Today I hiked for the first time one of the 24 North Paths in the district of Rotenburg (Wümme), namely the NORDPFAD Wümme and Vareler Heide. I was accompanied by my mum, who is very enthusiastic about hiking and with whom I already walked the West Highland Way in Scotland and who was also part of my England tour.
The journey with the metronome from Hamburg Central Station was completed in 45 minutes without any problems. We hardly got out of the car and found ourselves in the beautiful village of Scheeßel in front of an information board about the NORDPFAD Wümme and Vareler Heide.
The starting point of the tour is the Meyerhof, a farm which is located at the Heimathaus in Scheeßel. Since the train station is located at the other end of the village, we walked through Scheeßel and noticed that the festival that takes place once a year apparently washes a lot of money into the village’s coffers, because in Scheeßel nothing is old and cheap but everything is new and maintained.
Arrived at the Meyerhof we explored the half-timbered buildings there and the forest behind it which led us over a small bridge over the Beeke.
Behind Scheeßel we went along the Wümme. At the beginning trees accompanied us on a kind of avenue at the river bank, these trees were so overgrown that one could hardly believe that they themselves still get enough light to live. I think it’s a kind of ivy, at least the shape and the drawing indicate it to me. If you know exactly what it is, please let me know in the comments.
After the avenue has cleared, it made way for a still fairly open forest and pasture landscape. Even a steep coast and a small beach, both located at the Wümme, we got to see. What was missing in the first section, still inside and on the edge of Scheeßel, was finally offered here – natural, uneven paths that can be quite slippery when it rains. Much more pleasant to walk on than tiring asphalt.
A short time later we crossed a country road and circumnavigated the old farm Griemshoop, as this section was unfortunately closed. According to the description of the hike, the old farm Griemshoop consists of many historical half-timbered and brick buildings.
After various dirt roads that led past the edges of the harvested fields, the landscape quickly became wooded and the ground even more pleasant to walk on. The smell of the resin of the conifers ran through the air and made us hungry. Good that we were already close to the LandPark Lauenbrück where there is also a café where you can get food and drinks.
The LandPark Lauenbrück is a non-profit animal and landscape park which is home to many animal species, including highly endangered ones such as aurochs, red-coloured Husum pigs and Zwartbles sheep. There are also less endangered species such as fallow deer, White-Park Galloways, woolly pigs and donkeys. The park is definitely worth a visit.
After our break and refreshment in the LandPark Café we went to the back part of the hiking path which is to a large extent a circular path, as the map in the first picture shows. A lush heath landscape was promised to us in the tour description and exactly this section of the tour was able to keep.
As a child I was often and a lot in the Lüneburger Heide and love the landscape there, but the Vareler Heide has something original which really inspired me.
Shortly after the heath landscape we crossed the main road again and arrived at the part of the route where the circular path leads back to the main path. So we went along the Wümme again and past the beach and the steep coast to Scheeßel. In Scheeßel I discovered a vending machine that I had never seen before. So if you ever have a flat tire in Scheeßel, don’t forget some change?
You can find other locations of the hose automats here.
With 14.4 kilometers this tour was a bit short, but it was a really beautiful tour that almost completely gets by without asphalt roads and leads through beautiful and seemingly untouched nature. I can recommend them without any doubt and I will probably also hike other of the northern trails myself.