This 17km trail begins at Clara-Zetkin Park and ends at the North Beach at Cospudener. It follows down the Elsterflutbett then along the Pleiße river through the Auenwald Forest, past some wild boar mud pits, through Keesscher Park to the North Beach at Cospudener. The route then takes you clockwise around the lake returning to the North Beach once again. You can backtrack up through the forest to Clara-Zetkin (extra 6.6km) or call it day and hop on the 65 bus or 79 bus (summer only) at the North Beach stop.
This trail is the perfect way to get out of the busy city. It can be hiked or biked anytime of year. In fact, it’s quite beautiful in the winter when there’s snow in the forest.
The graph above shows elevation and distance along the 17km route. Hover over the blue line and a yellow triangle appears in the map. Use this to locate the points of interest mentioned below.
Km 1.6: Connewitz boat lock
Find the Sachsenbrücke (“Saxony Bridge”) in Clara-Zetkin Park. It’s not hard to find, as it’s a popular hangout and the main pedestrian bridge over the Elsterflutbett connecting the Schleußig and Zentrum sides of the park. Stay on the east (Zentrum) side of the Elster and head down the riverside trail towards the Galopp-Rennbahn (“Racecourse”). Go past the Galopp-Rennbahn. Keep going until you reach the big bridge. Cross over to the other side and continue along the Pleiße river until you get to the Connewitz boat lock (“Schleuse Connewitz”). At the next bridge, cross over the river and follow the trails through the forest. Find the Neue Linie trail and continue south.
Km 3.7: Wild Park
Take the Neue Linie south past the “Sportanlage Neue Linie” tennis courts and playing fields. You’ll get to a pedestrian bridge with orange coloured handrails, go over it, and keep going south on the Neue Linie. After about 100m on your left you’ll see the wild boar mud pits! This enclosure is part of Wildpark Leipzig
Km 4.6: Equipagenweg
Continue down Neu Linie through the forest for about one kilometre. You’ll emerge from the forest into a small residential enclave (intersection of Am Wolfswinkel and Equipagenweg streets). Look out for the Red Wolf sculpture here. Just a bit down Equipagenweg there’s a very welcome little cafe/shop here called, rather appropriately, ‘Beach Stop’.
Km 5.8: Keesscher Park
Go down Equipagenweg and cross over the railway tracks. Go down another residential street, this time a street of posh (mostly) modern homes, then enter the lovely Keesscher Park through a white arch gate. This park is typical of the sort of cool places one randomly finds in Leipzig. Why not spend some time checking it out?
Km 6.6: North Beach (“Nordstrand”)
Go through Keesscher Park and come out at Lauersche Straße. There’s a nice restaurant here with outside dining garden called Brot & Kees. Turn right, go another 100m or so. Et volia, the North Beach of the Cospudener Lake (or ‘See’) is visible.
Km 8.6: Pier 1 Marina
Circling the lake in a clockwise direction you’ll find at first mostly grassy shore areas, with a few sandy beaches and some shady trees. At km 7.9 there’s the Strandbar, a nice relaxed place for eating and drinking (summer only). There’s more services at the Pier 1 Marina complex at km 8.6 (open year-round). About 1/2 km further along to the south of the marina is another very nice open grassy area.
As you complete the circuit around the lake, the shore becomes more wooded and secluded, with only the occasional direct access to the water (great for skinny dipping!). At km 12.4 you’ll pass by the big viewing tower and back entrance to Belantis (a Disneyworld-like roller coaster and leisure park), and you’ll notice some buffalo and deer herds in paddocks either side of the trail.
Before you know it you’re back at the North Beach. It’s a further 6.6km to backtrack to the starting point in Clara-Zetkin.
[page content last updated June 2014]