One of my most remarkable bike trips this year was along the Berlin Wall Path. Today, this former death strip is a 160 kilometer cycle path which takes you through the DDR border installations and traces the history of a divided Berlin.
From my home in Sonnenallee (between Treptow in the former East and Neukölln in the former West) passing the Brandenburg Gate and out to the rural Staaken – there are vivid historical reminders interwoven with the scenic beauty of Berlin.
In most segments the bikeway runs on the former Duty Way (in West Berlin) or on the Kolonnenweg which was used by the DDR border troops, so the traces of the border installations are apparent as well as memorial sites.
These historically interesting segments, including remains of the wall, alternate with other urban places of interest. The Berlin Wall Path is well-signposted and at regular intervals you will find maps and multilingual information boards about the division of Germany, the construction and the fall of The Berlin Wall.
Escaping the city, a taste of the beautiful Brandenburg countryside can be experienced along the South and West Routes.
The West Route
The bikeway is divided into 3 routes with the most beautiful tour being the West Route.
The approx. 65 km of the West Route begins at the city station Griebnitzsee. Unfortunately, the former Kolonnenweg on the waterfront of the Griebnitzsees is not always accessible by bike but the bypass will take you to the waterfront of Babelsberg where you can spot breath-taking villas.
The 18 km long Potsdam route of the Berlin Wall Path leads through the Glienicker Bridge, circuits the Jungfernsee, Lehnitzsee and Krampnitzsee and reaches the Berlin frontier near the castle of Sacrow. Here you can linger for a little lunch break.
The Berlin Wall Path guides you along the picturesque river Havel. Before the Glienicker bridge the wall path reaches the beautiful Pfaueninsel (Island of Peacocks). Opposite from the city station Wannsee you can catch the ferry to Kladow. This ride is included in the Berlin public transport system so if you have a day or single ticket you can just hop on the ferry.
In Kladow you can follow the path through the Imchenallee. Today the former “No Man’s Land” has been overtaken by nature with forests populating the strip in the Potsdamer Chaussee. Behind the former airport Berlin-Gatow the path leads you on the edge of the sewage farms further to the north, doubt you will stay too long here!
Close by the former border you will cross the Heerstrasse and bike though Staaken (a part of Berlin’s Spandau district). In Bergstraße you can see the typical German single-family homes which now cover the East-West border. When you reach the Bullengraben, you have arrived in the district Spandau. The Berlin Wall Path guides you to the idyllic forest of Spandau, a place to pause and relax. From here on the route wiggles on through forest. In summer the shade of the trees helps you to cool off and in autumn you can enjoy colourful leaves.
Leaving the forest behind, you will come the Exklave Eiskeller and further on to the border tower Nieder Neuendorf situated beside the Havel on the route to Hennigsdorf, the village of ironworks and locomotives.
The Berlin Wall Path then takes you to Hermsdorf and around the harbour. Behind the Stolper Heide the path bends back into Berlin, where you reach the Invalidensiedlung for a view of some more typical German houses. You then meander on to the former border tower of the German Waldjugend, nestled between pine trees. I especially love the variety of landscape on this part of the path, the pine forest gives way to rolling dunes of green perfect for summer walks and camping.
Finally the West Route leads you further through the Hubertussee and Frohnau, districts of Berlin. On the Waldseeweg you will reach the city station Hermsdorf, where you can take a well-deserved train home.
More information about the Berlin wall path inside of Berlin you can find here.
If you want to find more hidden gems of Berlin, check out my folding maps BertaBerlin. They are available in well-chosen locations all over Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg and online. But for those of you, who want to stay up to date, feel free to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or register for my newsletter.