Fall Fo­liage Walks

Caro­line Evans pulled on her boots for a walk through the pho­to­genic forests in and around Ber­lin.

Where Berlin - - FRONT PAGE -

The streets of the Ger­man cap­i­tal are home to around 438,000 trees, pro­vid­ing a ver­dant ur­ban sanc­tu­ary even in more de­vel­oped neigh­bor­hoods. And while plenty of fall col­ors are to be found within the city's borders, a ven­ture fur­ther afield pro­vides some lesser-trod paths for a brisk na­ture walk.

A hike through Grunewald of­fers a glimpse not only of es­tab­lished idyl­lic wood­land but also the area's history, which spans an im­pres­sive five cen­turies. Hop off the U- Bahn at Oskar- He­lene- Heim sta­tion and head for Hüt­ten­weg, which leads to the

Jagdschloss (Hunt­ing Palace) of Grunewald. Built in 1543, this is the old­est of 32 his­tor­i­cal Prus­sian palaces be­long­ing to the Ho­hen­zollern dy­nasty and is home to grand works of art from the 15th to 18th cen­turies. Al­ter­na­tively, for some­thing less pretty, head to Teufels­berg (Devil’s Moun­tain), Ber­lin's high­est point, where spot­ting wild boar is not un­com­mon. Atop the hill sits a cu­ri­ous con­struc­tion: a for­mer US lis­ten­ing sta­tion from the Cold War era, which was in use un­til the fall of the Ber­lin Wall.

Span­dau For­est, to the west of the city, of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties to stroll or cy­cle – away from the ur­ban din – in a na­ture re­serve that's home to hawks, king­fish­ers, and beavers. Take the 671 bus from Span­dau sta­tion to Schön­walder Allee to start on a pic­turesque walk past idyl­lic pas­tures and along the well-pre­served Ber­lin Wall Trail.

If you’re head­ing to Pots­dam for a day, get off the train one stop ear­lier at S Pots­dam- Ba­bels­berg and ex­plore a sec­tion of the ma­jes­tic Ba­bels­berg Park, a UNESCO World Her­itage site, in its glo­ri­ous au­tumn shades. The 114 hectares are the site of a neo- Gothic palace, the fairy­taleesque Fla­tow Tower, and even the Kleines Schloß (Lit­tle Palace), which dou­bles as a cozy café where you can re­ward your walk­ing ef­forts.

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