Hiking through the varied landscape of the Harz Mountains
Hiking in the Harz: Those who come to the Harz for hiking can choose from a variety of different tours. Along the trenches of the Upper Harz water shelf there are exciting relics from the Harz mining history to discover. The special features of the Harz National Park include moors that have been made accessible by plank paths. Attentive observers can even spot the carnivorous plant sundew in the moor.
A completely different landscape can be found in the southern Harz Mountains, where the Karstwanderweg leads through the gypsum karst landscape of the Harz foreland. The Selketalstieg, which crosses the Selketal between Quedlinburg and Stiege, promises particularly beautiful hikes. The Harzer Försterstieg presents different landscapes. It connects the cities Goslar and Osterode, passes Grane- and Innerstestausee and also through Bad Grund and Buntenbock.
Hiking in the Harz at any season
Hiking in the Harz Mountains is possible and rewarding at any time of the year. Finally, the low mountain ranges in northern Germany are crossed by a dense network of hiking trails, many of which are also passable in winter. They lead the hiker to wonderful, mystical places, through romantic wild gorges and up to high mountains. Castles and palaces are along the way, natural beauties want to be admired and with a little luck there are traces of the shy wildcat or a lynx to be discovered. In autumn mushroom pickers fill their baskets, on hot summer days cheerful mountain streams entice to a footbath, and when the forests are densely snowed in, hikers put on snowshoes.
Whether young or old, well-trained or sedate, everyone will find their way. Challenging day tours are just as possible as short pleasure hikes and on long-distance hiking trails such as the Selketalstieg hiking enthusiasts can spend days on the road. Circular hiking trails are ideal because they always lead back to the starting point. But even tours that run from A to B are no problem in the Harz region. Because with the trains of the Harzer Schmalspurbahn, with busses of the Harzer Verkehrsbetriebe and with the own vehicle the starting points and destinations of the migrations are well attainable.
Hiking in the Harz Mountains with witches and the devil. Many Harz villages celebrate Walpurgisnacht. Then hike and dance scary witches and demons through the Harz mountains and on the Brockengipfel Goethe’s Faust is performed as a rock opera.
Hiking in the Harz Mountains – hiking with and without snowshoes
When there is snow in the Harz mountains, hiking becomes a special experience. Frost and snow transform Harz trees, granite cliffs and limestone into fairytale shapes, while meadows, valleys and mountain slopes disappear under the dense snow cover. Cleared winter hiking trails lead through the snow-covered landscape and can be walked on with warmly lined hiking boots.
Where no paths are prepared, winter hiking on snowshoes is possible. In addition, a branched net of tracked trails invites you to tours on cross-country skis. Demanding but also easy winter hiking trails connect the most beautiful spots in the Oberharz with each other and even bring persistent hikers up to the Brocken summit.
As the centre of winter sports in the Harz region, Braunlage is also well prepared for winter hikers, and those responsible are preparing many kilometres of winter hiking trails at Wurmberg. If you hike up the mountain with the sled in tow, you can toboggan back. In the surrounding villages like Hohegeiß, Sankt Andreasberg and Altenau it is also easy to hike with and without snow. The large car park Torfhaus is a good starting point for winter hikes in Hochharz. There the hiker will find access to a network of narrow paths, which can be combined into tours of varying difficulty.
Hiking in the Harz Mountains is an experience. Actually, however, beautiful hiking tours are possible everywhere in the Harz region in all seasons. With the car you reach within shortest time the different walking places and can experience beside the Oberharz and the national park Harz also the south Harz and the east Harz with extensive routes.
Hiking in the Harz Mountains – Hiking destinations with stops
While hiking in the Harz you want to stop for a break and enjoy your well-deserved break after a strenuous tour. Here you will find a selection of places to stop for refreshments that can be combined with a hiking tour.
For hikers in Oberharzer Wasserregal a rest in the Rehberger Grabenhaus is a good choice. After all, it’s convenient. From St. Andreasberg a path leads over the Jordanshöhe, circular hiking trails pass by. In addition, the Brocken bypass of the Harzer Hexenstiege runs over the Rehberger Graben, which gives the area its name. So the historical forest inn is almost always well visited. In winter, guests can look out the windows of the lounge at the wildlife feeding (reservation required). The Grabenwärter once lived here, today it is a popular destination for excursions and a rest house along the hiking trail. Guests can look forward to home-style cuisine and Harz specialities, everything is freshly prepared. The typical Harz hospitality is included.
