At the gates of Hanover lies a mountain range, overgrown with dense forest and wide views over fields and meadows. The Deister is an ideal destination for nature lovers in search of relaxation, activity and small adventures.
Anyone who sets out to discover the Deister - whether as a hiker, by bike, e-bike or by bus and train - quickly realizes that this is more than just a local recreation area. These hills are a lush paradise with enchanted corners, great views and sights that make every visit special.
The well-signposted hiking trails and bike routes take you up and down through the Deister over streams, past ponds and rustic shelters. The Deister has many a surprise in store. For example, the rare and mystical gnarled Süntel beech trees that grow directly at the barbecue area Lauenau-Feggendorf, in the spa park Bad Nenndorf and southwest of the former forester's lodge Köllnischfeld.
The Wennigs water wheels are a real eye-catcher for young and old. About 20 miniature water wheels are set up in the stream every summer - they then represent models of the fairy tale and legend world powered by water power.
Or you can head for one of the former tunnels that bear witness to underground mining in this region. While the Klosterstollen in Barsinghausen is fully developed for tourism, the "Feggendorfer Stolln" is still like it was back then: In this small colliery, visitors can look over the miners' shoulders and experience how people used to work in the rock with pickaxes and shovels.
The heights of the Deister are dotted with towers from which magnificent views over the surrounding countryside open up. The most famous is the 19-meter-high Nordmannsturm, which was built in 1863 directly on the Deister ridge. Good for your appetite: the forest restaurant right when you climb the stairs.
If you want to go higher, climb the Annaturm in the southeast of the Deister - the highest radio and observation tower in the region. It stands on the Bröhn, at 405 meters above sea level the highest peak in the area. Here, too, visitors are served delicious meals in the cozy restaurant directly at the foot of the tower.
Those who prefer a more relaxed pedaling style can take on the Deisterkreisel. It circles Hannover's local mountains on a hilly 80 kilometers and leads past manors and grain distilleries and through many small towns worth seeing at the foot of the Deister. There are also other attractive routes: The 30-kilometer "Grüne Kette" (Green Chain) takes you around Wenningsen and - for those who still like it - up to Gehrdener Berg. In addition, a number of other cycling routes lead past castles, windmills, monasteries and museums in the region.
You can also get to the top of the Deisterkamm quite comfortably: If you don't want to hike or bike, it's best to take public transportation. The S-Bahn runs from Hanover from directly to the foot of the Deister. From Wennigsen, for example, you can take bus line 562 directly up to the Deister ridge. From here, beautiful hiking trails lead directly to the lookout towers and imposing rock formations, through stream valleys and past shelters - and, of course, relaxed downhill to one of the Deister towns, from which the state capital can be easily reached again.
Cover photo: Ideal for hiking and cycling - Hannover's local mountain range, the Deister © Christian Wyrwa
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