Slip into the warmest hiking boots and circumnavigate the Oderteich lake – the largest of all lakes in the Harz region captivates with its untouched nature, especially in winter.
Oderteich – the largest lake in the Harz Mountains
Until the end of the 19th century, the Oderteich was the largest German dam. It holds about 1.7 million cubic meters of water and drives several waterworks. The reservoir was created in the course of the Oberharzer Wasserregals in the first third of the 18th century. It is fed by the Oder and the surrounding moors and stretches between the Rotenbeek mountain stream in the north and the dam wall in the south. Granite stone and sand form the lake. The water of the dam is cold even in summer. In winter, the lake turns into a unique ice landscape.
The circular walk around the Oderteich
If you want to experience the lush nature around the historical cultural monument Oderteich, you should go hiking around the frozen lake, which also has its charm on snow-free days. There is a lot to discover from the varied Harzer flora, by the frosty precipitation bizarre and fairy-tale deformed. Starting at the parking lot in the south, the low gradient path leads over the dam wall, through rustic spruce forests and mist covered bogs of the national park.
Quiet and sleepy it stands at the lowest point of the valley and reminds a little of past times: the wooden Striegelhäuschen. It serves as a control point for the bottom outlet construction of the lake. On the route one also meets the ten granite obelisks, lined up before the overflow. Often surrounded by mist, they rise from the floes like menhir stones and ensure that the discharge of the reservoir is not blocked by thick ice during the cold winter months.
On narrow plank staircases and snow-covered root paths you can marvel at the oldest spruces of the Harz National Park – some of them are 300 years old – now covered with white flakes and sunk into hibernation. With their spindle-shaped growth and short branches pointing downwards, they have adapted optimally to the harsh winter conditions. The rare sundew will probably not be discovered in the following moor areas at this time of year. Behind the biotope, the path passes snow-covered protection, which were laid out to establish a mixed forest. Enjoy fresh, clear winter air and quiet nature – the hike through the varied landscape around the Oderteich is relaxing.
The Oderteich is also in summer a worthwhile excursion destination. You can either walk around the lake or take a Hite to the Brocken from the hiking car park. When temperatures rise, numerous bathers can be found on the shores of the Oderteich. The Oderteich lies halfway between Torfhaus, Braunlage and Altenau.