During our stay on the island of Rügen, I have ridden several times the Granitz forest in early morning, nearby the place where we stayed, and tried different circuits each time.
Most trails are open to bicycles, except the coast trail which is is officially for pedestrians. But, assuming that a typical german "bike path" is a large flat track where city bikes can go, only pedestrian trails mean good mountain biking singletracks... No idea if what I did is allowed, but I did it before 7am !
It runs over a hilly zone that extends from the sea resort of Binz to Sellin, and can be extended from Sellin to Baabe, via a stripe of hilly dunes. The whole route is made of severe bumps, often to climb up with the easiest gear ratio, followed immediately by exhilarating descents full of bends, and requiring good bike handling skills. From time to time there are stairs and steps to negociate with.
Despite it is not long, covering the whole distance takes a bit of time and a lot of stamina ! The trail, a singletrack, is not wide, but keeps reasonably far from the cliffs, so if you fall you are not going to fall into the sea.
Regularly there are stunning points of views, which unveil breathtaking panoramas to the sea, bathed in the sunrise of the early morning, and inviting (too much ?) for a lazy breaks. This is undoubtely the best singletrack on the Rügen island (which doesn't own many hilly parts), and pehaps one of my best ever.
The ride can be started either in Binz, Baabe or Sellin, which is what I did, but I will describe it from Binz.
We can start riding either by the Granitz forest trail, until we reach a junction that catches the coast trail, just before cape Silvitzer Ort, or we can ride on the beach to reach the same point.
Silvitzer Ort is the first cape, and is preceded by a steep ascent in the forest. The viewpoint on top allows a fine view to the bay of Binz.
During the way to the next and main cape, Granitzer Ort (after the forest's name), we encounter several bumps to climb and ride down again. The last section to Granitzer Ort is kind of narrow, and in a couple of place the trail divides in two, one singletrack over the cliffs, the other a bit aside in the forest. The steepest is the first, but they join back.
Granitzer Ort offers a gorgeous view. Far ahead we can see the white cliffs of Jasmund. Not far, after a sceneric portion of trail, we get to a secondary cape, Schanzenort, just a bit more SE from Granitzer Ort, which unveils the view to the pier of Sellin far ahead. Some steps are to be ridden down after that.
Here is located a junction that goes to the Granitz forest main track. After it, some steps up, and some new viewpoints to the East coast, and the Sellin pier closer and closer. Many bumps to ride up and down.
As we arrive in Sellin, we need to leave the trail a bit before its end to avoid the steps leaning to the pier. One can ride down until the sea level on the Sellin beach, but riding the pier is forbidden, at least during the working times of the café on it and the moments when masses of tourists have a stroll on it.
To get further till Baabe, we catch back the coast trail via a track leaving Sellin's main street a bit behind the last buildings. Soon we reach a couple of viewpoints, like the ones we encountered in the Granitz forest. The main one is named Quitzlaser Ort. A steep descent with stairs lead to the road that serves the south beach (Südstrand), and the trail continues further. As the dunes are fading out, we finally reach Baabe, where the seaside becomes flat.
It's possible to return to Sellin via a cycling track using the secondary streets of Baabe, avoiding the main road, and from Sellin to Binz, using one of the many trails of the Granitz forest.
Despite being geographically close, Binz and Sellin/Baabe are reached quite differently by the road.
For both, we reach the Rügen island via Stralsund (reached by motorway either from Hamburg or Berlin). We drive till Bergen and take the direction to Binz and Göhren. In Serams is located the junction where the directions to Binz and Sellin differ.
If we reach Binz, finding a parking place can be tricky. From my own experience, I advise picking a residential street free of parking charges north the city, and ride the beach promenade till we reach the forest.
Finding a parking place in Sellin or Baabe is easier, also looking for residential areas further from the centre and seaside.
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