Above Summt, this route takes you through forest along beautiful singletrack to two lakes with swimming areas. Then it goes on a long, straight gravel road where stepping on the gas will be worth your while: full speed ahead through the beautiful nature reserve of Schönower Heide.
The next 15 km the track leads you through the Berlin suburbs. Through small villages, over fields and a flow single track descent, you come back to the capital’s border via Ahrensfelde. (Throughout the circumnavigation you will occasionally cross the border into Brandenburg.)
The Orbit continues on, following the nature trail of the Wuhle towards the city centre. Located left and right along this oasis, massive apartment blocks create a strong contrast, a telling reminder that the route leads around and through a major European city.
After conquering Ahrensfelder Berg, you can shoot a quick selfie with a panorama of the metropolis behind you. The climb is definitely not to be underestimated. After this you can take a deep breath and enjoy the serpentine descent, which winds along the Wuhle until you turn left into the Dammheide.
Via various singletracks you then come to the Mittelheide, which leads you to the Erpetal. From here the Orbit continues on small forest paths and gravel slopes until you arrive at the Friedrichshagen S-Bahn station. Bölschestrasse, which is also a good supply point, leads you to one of my personal highlights along the route.
Next, the Müggelberge – also a big playground for all off-roaders. Via flow singletrack trails you come to the first slope, the Kanonenberge. From now on, small descents and counter climbs alternate. Beautiful ridges, the Teuefelssee, a ramp where everyone will probably push, and Berlin’s highest natural elevation at 114.80 m above sea level.
Time to move on. You leave the Müggelberge via a beautiful descent down to a long lake, the banks of which are followed to Gosen, where the next supply point is located.
Now it’s time to shoot off again, over forest and highways until you reach BER Airport, Berlin’s eternal construction site and racing bike paradise. From here you switch to the Berlin Wall Cycle Path, where you follow a piece of the city’s history along the former Berlin border, and where tar and trail alternate in equal measure.
This section leads to the Teltow Canal, which leads you out of the city to Kleinmachnow. The next highlight already awaits you there – the Grunewald.
To achieve this however, you first have to go through the Kiebitzberge (a former cross-country championship route) and the Düppeler Forest, with its reclaimed landfill, which involves a short, crisp climb. Via the Schäferberg Trail, you now have a nice descent to the Grunewald Forest. This local recreation area is the standard road cross and MTB destination for Berliners for good reason. Now you’ll ride like a roller coaster over small trails, climbs, and descents along the Havelhöhenweg, across the Havelberg further north. Almost at the end, you have to half-conquer Berlin’s notorious Teufelsberg downhill route before winding your way underneath the former US listening station (Cold War Memorial).
From here, you are led over small trails down to the Havel, to reach the Spandau industrial area via Murellenberg, along the Berlin Waldbühne. This place suggests again, not least by the mighty powerhouse, that you are in a big city.
But soon you will dive back into the tranquility of the Tegeler Forest and back to where you started the route.
Scout Orbit Berlin
David van der Tann
Germany's 1st Gravel Series
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