This well-signposted, family-friendly route of approximately 190 km is comprised of four circuits of between 27 and 57 km and runs through the picturesque heaths and marshes of the Altes Land region along the Elb river and the Cuxland.
The air of the North Sea and of the region's Hanseatic past envelops visitors as they travel through this rivered landscape. The large concentration of farms in the region mean that there are plenty of opportunities to stop off for a spot of cheese, yoghurt tasting or some other tasty treat.
Here a short stop en-route becomes an art
The route starts in Hude where it is best to leave your car behind. Stop for a few moments at the Oste landing platform and continue on bicycle across Grünland to the dyke in Gräpel. Then take the pram ferry over the Oste river to Brobergen and cycle along this side of the Oste down to Kranenburg. Did you know that calves live in igloos? On Jarck Farm (Hof Jarck), the calves are reared in open-fronted igloos which protect them from the wind and give them lots of fresh air. While the kids play in the children's zoo, the grown ups can find out all about rearing calves at one of the talks organised at the farm.
And there's more
Strong cyclists can continue through the lush countryside of Himmelpforten along the "Steel, udders and centrifuges" route. In the farms of the Stader Geest region you can have a go at milking plastic udders, transporting bales of hay or long-distance broom throwing (Besenwerfen) to get a real taste of rural life. And in return for all your hard work, you will receive the "De lütte Melkbuer" award, a certificate to prove what you have learnt. By the end of this group tour, even the most hardened urbanite will know one end of a cow from the other and that milk does not originate from the carton.
To be experienced at your leisure
On the "Moorland farms and high-tech cows" route, you will discover all there is to know about fully-automated milk production in the 21st century. Prepare to have your eyes opened! The farms along this route invite you to take a break in their milking parlour where you can sample yoghurt, homemade cakes and other high-quality dairy products. Why not find out more about dairy farming or visit a farm as well? Don't forget to book in advance!
Cycle hire also available
This route is best explored as part of a cycling tour or on foot rather than by car, and as the countryside here is flat and even, the Lower Saxony Milk Route is suitable for both amateur and expert cyclists alike. So what are you waiting for? Just look out for the mischievous cow-on-wheels signs and you'll be on the right track. Please be aware that tours may run on a reduced capacity during harvest time or milking times.
Length: approximately 190 km
Theme: dairy farming past and present
Estorf-Gräpel: the "Master of Milk" course (Milchmagister)
Geversdorf: farm tour
Hemmoor: bottle museum (Buddelmuseum)
Himmelpforten: Christmas village, "Master of Milk" course
Kranenburg: farm tour
Oberndorf: dairy tour, farm tour, riverside church, Oste boat trip
Osten: farm tour
Hanseatic City Stade: harbour, canal boat tours, museums
Wingst: Melkhus dairy, Balksee and Randmoore Conservation Area
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