Excursion destinations on the nature park trail

To the map
© Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Museum of local history Sternberg

  • Open today
  • Mühlenstraße, 19406 Sternberg

The museum of local history is located in the oldest house in the town of Sternberg. In a total of 14 exhibition rooms, the prehistory and early history of the town is presented here, among other things.

Read more: "Museum of local history Sternberg"
© Stadt Neustrelitz

National park visitor centre in Neustrelitz

  • Open today
  • Strelitzer Straße, 17235 Neustrelitz

Accommodation bureau, event service, sale of touristic relevant articles such as bike and hiking maps, picture postcards, illustrated books, guided city tours (including climbing the tower of the city’s cathedral), awarding touristic fishing licences

Read more: "National park visitor centre in Neustrelitz"
© TMV/Gohlke

Visitor centre “Flatterhus Kratzeburg“

  • Open today
  • Dorfstraße, 17237 Kratzeburg

The visitor information centre called “Kratzeburger Flatterhus“ houses an exhibition about the mysterious hunters of the night: the bats.

Read more: "Visitor centre “Flatterhus Kratzeburg“"
© PAHLHUUS/Dornblut

“PAHLHUUS“ – Visitor centre of the UNESCO biosphere reserve “Schaalsee“

  • Closed today
  • Wittenburger Chaussee, 19246 Zarrentin am Schaalsee

Welcome to the PAHLHUUS, the visitor centre of the UNESCO biosphere reserve „Schaalsee“. We are happy to inform you about touristic offers and show you the most beautiful places in the biosphere reserve. Extraordinary insights into nature and landscape of the region await you in an interactive exhibition.

Read more: "“PAHLHUUS“ – Visitor centre of the UNESCO biosphere reserve “Schaalsee“"
© J. Lippke

Visitor information centre of the Nature Park “Sternberger Seenland“

  • Open today
  • Am Markt, 19417 Warin

The visitor information centre in Warin is the ideal starting point in order to inform oneself about the different destinations and experiences the nature park offers. One can learn something about the landscape’s formation and the way the human’s occupation influenced its development. The unique flora and fauna of the nature park greatly fascinate the visitors. Borrow a backpack at the visitor centre and discover the nature park in your own way.

Read more: "Visitor information centre of the Nature Park “Sternberger Seenland“"
© TMV/Gohlke

Koserow pier

  • Am Strande, 17459 Koserow

The new Koserow pier extends 280m into the Baltic Sea in the shape of a wave. Opened in 2021, it offers 2 large platforms that invite you to sit, enjoy and breathe the Baltic Sea air. At the same time, you can use it perfectly as a sunset cinema.

Read more: "Koserow pier"
© Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Schwerin Castle - Gardens

  • 19053 Schwerin

Though the Palace outshines almost everything around it, there is one more attraction on that island which you shouldn’t miss. To the left of the main entrance, walking through the castle garden, you will find the charming orangery. It is a delicate construction made of cast iron and glass, a unique example of 19th century architecture and one of a kind in Germany. With its parkways, arcades, flower beds, sculptures, and the cross channel the baroque-style castle garden knows how to impress. The garden is public and open to visitors.

Read more: "Schwerin Castle - Gardens"
© TMV/Bodieschek

Visitor information centre of the National Park “Serrahn“

  • Open today
  • Serrah Waldstraße, 17237 Serrahn

In the little village named Serrahn, which is located in the depths of the woods, visitors have the opportunity to have a look at the exhibition “Buchenurwälder der Karpaten und Alte Buchenwälder Deutschlands“ concerning the UNESCO world natural heritage.

Read more: "Visitor information centre of the National Park “Serrahn“"
© Erlebnis Akademie AG/Baumwipfelpfad Usedom

Tree top walk Usedom

  • Open today
  • Am Bahnhof, 17424 Heringsdorf

At treetop level, the Usedom treetop path winds its way through the Heringsdorf forest over a total length of 1,350 meters (incl. ramp in the tower). At up to 23 meters, guests walk through the island's typical beech and pine forest - past numerous information and adventure stations.

Read more: "Tree top walk Usedom"
© Felix Gänsicke

MÜRITZEUM - The NatureExperienceCenter in Waren (Müritz)

  • Open today
  • Zur Steinmole, 17192 Waren (Müritz)

The Müritzeum shows the beauty and special features of the Mecklenburg Lake District and the Müritz National Park in an interactive exhibition. In Germany's largest aquarium landscape for native freshwater fish, you dive under the water surface of the 1000 lakes.

Read more: "MÜRITZEUM - The NatureExperienceCenter in Waren (Müritz)"
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