Cycle tour around Fassberg: where the Long-beards once lived (day tour, 26 km)
This charming bicycle tour around Fassberg in Suedheide nature park starts at the car park in Oberohe, which is opposite an ideally located picnic area.
On the first stage you will be taken back in time to a few hundred years A.D. and then on through picturesque nature. You will see unique natural spectacles and historical sights and enjoy the peace and quiet that surrounds the heath river Oertze.
Who were the Long-beards?
The Langobarden once inhabited the region around Gerdehaus. Langobarden translates as “Longbeards” and this tour through the heath bears their name.
The horseman’s grave at Hankenbostel was discovered in its original historic state during sand excavations in 1900. The grave furniture including valuable spurs, scissors made of iron and a silver belt buckle are today on display at the Museum of Lower Saxony in Hanover. These finds indicate that the grave must have belonged to a wealthy horseman of the Longbeard tribe who lived here during the 2nd century A.D. The Germanic tribe of the Langobarden relocated much later and establsihed a kingdom in Italy in the 6th century.
Juniper forest on Devil’s Heath
The juniper forest on Devil’s Heath is one of the most significant natural monuments in Lower Saxony. Juniper was once considered a heath weed back in the times of heath farming.
But our ancestors also appreciated the wood of the juniper bush as material for heating, smoke and lathing, and today its blue berries are coveted as spices and as raw materials for distilling gin. Juniper berries were already an important export commodity in the 19th century.
The pest houses of the Middle Ages were fumigated with juniper branches and the plant said to have magical and medicinal properties was used domestically throughout the centuries: a branch above the door afforded protection from witches, devils and ghosts and the plant was considered as a giver of life and health.
When dusk falls or the day breaks, or when mist curls around the trees, the juniper forest appears full of mystical structures and is the source of many a local tale.
In today’s cultural landscape, however, the nutrient-poor and sandy locations preferred by juniper and heather have become scarce and woodlands populated by spruce trees have gained the upper hand.
Tour length: 26 km
mainly asphalted cycle paths and agricultural tracks, paved cycle path from Oberohe to the juniper forest and short stretches on unpaved forest tracks with sandy patches.
The pictogram shown here lines the entire route.
Directions to Gerdehaus car park:
You can reach the car park via the L 280 Mueden (Oertze) towards Unterluess. Turn right in Gerdeaus after approx. 6 km to Gerdehaus car park.
The CeBus Line 261 stops at Gerdehaus on weekdays. Maps and other information are available from Tourist Information Mueden (Oertze).
Coordinates: N 52° 52.79073', E 010° 11.10764'
touring bikes/ trekking bikes and e-bikes
Tourist Information Muden (Oertze)
Unterlüßer Str. 5, 29328 Mueden (Oertze)
Tel. 05053 989222
The remains of a Longbeard grave were found very close to the town car park, indicating that the Germanic tribe of the Langobarden had once settled in the area.
The bicycle tour covers a short stretch on the L 280 past Unterluess to Oberohe. It is not so long ago that diatomite, the “white gold” of the heath, was mined here.
The next station lies in Lower Saxony’s largest and most beautiful juniper forest. It consists of countless, long and thin (male) or slightly shorter and rounder (female) bushes that grow close together on an area of some 20 hectares. The Devil’s Heath has weather huts that are ideal for taking a short break.
The tour continues alongside expansive fields and through the small, typical heath village of Schmarbeck, which is home to one of the herds of moorland sheep. The village is characterised by historic heath farms with old oak trees and traditional timber-framed buildings.
Cycle through the forest to reach Fassberg and the Airlift Memorial. Here, you can discover authentic reports from the post-war days of the Berlin Blockade and the history of the airlift.
After a diversified ride through the village and on through fields and woodlands, you will come to Poitzen, where you will join the river forest adventure trail and follow it to Mueden/Oertze.
Known as the “Pearl of the Heath”, you will love the heath village with its historic farmhouses at the old centre and the watermill .
The cycle tour around Fassberg ends back at Gerdehaus car park.