Spanning some 125 kilometres, the Ilmenau Cycle Route boasts a special kind of natural adventure. On small roads and paths, it traverses the kingdom of the kingfisher and otter in the flora, fauna and habitat (FFH) nature reserve in Ilmenau. Cyclists can visit tranquil villages and the towns of Uelzen, Bad Bevensen and Lüneburg along the way.
Route and sights
The Lüneburger Heide Ilmenau Cycle Route is the perfect cycle route if you are looking to cover some kilometres on your bike and learn a thing or two along the way. The route is dotted with 31 nature information points outlining fun facts about the Ilmenau flora, fauna and habitat (FFH) nature reserve, including puzzles and activities to keep the children entertained. What is an alluvial forest? What is a flora, fauna and habitat (FFH) reserve and why is Ilmenau classed as one? What are the breeding patterns of kingfishers? You will find the answers to all these questions and more by following the information boards along the cycle route. The 31 nature information points are even equipped with sound. If you check out the Ilmenau Cycle Route website, you can download the audio files and have a listen to get an idea of what you can expect along the cycle route itself.
Before you set off on the Ilmenau Cycle Route, you need to make a choice between two different versions of the cycle route: One option is to start your cycle tour in Bad Bodenteich, at the foot of Bodenteich Castle (a former moated castle). From there, you’ll head along the Aue and Stederau rivers and the Elbe Lateral Canal and on to Uelzen as your first port of call.
Alternatively, if you are a more experienced cyclist, you can choose to begin your tour by taking the scenic secondary route from Hösseringen Museum Village. In that case, you’ll make your way along the Hardau river, following the “Hardautal Cultural and Historical Water and Adventure Trail” and the Gerdau river, before joining back up with the main route in Uelzen.
From Uelzen, the Ilmenau Cycle Route continues through Bad Bevensen, Bienenbüttel, Lüneburg and Bardowick until it reaches Hoopte, where it converges with the Elberadweg (Elbe Cycle Route).
You will spend most of your tour pedalling along the river. If you fancy a change, you can experience the river up close by swapping your bike for a canoe. You’ll find a number of canoe rental companies offering “Paddle and Pedal” tours.