Wolves on the International Art Trail in the Hoher Fläming Hills Nature Park
Wolves on the International Art Trail in the Hoher Fläming Hills Nature Park ©Naturparkarchiv
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Hoher Fläming Hills Nature park – a landscape of boulders, dry valleys and castles

Ancient castles, gentle hills, cool streams and sprawling forests are characteristic features of this nature reserve in the south-west of Brandenburg – a walker's paradise just outside Berlin.

Not without a hint of irony, the 'mountains' here are known as the smallest in Germany. The Hagelberg, for example, at only 200 metres, is part of the International Art Trail and you can enter your name in the book at the summit. The higher ground here was piled up by glaciers during the Saale Glacial Stage some 150,000 years ago. In the north-east of the nature reserve, the terrain drops sharply down to 60m at the Belzig grasslands where the meltwaters from the glaciation of the river Vistula flowed some 10,000 years ago. Today it is one of the most important breeding grounds in Brandenburg for grassland birds and a habitat of the great bustard. Thousands of Nordic geese and ducks make a stop here in winter, a wonderful natural spectacle that you can watch from the R1 long-distance cycle route near Baitz. The Castles Trail, a 147km route bearing the Wanderbares Deutschland quality seal, features the region's four castles as well as natural treasures including the myth-enshrouded Brautrummel (a dry valley created after the ice age), glacial boulders and the beautiful clear streams of the Fläming region. You can enjoy delicious cuisine here too with regional specialities such as Fläming trout and Beelitz asparagus. After an enjoyable day outdoors, you might like to unwind at the SteinTherme baths in the thermal spa resort of Bad Belzig. The nature park centre in Raben, located beneath Rabenstein Castle, features an interactive exhibition and a sensory garden and offers cycle hire as well as lots of insider tips for the region.

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