A trip to the forest Klövensteen has something magical: You walk on secluded field and forest paths past thick old trees and see lots of animals. It's hard to believe that you don't even leave the big city of Hamburg for this experience. The Klövensteen is Altona's largest green recreation area, where everyday life suddenly recedes far into the distance - and wild animals are very close.

The Klövensteen is located in the absolute west of the Hanseatic city. With an area of over 580 hectares, the large forest stretches across the districts of Rissen, Sülldorf and out into Schleswig-Holstein. Plenty of space for nature to spread out and develop. The trees of the diverse mixed forest stretch steadily and vividly towards the sky, the air is clear and pure, it smells of earth. A few steps through the recreational forest, and the excursion feels a little like a vacation.

But what also makes the forest very attractive is its game preserve on the Sandmoor Trail. Numerous native animal species live here. Deer wander leisurely across the meadows, wild boars burrow in the ground, mouflons proudly present their twisted horns, roe deer and fawns look curiously, always on the lookout for a tasty snack. Some of them have become really tame over the years and let themselves be fed out of their hands with the food available in the adjacent forest tavern. And who is hiding there in an aviary? Eagle owls - and a few ferrets. Admission to the enclosure is free.

Satisfied smacking, the wild boars burrow through the ground © BjörnBuxbaum-Conradi

Attention: The enclosure is not open during the Corona Lockdown. And limiting measures also apply elsewhere during the pandemic. Thus, the opening hours have been restricted as well as a one-way system has been set up. The Klövensteen has a lot to offer even without entering the game reserve, because:

It is also beautiful outside the game preserve. Picturesque paths lead through the forest, along a stream, past rustic fish ponds. There are many different hiking trails that crisscross the recreation area. And routes for cyclists that lead not only through the Klövensteen, but also through other beautiful regions of the Wedeler Au.

Lush green meadows meet rustic forests in Klövensteen © vongomthenen

There are great places to go in the forest for kids and the curious. At the entrance to the game reserve is the Irmgard Greve House, which is used as a forest school. It is a good place to go to learn more about the forest and to book guided hikes. Next door, a fabulous playground also invites you to romp around. And if you still haven't had enough, take a short detour to the nearby Schnaakenmoor and rent a little horse for a ride at the Pony-Waldschänke. 

Speaking of Schnaakenmoor: There are fantastically beautiful hiking routes that lead both through the moor - which, by the way, is directly connected to the enclosure - and through the Klövensteen. The variety is a joy, because within a very short time you pass from a densely overgrown forest to a lightly wooded moor landscape, which seems mystical especially at sunset. An invitation to dream!

Did you know that the Klövensteen owes its name to the devil? According to a legend, he had a fight here with a hunter, who made him so angry that Beelzebub split a stone - he "klövte den Steen". But do not worry, today the devil has nothing to do here.

Cover photo: Klövensteen turns into a winter wonderland during the cold season © Hilke Eckardt

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