Hiking in the Harz Highland, Germany

The Harz Highland is a mountainous region in northern Germany, known for its rugged terrain, well-preserved medieval towns, and stories of magic and witches (1 , 2). The region is located between the Weser and Elbe rivers, spanning parts of the German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia (3). The Harz Mountains, which are part of the highland, have the highest elevations in the region, with the Brocken peak reaching 1,141 meters (1). The Harz National Park, covering approximately 24,700 hectares, is located in the Harz and offers a range of characteristic ecological systems, variations in height, slopes, and rocks (4). The park is home to various vegetation zones and habitats, some of which are close to a natural state (4). The region’s rich history, folklore, and natural beauty make it a popular destination for tourists, especially those interested in hiking, skiing, and exploring nature (2, 5).

We discovered a variety of activities and attractions for visitors. Here are some highlights based on the provided information:

  • Hiking: The Harz Mountains are a popular destination for hikers, with a range of trails to explore. The Witches Trail, also known as the Harzer Hexenstieg, is a famous hiking route that spans 94 kilometers and takes you through forests, moors, and deep valleys (2). The Bode Valley (Bodetal) is another must-visit outdoor destination, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Germany” (4).
  • Natural Beauty: The Harz region is known for its stunning landscapes, including mountains, woods, and streams. The waterways in the area have distinct mountain stream characteristics and are still very natural and varied, with clean water (3).
  • Unique Attractions: On the way to Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz range, you can find funny small statues made with stones. The last kilometers of the hike to Brocken are very steep, offering a challenging and rewarding experience1. Rappbode Dam, the hanging bridge, and Harzdrenaline are other notable attractions in the area (4).
  • Wildlife and Nature: The Harz Mountains are home to a multitude of wild animals, including over 5,000 species, most of them insects, that help decompose leaves and work them into the soil and ground cover (3).
  • Weather: The weather in the Harz region can be unpredictable, with sunny and rainy days. It is advisable to check the forecast and pack accordingly.
  • Cultural Events: The Harz region also offers cultural events and festivals, such as the chocolate festival in Wernigerode (4).