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Harz Witch Hike

Harzer Hexenstieg – In the footsteps of legends and fairy tales


The mixed and coniferous forests, fog-covered moors, deep valleys and bizarre rock cliffs of the Harz Mountains are particularly inspiring to the imagination. From Osterode to Thale this original nature can be explored on the Harzer Hexenstieg long-distance hiking trail under the motto “devilishly beautiful and hellishly exciting”. A white witch on a green ground shows the way, on which the hiker can choose the start and the stages individually. The hike starts at the Bleichestelle car park in Osterode am Harz – Show on map – and in about a week you will reach the hike’s destination at the Thale railway station.

On the Harzer Hexenstieg across the Harz Mountains

The Harzer Hexenstieg connects on about 100 kilometers all charming and historically interesting hiking destinations of the mountains. Well signposted, family-friendly and equipped with information boards, the trail opens up the Harz Mountains, medieval half-timbered towns and the National Park in all its diversity. It offers mystical impressions and breathtaking landscapes with geological peculiarities.

The highlight, of course, is the Brocken, the classic destination for nocturnal broom rides on Walpurgis Night, not for nothing in literature. The trail also leads past numerous reservoirs, through unspoilt forests and cliff landscapes, to the legendary Höhlen in Rübeland and finally into the intoxicating  Bodetal. Far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you can discover the diversity of flora and fauna and make witches, elves and other magical creatures come alive in your imagination while hiking. Near Rübeland you can make a short detour to Blue Lake. The lake shimmers turquoise blue in spring and is an ideal place for a longer break.

Harzer Hexenstieg - Trip to the Blue Lake
Harzer Hexenstieg – Trip to the Blue Lake

The Harzer Hexenstieg is one of the most famous hiking trails in the Harz mountains. The last part of the Harzer Hexenstieg leads through the Bodetal valley past Treseburg to Thale. The Bode rushes through the Bodetal between steeply rising rocks in a fantastic landscape. At the end of the valley, shortly before Thale, you reach the Restaurant Königsruhe. Between the rocks and with its old stone bridge the place looks like from a bygone time. Before you reach the end of the Harzer Hexenstieg, you can stop here and enjoy nature.

All stages of the Harzer-Hexen climb at a glance

Stage 1: Harzer witch ascent from Osterode to Clausthal-Zellerfeldt. You will encounter the centuries-old Oberharzer mining tradition and water management. The Oberharzer Wasserregal testifies to this tradition.
Stage 2: Harzer-Hexen-Stieg from Clausthal-Zellerfeldt to the Brocken summit. The hike takes you through the Harz National Park via the Goetheweg directly to the summit.
Stage 3: Harzer-Hexen ascent from Brocken to Rübeland. Make a detour to Blue Lake. Rübeland is known for its caves.
Stage 4: Harzer witch ascent from Rübeland to Altenbrak.
Stage 5: Harzer witch climb from Altenbrak to Thale. The entrance to the Bodetal is directly at the exit of Altenbrak. Your hike now leads you from Altenbrak into the Bodetalschlucht gorge past Treseburg to Thale.

You can vary all stages of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg at will. If you are planning an overnight stay on the Brocken, you should book a room at the hotel on Northern Germany’s highest summit in good time. Accommodation on the Brocken is highly sought after and must be booked well in advance. Alternatively, you can extend the stage to Schierke or bypass the Brocken. At Rangerstation Scharfenstein the Kolonnenweg leads directly to the Brocken. At the top you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Harz mountains. In case of bad weather or if it is already too late for the ascent, you can take the hiking trail towards Eckerlochsprung and from there continue towards Schierke. Schierke is situated at the foot of the Brocken and offers a camping site as well as numerous accommodations, hotels and guesthouses. With the exception of the Brocken, you will always find spontaneous accommodation in the Harz mountains.

The Harzer-Hexen-Stieg from Osterode to Thale is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Harz. Equipped with a map, a current hiking guide or a GPS device you remain flexible on your tour and can deviate from the route if necessary. The Harzer-Hexen-Stieg hiking trail is well signposted throughout with the symbol of a witch on a broom. The Harzklub is responsible for signposting and supervision of the hiking trail.

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