Hiking in the moorland in Lower Lusatia in Brandenburg

For decades this part in the south of Brandenburg was solely used by the military as a training area. The tanks are gone. I stand right in the heart of the Lower Lusatian Heath Nature Park, which covers an area of 484 square kilometres. The nature reserve aims to protect and to grow cohesive undisturbed forest areas that have been here in Brandenburg since medieval times.

Travel Germany. Hiking in the moorland in Lower Lusatia in Brandenburg

46 towns and villages are part of the reserve's area and some parts of it are overgrown with heather and grey hair-grass, the area is the ideal habitat for a diverse range of animal and plant species. From mid-August, the heather is in bloom, and the moorland turns purple. It is a true spectacle.

Birch tree stems in a thick sea of purple heath.
heather in bloom in Lower Lusatia in Brandenburg

Mouflons are German Grey Heaths

Have you heard of Mouflons? I guess I met them once on a hike in Corsica in France. The German Grey Heaths are descendants of them. In Germany they are called Heidschnucken, and roam the heath in Lower Lusatia, to maintain the land, and with their work create savanna-like scenery. All the while I’m walking through the moorland, I can’t believe the endless space I see in front of me; this is so very unusual for this part of Europe. While they eat from the land, they pull down cobwebs from the plants. This accidental graze helps the bees so that they can easily pollinate the heath, and in return, they ensure a food source for the sheep. That is so neat; they help each other to survive. There is also something for us, we humans get the most delicious honey, and can enjoy the purple landscape.

I hope to meet a few Heidschnucken. As I ask for directions, a lady asks me whether I like Heidschnucken, and while thinking of petting the cute creatures I answer wholeheartedly “yes.” When she looks at me to tell me in delight that “they are a real delicacy,” I see we have very different ideas on how to meet them.

In total there are 200 kilometres of hiking and bicycle paths to discover in this nature reserve. I started my hike in Kraupa, a small hamlet not far from Bad Liebenwerda. You have to be fully self-sufficient on a hike, there are no stores or cafes. Please keep in mind to carry enough water (especially in summer). I also recommend bringing snacks or even a picnic. 

Fir trees under a blue sky.

A sandy path through the carpet of a purple heath landscape under a blue sky with fluffy clouds.

How to get to Bad Liebenwerda

By car: It takes roughly two hours from Berlin to drive the 170 kilometres. From Dresden, it is about 1 hour to drive the 80 kilometres. 

Public Transport: Jump onto the Regio 3 from Berlin Central Station to Bad Liebenwerda Station. Ticket: one-way EUR 16, travel time 2 hours. From Dresden, you take the RB 31, it will take about 1.5 hours to Bad Liebenwerda. There are several options to rent a bicycle in town, to reach the Nature Reserve. Best to visit the Deutsche Bahn website.

Further information Bad Liebenwerda

If you would like to get more information before you go on a hike, visit the visitor information centre “Naturparkhaus” in Bad Liebenwerda. I also bought delicious Heather Honey here to take a piece of the heathland back home with me. Address: Markt 20, Bad Liebenwerda. Hours: April to October Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays (Public Holidays), 9am to 5pm. November to March Wednesday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm. Tickets: Free.

From Berlin with love