Hiking in Ilsenburg means exploring unspoilt landscapes with a saga-laden past and discovering untouched nature with diverse fauna and flora, enjoying views of the heights of the Harz mountains and experiencing places with centuries of history – this is what awaits you on the approximately 10-kilometre-long fascinating hike from Ilsenburg to Brocken popularly also called Blocksberg.
The picturesque town of Ilsenburg – the charming starting point for the ascent of Brocken
Ilsenburg, from the 10th century onwards the site of a former castle and since the middle of the 16th century a centre of iron extraction around the trout pond, lies contemplatively surrounded by wooded mountain slopes on the northern edge of the Harz National Park. Angled alleys with crouched houses invite you to take a walk and are the ideal starting point for relaxing hikes on the Heinrich-Heine-Weg, to the Plessenburg excursion resort around the old hunting lodge or to the impressive Ilsefällen and of course to the Brockenplateau, which can easily be arranged as exciting day tours. We head for the highest peak of the Harz Mountains and the legendary Hexentanzplatz, for example at the train station, where you can get all important information in advance at the tourist information, or at the “Blochhauer” with parking and a shop for suitable hiking equipment.
The path rises – panoramic views guaranteed
In 1824, Heinrich Heine put on his hiking boots and went down the valley from the Harz highlight called Blocksberg to experience “adventurously formed pieces of rock” – outdoor fans and climbing enthusiasts mögen´s surely the other way around, preferably up to the mountain rather than down. The trail, named after the “last poet of romanticism”, first leads from Ilsenburg past the rocky elevation and the Scharfenstein landscape conservation area, from where there is a great view of the Eckerstausee and a rest stop with a snack bar, and then on to the smaller namesake of the highest Harzberg mountain with its flanks rich in river springs. Passing its gently undulating summit you can hike on the Hirtensteig further towards your destination. Especially in the last few metres, the route becomes very steep, rewarding with unique panoramic views of the Hochharz and the view of the end point of the hike: the historic plateau of the Blocksberg.
From Ilsenburg you hike to the refuge and the Ilsefällen
The Heinrich-Heine-Weg continues through the idyllic Ilsetal and leads past the Bremer Hütte to the upper Ilsefällen – here you can have a picnic before you go on to the Brocken. The small refuge, whose present building was built in 2008, has a long history; already in the 19th century, initiated by hiking enthusiasts from Bremen, it offered accommodation for excursionists. The impressive Waterfalls of the Ilse, rushing down into the valley, captivate with irresistible force of nature. When you hike in Ilsenburg you experience a unique interplay of rock and water.
An unmistakable landmark – the highest survey in Northern Germany has been reached
Above the extensive forests, mostly covered with spruce trees, and steep mountain ranges, it rises about 1141 metres high and is often submerged in fog, the sagenumwobene Blocksberg with its unmistakable buildings on the rounded hilltop, which can always be climbed via the well signposted paths in serpentines.
After the hike through dwarf shrub heathland and raised bog areas, which was first undertaken in 1491 by doctor Johannes Thal, one of the most popular German destinations offers the recreation seeker a weather station, a nature museum and a botanical garden about its subalpine vegetation. If you like, you can be pampered on the mountain in a hotel or in the restaurants. However, the icing on the cake and the reward for a varied hike is probably the most beautiful panoramic view of the fantastic Harz landscape.
From Ilsenburg you hike along the paths of the poet Heinrich Heine. The rock ascent rewards the hiker with unforgettable impressions. You can defeat the lump from Schierke, Braunlage or Bad Harzburg. There are further entrances for an eventful Hike to the Brocken.