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Hiking in Benneckenstein

Benneckenstein – central starting point for mountain tours


Enjoy the healing air during mountain hikes and quickly reach the other Harz cities: Due to its location in the middle of the Harz mountains, Benneckenstein is ideal for hiking.

Benneckenstein – high altitude health resort with Brocken visibility

The climatic health resort of Benneckenstein lies on a plateau on the upper reaches of the Rappbode not far from the confluence of the borders of the three federal states over which the Harz mountains extend. Already in the early Middle Ages the Rappbode was a border river between the Bodfeld and the Thuringgau and was crossed by a trade route. The story of how Benneckenstein got his name is both tragic and entertaining. An old woman had sat on the roadside on a snowy winter’s day. A hunter came by, overlooked her and sat on top of her. The woman exclaimed, “Benn eck en Stein!” (Benn eck en Stein!)

The first written mention of the place initially characterised by agriculture and the coal and steel industry took place in 1253 in connection with a bridge over the Rappbode. In 1741 Benneckenstein was granted town rights by Emperor Friedrich II of Prussia. During this time, thanks to the abundance of water in the surrounding area, it developed into a mill site before the spa was established at the end of the 19th century.

The townscape today is dominated by the church St. Laurentius, which was built on the site of previous buildings in the middle of the 19th century in the classicist style in slate construction. In the lower town is the birthplace of the city’s most famous son, the organist Andreas Werckmeister (1645-1706). He founded the “well-tempered mood” in musicology. And also the Boxing world champion Max Schmeling is an honorary citizen of Benneckenstein.

A rich network of paths and picturesque brook valleys characterize the surroundings

From Benneckenstein a widely branched system of hiking trails leads through the nature park. In all seasons, nature and adventure trails, medicinal herb trails and mountain meadow trails offer a variety of impressions for hikers. A popular theme trail is the hiking trail through the mountain meadows around Benneckenstein. You can marvel at species-rich meadows and learn about their flora and fauna in interaction with the population from the Middle Ages on. In addition, you will always get beautiful views of the place and the underlying mountain ranges as well as the Brockenmassiv.

It becomes more challenging for those who decide to hike to the Großen Rappenberg south of the city. Crossing the spruce-covered forests and arriving at the top, you are rewarded by a fantastic view of Benneckenstein and the mountain ranges. Finally, there is a round hiking trail east of the climatic health resort , where you can enjoy quiet nature and relax during the forest tour. From Braunlage and Schierke they reach Benneckenstein within a very short time.

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