The Heidschnuckenweg is a 223 km long hiking trail that leads from Hamburg-Fischbeck to Celle.
The forests of the Southern Heath (Südheide) are just waiting to be explored. Perhaps at first glance, the trails on the map seem a little ordinary or uneventful but once you’re there and out walking, you’ll find the route is extremely rich in natural treasures along the way. The paths are by no means as completely straight as it looks on the map and while the path is wide, at times it takes you to the left here and bends to the right there….
Along the wayside there are abundant sections of heather and other plant life, followed by the pine forest.
Just under 2 kilometers from Dehningshof, you’ll see the little Severloher Heide (heath) on the edge of the Heidschnuckenweg trail. This small, gently sloping area to the west is actually the last, large adjacent area of heather on your way to Celle. It's only 500 metres from the beginning to the mighty oak tree you will see at the other end. There’s a small Heidebach, a bridge for the hikers, a ford for horses and then the route climbs the 84 metre high Citronenberg. On the left (eastern) side, you’ll see a ditch, where a military narrow-gauge railway used for trial runs, ran for a total of 16 days in 1892 – before the line was dismantled again.
Along the route, you’ll encounter the Wildecker ponds, which are hidden behind a small dam. The combined surface of the ponds is surprisingly large and a paradise for migratory birds. Under some old beech trees, you’ll see a bench – just right for hiking migratory birds with a backpack.
The trail follows its course along the wide heathland path, wandering sometimes to the left and then to right, becoming sandy in places or curving around deep puddles. At the Kohlenbach forester's lodge, there is an alley of trees where the path becomes more defined again. With small meadows on the left, the path undulates between the forest edges. Look out for birch trees here, standing in the heather. Yellow leaves glow in autumn. This thick forest is the last stretch before reaching Schäch.
Behind Scheuen by the glider airfield, a small area of heather. Ahead of the village of Groß-Hehlen, a rustic, forest landscape. A former sand pit, now densely overgrown with deciduous trees. A lake ripples lazily in the breeze.
Pretty forest paths on the way to the village of Klein Hehlen and here at the Klein Hehlener forest lake (Waldsee) the river Aller is already close. Finally you’re at the Allerwiesen meadow with your goal in mind: straight to Celle, along the old stretch of the Aller.
Finally the station bridge. Now the last little section ahead of Celle’s town centre and one last chance to meander through the flowerbeds of the Triftanlage. Then Celle Palace, rising majestically in the castle park, surrounded by a moat. Your goal is reached. In the Historical Old Town, you’ll find a restorative coffee waiting for you and much, much more…
Please note: while there are only a few hills or inclines on the Heidschnuckenweg, there are no places to stop along the way, so please be sure to take enough water and provisions with you.
No special equipment is required to undertake this hike.
The route is well signposted with clear markings (always look for white “H” on a black square).
The Heidschnuckenweg has been recognised by the German Hiking Association as one of the quality hiking trails in Germany (within the "Hikable Germany" criteria).
You will find information about the individual stages of the Heidschnuckenweg at: