I set off one sunny morning to Wünsdorf for the 29 km (18 mi) of the 3rd to last leg of the 66-Lakes-Trail – the last section of trail I would complete on my own. After a brief jaunt through town, I quickly reached the most beautiful shore of the Großer Wünsdorfer See. The crystal clear water was tempting, but the morning was cool so I didn’t brave a swim.
Along a country road, I took a zillion path pictures as I passed by two rural farms that had cows mowing down the pastures in the distance. The next “point of interest” along the way was an animal shelter, which I heard long before and after I saw it. Past the shelter, I followed very sandy paths through a field then through the woods, which the author of the guide book suggests are well marked by enthusiastic and hardworking helpers equipped with brushes and paint. Luckily it gives another tip in case you get lost – which I needed because I had somehow missed one of these trusty markings. Just follow the powerlines, even though there are two sets, they eventually cross at a point which is back on trail.
The blue dot guided me further to the Fauler See, or Lazy Lake, a peaceful and still lake offering quiet and private resting spots at its shores. Traveling onward towards Sperenberg, I hiked past the Gipssee, what seems to be a lake remaining from a quarry, before reaching a most picturesque home on a sandy lane in front of the Sperenberg/Krummer Lake.
Outside of Sperenberg, I came across old Russian military lands. Signs outside and along the fence assured me it would be life threatening should I go inside. Being outside the fence was just as terrible because I was constantly being eaten horribly by mosquitos; I couldn’t stop long enough to read the guidebook and even had to run in some places to escape the menacing blood-suckers. Beyond the military fields, I arrived in Krummersdorf, whose name has Slavic origins which apparently translates to “mosquitos.” How appropriate.
Next, the trail leads straight north through 3 km of fields irrigated by canals. After passing through Saalow (which has all of maybe 5 homes), I crossed paths with two elderly couples out for a ride together in their horse-drawn carriage. Yes, a horse-drawn carriage! Two horses, to be exact. They traveled on ahead of me, but shortly afterwards I wandered by them again as they had stopped to enjoy a picnic by the Großer Gadsdorfer See. I managed to quickly snap a picture of the lake on the opposite shore before taking off running again to avoid mosquitos. Insect repellant would definitely be on my list the next time I went to the store!
Oftentimes, I see windmills while hiking…a common site any time you’re traveling around Germany. But this time I began to get pretty close to them. And then I was among them! I had never been so close before. They are enormous!
After the excitement of the windmills came another amusing surprise – Christinendorf! A whole town with my name on it! I thought this was absolutely delightful and took many selfies with the sign upon entering and leaving town. I don’t care that I’m a dork.
After Christinendorf, it was just under 5 km until I reached the end of the hike in Trebbin. I soon began to worry about catching the train on time. Even though I quickened my pace, I did notice two deer in a meadow on my way to town. But I also absent-mindedly passed through some stinging nettle, which came quickly to my attention as my knee and shin began to string (If you’re unfamiliar with this plant, its fuzzy spikes will leave you with a strong and unpleasant itching/burning sensation for 15-60 minutes).
Reaching town, I broke into a run in search of the train station – under a bridge, over a bridge, to the station, under the tracks, to the main platform, selecting a ticket, getting my money stuck in the machine, back to the other platform just as the train pulled up. Luckily, no one checked me for a ticket on my way back to Berlin 🙂 oh the woes of public transportation…
Even though I experienced a lot of mosquitos, some stinging nettles, and more running than I would like on this trip (I don’t like any running), this long hike was an enjoyable one. However, I think there are other sections of the 66-Lakes-Trail I would rather repeat than this one because my favorite parts of tour 15 were the great weather and the town with my name – not things all hikers can rely on. The long stretch through the field with canals was a little boring and there wasn’t a lot of time with lake views, which is my number one priority on the 66-Lakes Trail.