Mueden (Oertze): Schmarbeck juniper forest
6.5 km to the north-east of Mueden, near the small town of Schmarbeck, lies one of the most diverse hiking trails of Suedheide nature park: Schmarbeck juniper forest.
North Germany’s largest juniper forest
The expansive heath and its numerous gnarled juniper trees is considered to be North Germany’s largest and most beautiful juniper forest. This hiking area is often referred to as the “Devil’s Heath” due the ancient juniper trees and their nearly mystical appearance especially on foggy days. There are also wide areas of heath in addition to the juniper forests.
The contrast of the dark green junipers and the purple of the heather during the blooming season in August and September is a fantastic sight to behold. The junipers in the heath have grown as trees, which is rather seldom.
Summit cross in the juniper forest
There is even a summit cross at the heart of the heath to mark the phenomenal height of 92 metres above sea level. It is the highest point of the town of Fassberg to which the juniper forest belongs.
Hiking and cycling tours
You can use the
car park as a starting point for expansive and well-signposted hikes. Three
routes of 4.4, 7.1 and 12.1 km lead through the rambling
countryside. The quality hiking trail Moorland
Sheep Trail that was voted Germany’s most scenic route in 2014 also runs
through this area. With a little luck you might even encounter one of the last
tended herds of moorland sheep on the heath. The heath is also ideal for
exploring by bicycle as it features a paved cycle path.
You can find the biking and hiking tours that lead through the area in the section "This may interest you” further below.
Tables and benches at the car park, some of which offer views of the heath, are ideal for picnics. There is also a toilet facility in the summer months.
The juniper was named Tree of the Year 2002. You can find out more about juniper trees on a tour of the forest area with one of our expert guides. Learn about ancient beliefs in which junipers were held in high esteem as miracle and medicinal plants before they were used to distil gin.
Tip: The gnarled juniper forests are especially magical in the autumnal fog or on a spring or summer morning.
23928 Fassberg - Schmarbeck
or simply: Schmarbeck
Car park coordinates: N52.908752 E10.224061
The town is very small, so simply follow the signs for the juniper forest car park.