From Fischbek to Steinbeck
(1st leg approx. 20 km)
A heath landscape straight out of a picture book. On it's edges the dry valley of the Fischbek heath has developed small hills. The path swerves from left to right, rises and then sinks slightly. Again and again small paths branch off, losing themselves in the heath behind juniper bushes or small oaks. A measured start.
Then a steep climb through the pine forest. Above the glider airfield the heath opens up. Your gaze is drawn northwest. There, somewhere the Elbe river flows to the estuary. Along the border between Hamburg and Lower Saxony the path disappears into the dark mixed woods. Now the vertical swings dominate: now descending sharply into the valley, now again rising steeply. And immediatly following another rapid decline. Almost rythmic.
Calm prevails in Tempelberg. The forest lightens. The high pines stand still with their smooth trunks. Blueberries entice. The double heath is what this clearing is called. A bench to catch your breath. And on through the hilly pine forest. Over a crest. And there is the Karlstone. A glacial erratic in the middle of the shady beech forest.
Langenrehm is the name of the first typical heath village along the Heidschnucken track. The mighty Oaks remain between the old houses that are grouped around the village green. A short rest on a bench in the village outskirts. A view to the south where the Lüneburg Heath begins. Once again the path sways in a faint rythm through the forest and over the hills. Ends up reaching Nenndorf through picturesque fields.
In Dibbersen it is worth it to visit the historic windmill to the northeast. In the south of the village you may be attracted by the Dangerser Berg with it's view into Buchholz, in the distance you may even spy the Wilseder Berg. Pretty trails along the edge of the woods lead to Steinbeck, the suburb of Buchholz. Success! The Flair Hotel "Zur Eiche" is directly on your path.
From Steinbeck to Handeloh
(2nd leg approx. 15 km)
The hell of the Lüneburg Heath? From the beech forest it isn't far to hell. A stretch along the heath railway, past the Suerhop station and the Heidschnucken track disappears into a loose mixed woods. After a knoll a descent via a steep sand escarpment. A deep dry valley. The canyon of hell. A resounding and imposing name for the slim dark valley where the steep edges are barely 10 meters high.
If this valley is hell, then the nearby Brunsberg - only a couple hundred metres away - must be heaven. From all directions paths run like a star towards the 129 metre elevation. Blooming heath and white young birches everywhere you look. The small natural reserve, the northernmost part of the Nordheide, is completely in view. To the southeast, 40 metres higher, the Wilseder Berg protrudes from the forest.
On sandy paths down the Brunsberg, past the first birches and small boulders. In the forest, peace reigns and steps are soft. Narrow paths lead up to the Pferdekopf, which rises cone-like from the northern edge of the Büsenbach valley. Under the boardwalk the crystal clear Büsenbach burbling along in it's narrow bed fresh from the spring. From up high at a resting point on the southern edge of the heath the entire valley is visible.
Blueberry bushes line the path. The woods get darker and darker. Spruce and fir trees swallow the light. Later on a lighter gravel path among dark fir. Still afore the first houses of Handeloh the Heidschnuck track swerves to join the heath rails. The path along these rails leads directly to the village centre.