Hellsee hike around the lake

27. February 2021 - Anika Semmer

Hellsee Hike Around the Wild Lake - A Varied Nature Experience


Action & Trips


Natural and idyllic – this Hellsee hike once around the lake is just right for anyone looking for peace and relaxation. The special exta: this circular walk is surprisingly varied!

Once around Hellsee – that’s 8 kilometres that you can easily hike in about two hours. You can expect hardly any metres in altitude (only 110 in total) but breathtaking views over the natural Hellsee. The Hellsee hike leads along one of the most beautiful lakeside paths in Brandenburg through sparse beech forests and lush meadows and marshes.

Hellsee is located about 40 km north of the centre of Berlin in the middle of Barnimer Land near the village of Lanke. If you are looking for peace and quiet from everyday life and the hustle and bustle of the big city and want to get out into nature, you will love this Hellsee hike. Even in spring and summer, the hiking trail is not heavily frequented; on lonely days, only a few anglers come here. There are no official bathing spots – but if not all of the beautiful bays are occupied by anglers, you can use them wonderfully for bathing in summer.

The path is easy to walk – even with a pram for long stretches and children have plenty of room to run around in the woods.

Our excursion tip for families in Brandenburg: Do you already know the Brickworks Park in Mildenberg? There is wild nature, a petting zoo and exciting Berlin history to discover.

Tour Facts for Your Hellsee Hike

  • Best season: all year round
  • Difficulty: easy and family-friendly
  • Route: approx. 8 km
  • Duration: approx. 2 – 2.5 hours
  • Descent and ascent: total of 110 metres altitude difference
  • Refreshment stops: none directly on the tour
  • How to get there: By public transport (bus 890 and 903) from Bernau S-Bahn station to Lanke (Obersee stop) or by car via the A11 on the L31 towards Lanke and turn onto the L29 towards Biesenthal to Hellsee.
  • Brief description: Panoramic circular hike & nature experience

Hellsee Hike Around the Lake Near Lanke – The Tour

For orientation, there is a large map at the start of the Hellsee hike

We start in the forest and walk around the lake on the left

The tour starts at the car park in Lanke – this is also where the Obersee bus stop is. The first highlight is a building – Lanke Castle, which was designed in the mid-19th century for Count Friedrich Wilhelm von Redern in the style of the French Renaissance. The castle is privately owned and therefore unfortunately cannot be visited. The castle park, which Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned in the 19th century in the style of an English landscape park, lies dormant today.

Start of the Hellsee Hiking Trail

In Biesenthaler Straße, a passage leads past a biotope with frogs and newts to a crossroads with hiking trail signs in different colours. The green dot marking indicates the Hellsee hiking trail around the lake. The forest trail first leads through a beech forest. In spring, lush wood anemones bloom here in abundance and shine like a white sea of stars. Past a few fishing boats, the Hellsee stretches out before your eyes. The path now leads along the right bank for quite a while.

Bays and Views Over the Fjord-Like Lake

The natural Hellsee has many beautiful views to offer on the circular hike

Tree trunks on the shore are a good place to take a rest

For the next 20 minutes, the path follows the shore. Here the path rises again and again, offering a beautiful view over the lake. The thicket of reeds recedes in the bays and allows you to let your gaze wander into the distance. Weather-beaten tree trunks are a wonderful place to rest or enjoy the idyll. In summer it is worth packing a bikini and swimming trunks for a cool refreshment in one of the bays!

Eventually the path forks and we follow the green dot marking the circular route and the forest path soon opens up to a view of a fallow field adjacent to the forest.

Meadow Meadows and (Water) Lentil Soup

The Hellsee hiking route is scenically varied

After the wooded section, the view opens up to a beautiful meadow meadow

The path leads us once again through a wood and meadows. On a warm day, there are many beautiful places to spread out your picnic blanket, unpack your book and read while the hawks circle in the sky.

Here it is wet and marshy in places and a bright green rivulet meanders through the meadows to an old oak tree. The duckweed provides the great colour. This is a wonderful place to observe animals!

Beyond the beautiful oak, the path continues, now towards the shore again.

Hell-Mill and Nature Friends Hut on the Hellsee Hike

Past the small settlement of Hellmühle in the east of the Hellsee, the asphalted Hellmühlenweg leads past the clubhouse of the NaturFreunde OG Biesenthal-Hellmühle. There is ample seating for a rest and information boards on the flora and fauna in Biesethal. The Hellmühle itself, however, is in need of renovation and unfortunately closed (as of spring 2021).

The North Shore and Western Lakeshore With Marsh Area

Different landscapes you walk through on the Hellsee hike

In spring, masses of yellow marsh marigolds bloom in the marsh landscape

As at the beginning of the Hellsee hike, the next 20 minutes are filled with beautiful views over the elongated lake and its bays. Anglers occupy most of the first bays here, especially at the Hellmühle, where you can also park, and hope for a successful catch. Here again, there are several bathing spots that are perfect for a refreshing swim in summer. Some trees are bitten by beavers that live here.

A real highlight comes at the very end of the trail: a boardwalk leads through a small marshy area to the west of Hellsee. The rays of light shimmer through the trees and refract in the stagnant water. In spring, so many marsh marigolds grow here that the bog glows dark yellow. The moor leads directly into the foothills of the overgrown castle park. This is where the circular walk around Hellsee ends.

The circular walk around Hellsee is worthwhile all year round, but in spring and autumn nature here is particularly magnificent!


Carpe Diem – Do something great in your free time! If you are short of ideas or just feel like trying something new, just have a look at Abenteuer Freundschaft. Here you can find totally different ideas for activities with friends, activities for couples and with children. Tried and written by leisure enthusiasts who enjoy life to the fullest with their favourite people. 🙂

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