The Meißendorfer Teiche (ponds) with the Bannetzer Moor are a nature reserve and bird sanctuary of national importance on the edge of the Lüneburger Heide. The nature reserve comprises pond areas in different stages of succession, meadows and alder forests, sandy areas with pine trees, raised moor remains and large moor areas covered by bushes. You can see birds like White-tailed Eagle, Osprey, Common Crane, Black Stork and Great Bittern, and other animals like the otter.
But the Meißendorfer Teiche are particularly known for its rich bird life. About 130 breeding bird species. Next to the above mentioned Big Five you can see nice birds like Red-crested Pochard, Common Goldeneye, European Honey-buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Hobby and Red-backed Shrike. In addition, about 40 species of dragonfly and over 400 butterfly species live there. A circular hiking trail around the Hüttensee lake and its observation tower on the south bank offer wide views of the nature reserve.
Via the A7, exit Raststätte Allertal, then Landstrasse L 180 to WINSEN / ALLER. From there follow the signs "Meißendorfer Teiche, Hüttensee". Or just click on the P in the map to get directions.
From the parking place you can start a 8.7 km hiking trail around the Hüttensee and along 'Gut Sunder', the NABU (BirdLife Germany) Visitor Center. The trail shows the lakes from many angles and passes the observation tower on the south bank. There is another observation tower further south (see the map).