The high route Drawehn is part of the circular route Wendland and about 75km/46.6mi long, starting in Hitzacker and running to Clenze. The trail runs through woods and sometimes through agricultural areas. You also hike across the ice-age mountain range.
From Hitzacker to Wietzetze ( about 15km/9.3mi)
The first stage leads through the biosphere reserve Niedersächsische Elbtalaue towards Wietzetze. The reserve is part of the UNESCO biosphere reserve Flusslandschaft Elbe, which extends over several federal states. Continue further through a beech and oak forest, take the path along the steep slope of Elbhöhen. At some stages the path suddenly turns into a steep ascent just to descend shortly afterwards. The pastureland slowly becomes flatter while you hike via Tiessau, and after 9km/5.6mi you reach Drethem. In Drethem itself you may visit the Protestant chapel made of brick and get a refreshment at the beer garden opposite the chapel. At this point the trail diverges from river Elbe and continues further towards Wietzetze, where you might want to spend the night.
From Wietzetze to Göhrde (about 12km/7.4mi)
After a short way on the road in Wietzetze, continue across meadows and fields, past an old barrow and across train tracks within a thin pine forest. In June/July this path is covered in orange lilies, which is a beautiful sight and unique in Europe. This is why the path is called Lilienpfad – Lily path. Continue further until you pass a mountain hut and hike up the hill. Up there emerges a beautiful view across the surrounding area of Drahwehn. It is also a good place to take a break.
Next the path runs through a hundreds of years old oak alley to the village Govelin and further to Göhrde. In Göhrde itself you may either visit the forest museum or the imperial hunting chateau. There is also a hotel within an old farmhouse.
From Göhrde to Zernien (about 12km/7.4mi)
The third stage leads past the hunting chateau into the former imperial forest. Definitely worth a short detour is Wiekauer Kuhle, where a hundred year old oak bends over a small pond.
Back on the actual trail you'll soon reach Breeser Grund, a wonderful valley with heathers and very old oak trees. Afterwards, hike via the village Riebrau, past the golf course to Zernien. Zernien is home of a small spa.
From Zernien to Clenze (about 25km/15.5mi)
The last stage of the high route Drawehn starts at Sender Dannenberg, an impressive radio mast at the edge of Zernien. Along the way you'll pass several small villages while hiking across undulating landscape. Shortly behind Gülden, turn left and hike up the hill Hohen Mechtin, known as the highest evelation of Wendland (142m/466ft).
Whilst hiking back down you'll pass a modest little hamlet and eventually reach a resting area. Afterwards, you hike further onto Drawehn mountain range, which emerged during the last Ice Age and continue through the natural preserve Elbenhöhen-Wendland. Look out for some rare plant and animal species.
Next you'll cross the national road Ülzen-Lüchow and get to the village Dickfeitzen, where you'll have a beautiful view across the area. After another 4km/2.5mi you'll reach Reddereitz a district of Clenze. Close by are two megalithic tombs from the Stone Age and located south-east of Reddereitz you'll find the boulder park Clenzer Schweiz. The park shows massive stones that came into this area during the last Ice Age. They are called foundlings.
At this stage it is only four more kilometres to Clenze.
Where to eat
There are various places to get food in Hitzacker, Drethem, Wietzetze, Göhrde, Zernien and Clenze. You'll also find accommodation there.
- With an overall length of 47 miles the hike is among the 15 longest hikes in Germany available on TouriSpo.
- You shouldn’t forget to bring your hiking boots. There are some sections on the trail where sturdy footwear is required. If you get hungry along the way, there are places to rest and get food. Nevertheless it’s recommended to also have enough water and food in your backpack when hiking or biking.
Highlights of the tour
The high route Drawehn offers the idyllic landscape of the biosphere reserve Niedersächsische Elbtaulaue and the wooden mountain range above Drawehn. Another highlight are the massive oak trees. Not to forget the former imperial hunting chateau with its forest.
Coming from Hamburg first take A39 to Lüneburg. Then continue on B216 right to Hitzacker.
Coming from Berlin take A24 and exit in Neustadt-Glewe. Afterwards continue on B191 to Ludwigslust and further to Dannenberg, where you take B216 towards Lüneberg. After approximately 2km/1.2mi, shortly after Metzingen, turn right to Hitzacker.
Coming from Hannover drive via Celle and Uelzen onto B191 to Dannenberg. In Pudripp, which is located a couple of kilometres behind Zernien turn left to Metzingen and follow the signs to Hitzacker.
From Lüneburg (train direction: Dannenberg) it takes about an hour to get to Hitzacker.