Restaurant Steinerne Renne
The Gasthaus Steinerne Renne takes its name from the wildly romantic section of the mountain river Holtemme. Idyllically it rests on its granite rock above the river bank. Below the terrace the water rushes down into the valley in cascades and rapids. Right behind the house the forest begins. Whoever comes here can look forward to home-style cuisine. The offer includes delicious stew, Harz trout and fresh seasonal game dishes. Many hiking trails lead past, besides Ottofelsen and Renneklippen attract numerous excursionists. That’s why the sun terrace’s panoramic views are in great demand, especially when the weather is fine. Hiking groups should book on weekends.
Restaurant Rabenklippen near Bad Harzburg
Directly next to the Raven cliffs and the Lynx enclosure the inn is hidden between rocks. When you enter the inn, which has existed since 1874, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Oberharz and the Brocken when the weather is fine. The guesthouse with its sun terrace and panoramic view is very popular with Harzurlaubern. You can combine your visit with a hike over the castle hill in Bad Harzburg.
Molkenhaus near Bad Harzburg (was closed in early 2019)
In the middle of the forest of the Harz National Park and 528 metres above sea level, the whey house invites you to stop for a bite to eat. The idyllic beer garden with self-service snack bar is ideal for a short break during the hiking tour. Guests who stay longer can pamper themselves in the guest room with children’s play corner or on the terrace with deck chairs. Outdoor playground equipment is also available. Originally, cow herders slept in the historical whey house, while the cattle spent the night on surrounding pastures. During the day, passing hikers were served thick milk and dry bread. Today there are tasty, fresh dishes, in the style of traditional home cooking. The Molkenhaus was unfortunately closed at the beginning of 2019.
The Rodelhaus at Wurmberg
The forest restaurant Das Rodelhaus am Wurmberg is open all year round to excursionists, hikers, mountain bikers and winter sports enthusiasts. It is located directly at the middle station of the Wurmbergbahn in Braunlage and can be reached on various hiking trails. On warm days the terrace lures you to relax. While the big ones rest, the little ones can enjoy themselves on the playground. Slow Food is the motto of the kitchen. Especially regional products of the season are traditionally processed into delicious dishes. The team pays particular attention to food quality.
No national park forest restaurant in the Harz lies higher than the Hanskühnenburg. Because the miningde stands about 811 meters above sea level on the ridge “Auf dem Acker”. Right behind the house the spruce forest begins. Hiking trails such as the Harzer Bergbaudenstieg lead up from all directions. Before or after the stop, a detour to the nearby, legendary Hanskühnenburgklippe is worthwhile. The rustic building can only be reached on foot and in winter on cross-country skis. The origin of the Waldgasthaus goes back to a managed refuge of the Harz Club Osterode from 1889. Even today the hiker can look forward to delicious, homemade food at a fair price after the ascent.
Plessenburg – Hiking in the East Harz
On circular hikes through Ilsetal and numerous other hiking trails hungry guests come to Forest guesthouse Plessenburg. In summer, mountain bikers are there when there is snow, cross-country skiers. From May to October, the Ilsetal bus also stops at this popular hiking destination. From the hunting lodge of the Wernigerode-Stolberg princely family, Plessenburg has become a local recreation destination and now a much-visited forest inn in the Harz National Park. Especially the beautiful outdoor area invites you to linger on sunny days. As a self-service restaurant with fast, uncomplicated service, the inn is also recommended for a short break. The menu includes a fine selection of homemade dishes.
Königsruhe – Hiking in the Harz Mountains in the footsteps of kings
In the Bodetal, between Thale and Treseburg, stands the rustic inn Königsruhe. The hiker awaits him in Hirschgrund, right next to the bridge over the Bode. The initial wooden house with fireplace was turned into a stately house, which has since been renovated according to ecological principles. After a Prussian king once stopped here, the inn was renamed from Hirschgrund to Königsruhe. Guests today are catered for in a cosy atmosphere with rustic, regional cuisine. Specialities include fish and meat dishes, homemade cakes and farmhouse bread baked in our own oven. Matching the bread there are home-slaughtered sausages, Harz cheese and lard, sometimes also freshly smoked trout.
near the ranger station Scharfensteinklippen several hiking trails meet. Hikers from the Eckertalsperre or from the Heinrich-Heine-Weg to Brocken pass by here. Before the sweat-inducing ascent on the old colonnade path, the station offers itself once again for a rest. But also hikers on round tours from Bad Harzburg or the Wurmberg can get refreshed here. They are also attracted by the Sharp stone cliffs, which are reached by a narrow, steep climb. The ranger station below the Scharfensteinklippen includes a self-service snack bar. Information and tips on mountain wilderness in upper harz are provided free of charge by the rangers.
Hiking tours with GPS data
Hike on the Brocken
Goethe and the Harz – nature as a source of inspiration
Braunlage – Hiking centre in the Harz National Park