A bike is a great way to explore Berlin, but if you’re looking to get off-road you’ll want to MTB Devil Mountain. Although a huge city – second only to London in Western Europe – in this guide to Berlin mountain biking you’ll find out why it’s a lot of fun on a mountain bike.
Guide to Berlin mountain biking
There are plenty of cycle paths to get you around most of the historic sites Berlin has to offer. There are also plenty of parks where you can ride off-road on mainly non technical trails. But if you’re after a bit of downhill action or craving some dirt in this huge city, you’ve got to get yourself out of town to Grunewald.
We say out of town but it’s still within the city just south west of the centre. However you might be tempted to jump on a train to get to your starting point. The German train network is excellent and you’ll have no problem getting your bike through. You can access it from S-train stations Heerstrasse, Grunewald and S7.
Grunewald – meaning Green Forest – comprises 3,000 hectares with the Havel River on its western boundary. Trails are natural and although there are no massive technical challenges it’s a lot of fun with some flowing corners.
MTB Devil Mountain
For something more challenging ride to the for north of the Grunewald forest. Here you’ll find the Teufelsberg, which translates as Devil’s Mountain. A ride here is tough in places but not exactly hellish.
This is the highest spot around Berlin and serves out views that reach right across the forest. Mountain bikers make the most of the descents here where you can enjoy 350m of vertical. In winter skiers have a play if conditions are suitable, and apparently there’s a lot of fun to be had with a toboggan.
If you are into your night rides, check out the the weekly Berlin Off-Road Mountain Bike Race – a night ride that takes in both Teufelsberg and Havelberg. It’s a 21.5 km route organise by local frame builder Big Forest Frameworks, and the cool thing is it’s all about beating your personal best, not trying to own the route.
Riding in the daytime don’t be surprised at spotting the occasional naturist on the banks of the lake. You can get in for a swim at several spots if you want to cool down – you don’t have to go nude but we recommend you at least take your helmet off…
While you MTB Devil mountain keep look out for the spy station at the top. The US army used this prime spot back in the cold war. With all eyes and ears facing east, they bashed a few giant golf balls on top so you’ll easily spot it while on a Berlin mountain biking ride.
Other spots for Berlin mountain biking
But there is more to Berlin then to MTB Devil mountain. Dotted around the city are other trails used by regular riders. North west of the city centre Tegeler Lake is worth exploring, as is the 19 mile route around Rübezahl to the east of the centre.
Moving further out into the suburbs there are some good trails about the city of Potsdam which is on the border of Berlin. To the North of the town you’ll find the 21 mile Wildnis Kernzone Loop. This is nearly all off road and offers around 200m of elevation change. You can also ride from Potsdam back into Berlin via Teufelsberg and Grunewald.
Further south of city, and barely within the whelms of ‘Belin mountain biking’, you’ll find Kiesgrube Pätz. This is a 21 mile mainly flat circuit taking in Toplitzsee and Bestensee.
Berlin mountain biking further afield
The closest proper mountain biking can be found around 150 km south of Berlin in the Harz mountains. Here you will find two dedicated bike parks with cable car and/or chairlifts to save your legs on the uphill. There are proper downhill trails for all levels. Expect plenty of features, north shore sections, and challenging trails for all.
Looking east, apparently there’s a route to Poland that’s all trails and no roads. Now that’s something we want to find out more about.
We hope you found this guide to Berlin mountain biking useful. If you’re in the city for a short break then hire a bike and MTB Devil Mountain. Also be sure to look at our mountain biking discounts as you could save a packet.