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Totengrund und Wilseder Berg

Published by detlefpalm , 13 November 2018, 19h10.

Region: World » Germany » Norddeutsches Tiefland
Date of the hike: 7 July 2017
Hiking grading: T1 - Valley hike
Time: 3:15
Height gain: 216 m 708 ft.
Height loss: 216 m 708 ft.
Route:13.3 Kilometer

This was our first trip to the Lüneburger Heide and we were thoroughly impressed - even though the Heather was not yet in blossom.

The trail runs through one of the best parts of the Heide. We did the hike on a Friday, met very few people, but can imagine the crowds roaming the fields especially on weekends during holidays and the peak season.
Along the hike, you will see many lone juniper trees. Did you know that mature purple and younger green juniper berries grow alongside one another on the same plant? They need 18 months to ripen.

During the ice age, glaciers transported to and left big boulders in the Totengrund, which may have been named for its Toteis (dead ice) that lingered there long into modern times. Other interpretations have it that the ground of the area (because of its sand) was 'dead' and of little use for grazing or agriculture. Some say that it was where the dead were transported through, because they were not supposed to be transported on regular roads. Whatever the interpretation, the Totengrund seems to have a mystic appearance during the blossom season, in spring, or when there is fog.

The trail circumvents the Totengrund on the trail named after Herman Löns, the German journalist and writer. He is most famous as "The Poet of the Heath", and for his novels and poems celebrating the people and landscape of the North German moors. He also wrote the 'Wehrwolf'.

Soon after is the village of Wilseder and its restaurant, where you should plan for a rest and a good meal. Vehicles are not allowed in the village (with the possible exception of residents) and it is rare to come across a nice dining place without vehicular traffic. If hiking or weight-watching is not your thing, you also can hire horse-carts from near the parking lot that take you to the restaurant.

Energized, we travel to the Wilseder Berg, which offers views all around this part of the Lüneburger Heide, and has a plaque remembering the mathematician Gauss.

After the hike, try out some ice-cold 'Heidegeist', the local spirit, that impresses through both its strength and taste.

Hike partners: detlefpalm

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