The Wasserstraßenkreuz – a colossus made of concrete, which leads one river over the other, could not be a more impressive start to an adventure. From here it goes first on the well-known Elbe Cycle Path, which meanders past Magdeburg on changing surfaces. In the south it goes through the Soles Mountains and you can take a look back at the city.
Then the route pulls you to the west, and here the Magdeburger Börde awaits you with many dirt roads and small places that you will drive through and, in clear weather, the highest point of the tour, the Brocken (1148m above sea level) is before your eyes. The Orbit tirelessly goes up and down against the mostly steady west wind in a wavy profile.
At Michaelstein Monastery, near Heimburg, you should definitely strengthen yourself, because from now on it’s uphill, up into the legendary Rübeland. Now you have arrived in the Harz Mountains. The alternation of meadows, forests, climbs and descents and also one or the other stream passage makes this section the highlight of the tour and is rewarded with the view of the highest elevation in northern Germany, the Brocken. But be careful, the climb is hard and very long. In the second half at Schierke, the surface changes to beautiful asphalt up to the summit.
Caution – the descent is paved, but the Hirtenstieg consists of old concrete slabs, be ready to brake and exercise caution on this hiking trail. Once at the bottom you have to push if you don’t have a mountain bike, a brutal root path leads to the Eckertalsperre, which is located on the former inner German border. Tip: after the Eckertalsperre a small spring tap awaits you, so fill up your bottles here and freshen up, the hardest is done, but you still have to make it home.
After the Eckertalsperre, the finest gravel leads you over many smaller descents from the Harz. The forest clears, the cultivated land spreads again and it goes back over many small hills towards the state capital. Along small streams, the one or the other lake, the Huy mountain range becomes a last great challenge. Arrived at Huysburg, I recommend a detour to the cafe for some fine cake, but also warm food, to give strength for the last kilometers.
From now on, it’s more downhill than uphill and with a tail wind you could make up a lot of time here through countless fields, the birch forest near Eggenstedt and up to the Mittelland Canal. This now leads back to the waterway cross and invites all racers to step on the gas along the water these last meters.
Scout Orbit Sachsen-Anhalt
Germany's 1st Gravel Series
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