The Moorland Sheep Trail, the most scenic hiking trail through Lueneburg Heath, offers an experience of nature that is simply incomparable. Numerous heath areas both large and small are located between Hamburg and Celle. The Moorland Sheep Trail links the most beautiful heath landscapes of the Nordheide and Suedheide.
The German Hiking Association awarded the certificate "Quality Route of the German Hiking Association" to the Moorland Sheep Trail at precisely 3:20 p.m. on 7 July 2012.
The presentation of the certificate "Quality Route of the German Hiking Association" distinguishes the Moorland Sheep Trail as the only hiking route in North Germany certified by the German Hiking Association.
The certification puts the Moorland Sheep Trail on a par with the well-known hiking routes Rothaarsteig, Rheinsteig and Eifelsteig.
In 2014, the second stage of the Moorland Sheep Trail was voted Germany's most scenic hiking route by the readers of renowned hiking publication "Wandermagazin".
Measuring 223 kilometers in length, the Moorland Sheep Trail is the most scenic walkable connection between Fischbek in the north heath, on the outskirts of Hamburg, to Celle, a city of former royal residency in the south of the heath. A fascinating natural landscape that is one of a kind in Germany awaits you.
The Moorland Sheep Trail links the pearls of the Lueneburg Heath countryside together. Multifaceted heath areas, legendary cultural sites and idyllic heath villages line the route. The highlight of the trail is the breath-taking city of Celle, where the prince electors and kings of Hanover once felt very much at home.
A hike along the Moorland Sheep Trail is the best opportunity to get to know - and fall in love with - the diversity of the Lueneburg Heath countryside.
The Moorland Sheep Trail links more than 30 heath areas from southern Hamburg to the city of Celle. You can become acquainted with the diverse natural landscapes of Lueneburg Heath and its cultural highlights along a route of 223 kilometers. Your path will lead you through a regional reserve and two nature reserves were passionate conservationists work hard to protect these unique and sensitive natural areas.
With a height of 169 m, the Wilseder Berg is just one of many scenic summits. The Moorland Sheep Trail runs through the entire Lueneburg Heath, from the hills of Harburg in the north through the traffic-free nature reserve to the wetlands of Celler Land to the south.
Multifaceted heath areas with juniper groves, green mixed woodlands and spruce forests, mystical moorlands, legendary cultural sites and idyllic heath villages line the way.
14 stages from start to finish
The Moorland Sheep Trail is divided into 14 stages. Seasoned hikers can complete the route in ten days. Of course, you can choose any of the stages along the route for your hike. Look forward to Fischbek Heath, the Buesenbachtal with its heath stream, the 800-year-old stone church in Undeloh, the stunning views from the 169 m high Wilseder Berg, the primeval heath landscape of the Borsteler Kuhlen, the Wietzer Berg hill with the impressive Loensstein monument and views of the leafy Oertzetal valley. Equally as captivating are the juniper groves near Schmarbeck
and the pine forests of Tiefental. A splendid finale awaits you at the end of the trail: Celle, a city of former royal residency with an historic old town and royal palace.
Hike to your heart's content
Two loops situated along the route are ideal for a weekend hike. The loop in the Lueneburg Heath nature reserve leads through Behring Heath and Osterheide, while the Suedheide nature reserve boasts the Oberoh Heath and Hausselberg Hill as natural attractions.
Lueneburg Heath is a gently undulating, rather flat landscape that makes the Moorland Sheep Trail ideal for both athletic hikers and those who prefer a more leisurely pace. There is no difficult terrain. The highest point along the route is Wilseder Berg, a hill of just 169 m. Other inclines such as to the top of the Wietzer Berg or Hausselberg Hill in the Suedheide nature reserve are short in length and easy to master. In contrast to other well-known hiking trails in Germany, the Moorland Sheep Trail is not a high route.
Nonetheless: sufficient supplies of food and water in your backpack are advisable as not every stage offers an adequate number of inns and restaurants.
Main route signage:
"Schnucki", the Lueneburg Heath moorland sheep, marks the way along the Moorland Sheep Trail on signs that also bear the name "Heidschnuckenweg" ("Moorland Sheep Trail") or a white "H" on a black background.
Signage indicating route variants and approach routes:
The Lueneburg Heath nature reserve and the Suedheide nature reserve each have a variant to the main route and indicate approach routes to the Moorland Sheep Trail from the railway stations listed below.
The variants and approach routes are signposted with a yellow "H" on a black background to enable you to differentiate the trail of the main route from the variants and to locate the approach routes to the Moorland Sheep Trail.
- Variant in the Lueneburg Heath nature reserve: a variant via Wesler Heide is indicated on the stages from Handeloh to Undeloh, just before Wehlen (kilometer 44.5 from Hamburg-Fischbek).
- Variant in the Suedheide nature reserve: the main route runs from Mueden (Oertze) to Weesen via Fassberg and through Oberoh Heath. Signs indicate an alternative route that runs from Mueden (Oertze) to Weesen via Hermannsburg.
- Approach routes Hamburg-Fischbek and Hamburg-Neugraben: approach routes to the start of the Moorland Sheep Trail are signposted from the railway stations Hamburg-Neugraben and Hamburg-Fischbek.
- Approach route from Soltau railway station: an approach route is signposted from Soltau railway station to the Moorland Sheep Trail.
- Approach route from Unterluess railway station: an approach route is signposted from Unterluess railway station to the Moorland Sheep Trail.
Highest point on the route:
Wilseder Berg at 169 metres above sea level
Best time for hiking:
The heath bloom in August and September is without doubt the most beautiful time to walk the Moorland Sheep Trail. But the trail is also appealing when the leaves change colour in the autumn, or when the fresh green of the heather covers the heath in the spring - and even in winter with frost, snow and crystal-clear air.
Quality route of the "German Hiking Association"
The Moorland Sheep Trail leads you through one of Germany's oldest and most primeval cultural landscapes and offers a superior hiking experience. The route was certified as a "quality route" by the German Hiking Association in 2012, an award confirming that the route course and route profile are very varied and especially natural and unspoiled.
Moorland Sheep Trail - Top Trails of Germany
The Top Trails of Germany are the best hiking routes in the country! If you love hiking and walking in the great outdoors, then the Top Trails of
Germany are just what you are looking for. They stand for hiking experiences full of impressions, for varied and enjoyable hikes and walks on paths with outstanding signage and an emphasis on top quality. The Moorland Sheep Trail is one of Germany's 15 Top Trails.
Overview map and detailed maps
1:75,000, 1 cm = 750 m
Detailed map Dehningshof - Celle:
1:83,000, 1 cm = 830 m
each as an unscaled printout on one A4 page per map sheet
Cartography, map rights and layout:
Lüneburger Heide GmbH
All details subject to change. All rights reserved.
You can download detailed map material on the stages of the Moorland Sheep Trail (PDF files) using the links below.
Hiking Map & Hiking Guide
You can order the German-language hiking guide "Abenteuer Heidschnuckenweg", written by our Heath Ranger, from Amazon
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