Bockmühle – Polenz Valley and back
A worthwhile spring walk along the snowflake meadows of Polenz Valley.
Distance: 1.3 km from Bockmühle (3.3 km from the car park at Bockmühlenstraße in Cunnersdorf)
Narrowest point: no restrictions
Accessibility in wet conditions: yes
Transport connections: Bus lines 235, 236, 237 and 264 to Cunnersdorf stop Landweg or Bockmühlenstraße, car to Bockmühle
Parking: Cunnersdorf car park, free of charge, without separate
disabled parking, specially designated parking during blossoming season on the open spaces near Bockmühle (partly restricted access)
The actual start of our tour is the entrance to Polenz Valley near Bockmühle. If you arrive by bus from Cunnersdorf you have to follow Bockmühlenstraße or the cycle path (green point) toward Bockmühle. During blossoming season car drivers will find extra parking near the mill which is, however, difficult to access in wet conditions. A paved car park can be found at the Cunnersdorf town exit. From there you can follow the road to Bockmühle for approx. 900 m. Here you can already spot the first spring bloomers.
Polenz Valley is one of the few wild locations for spring snowflakes to occur in such amounts in Germany. It was therefore put under special protection. The path through the meadows runs along the river, sometimes more sometimes less closely. It is a solid path with only a few little bumps that are easy to cope with. Also, at regular intervals, there are benches in place for taking a rest: A good way to admire the spring snowflakes in peace.
A small hint: If you do not want to miss blossoming season by any means you should regularly visit the spring snowflake diary of the Stolpen city administration during the spring: http://maerzenbechertagebuch.blogspot.de.
The meadows of Polenz Valley are one of the last retreats of wild-growing snowflakes in Germany. They are rare and endangered because they are often loved too much. This spring flower, also known as spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum), reveals its full splendour between March and April. The plants are about 10 to 30 cm high and produce white, bell-shaped and fragrant flowers with a yellowish-green spot.
Spring snowflakes like sufficiently moist, nutritious soils in slightly shady places. They are found across mixed deciduous forests, bushlands, meadows, and the shores of Central and Southern Europe. If the conditions are right they quickly colonize large regions. In Saxony the species is on the red list of endangered species and therefore particularly protected.
In order to offer them best conditions the snowflake meadows in Polenz Valley are particularly well looked after. They are mown twice a year as grazing would harm the flowers’ bulbs in the ground.