Length 5.9 km (3.7 miles), terrain: one hill, total gain of 70 meters
NOTE: This is the latest of our Summer Fun-Run routes, in vacation towns in Europe.
Bistensee is a little lake in northern Germany, near Eckernförde, just a few kilometers long and not even one kilometer wide. Most of it is a nature preserve, so there is little development along its shores: it's mostly woods and farm fields, with little Bistensee village at the east end, a campground and a few vacation houses at the west end.
There's not much to it, but it's a great place to just relax and enjoy being out in nature: swimming, sailing, windsurfing, biking, hiking, grilling and -- of course -- running.
There's a 9-km trail around the lake, the Bistensee Rundgang, and other little trails and back-roads all over. There are wooded little hills around here -- the Hüttener Berge -- that add enough challenge to any run.
|Country road on the Bistensee trail|
We'll start the run at the southeast corner of the lake, where the road into the campground -- Uferweg -- begins. This is right at the southern city-limits sign for Bistensee village.
|Start of the run: take the trail to the left!|
The trail curves to the left through the woods, and comes out into another trail where you turn right and follow it along the south edge of the woods, heading west.
In just a couple of hundred meters, the trail ends at a little paved road. Turn left here and head south, with horse pastures to the left and a field and woods to your right. It will go down and back up a little valley next to the pasture.
Just past the farm, turn left to head uphill along the trail, still following the lake-trail signs. This is a beautiful beech-tree woods. This is the hard part of the run, gaining 30 meters to the top.
|Heading uphill in the woods|
|View from the ridge|
Bistensee Lake Loop Trail Route Map
If you want to continue with the 9-km lake loop, turn right at the trail-crossing and head down the steep, sandy trail to the little paved lake road (the one that we were on at the farmhouse).
|Follow the Bistensee trail markers!|
At the lake, you're now at a group of little lakeside holiday houses. Turn left here and follow this road past the narrow, west end of the lake. It will soon run back into the main road, but you can avoid running directly on the road by following the trail as it goes up on the right, bordering the next field.
|Moss-covered stones in the woods|
You'll leave the woods by going through a gate to cross a cow-pasture, then exiting through another gate. Now follow more of the trail signs to get you through the next stretch of woods. At the end of the woods, the trail turns to the right (very narrow at this point) to go through more fields before coming directly to the lakeside.
Now, it's easy to follow the trail, as it continues right along the water for the next 1.3 kilometers. This is another really beautiful part of the trail, with nothing but trees and fields lining the lake.
The trail finally leaves the lake and comes right out into a little new neighborhood of wooden single-family houses in Bistensee village. Run past the houses to the main street, where you turn right and head through the village, back to the starting point.