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