Walking the Harzer Hexenstieg

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Walking the Harzer Hexenstieg
 

Eager to walk?

  Distance of this hike 100 km
  What kind of hike is this? Hiking with backpack
  Where does the walk start? Railway station Osterode
  What is the rating of this walk? Rating: 80/100
  View a map of this walkView a map of this walk
  Download the GPS-trackDownload the GPS-track of this walk

The Harzer Hexenstieg is a wonderful hiking trail from former West Germany to former East Germany. This trail is about 100 kilometers, long enough to fill a holiday week with pleasant, not to heavy hiking. You can climb the Brocken, the highest mountain of the Harz. And don’t forget to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Quedlinburg en Goslar.

West and East Germany

In the Harz, Germany still consists of two worlds, even 22 years after “die Wende”. The houses are different, the nature is different, people differ. The western part of the Harz has lost much of its originality, the eastern part has retained its charm.

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”WalkingBrocken: Russian radar base

You take beautiful, not too heavy walks along streams, through gorges, deciduous and coniferous forests. And always in the vicinity: the highest peak in the Harz, the Brocken, which used to be a Russian radar base for a long time.

Climbing the Brocken

With 1142 meters the Brocken is by far the highest mountain in the Harz. Mountain is a big word: it's more of a huge pimple in the landscape. You can climb the Brocken or for the laze hikers: you can take the steam train to the top. Wear an extra sweater and take your raincoat with you; it is quite cold, the wind blows hard and there’s a hight probability of rain. Pleasant walk to the top.

Most beautiful part of the Harz

The most beautiful part of the Harz is undoubtedly the eastern part. The forest is more diverse, with more deciduous forests. The eastern part of the Harz also offers more variety: huge forest, many lakes, rivers (the Bode), eroded canyons. But the western part also has great natural beauty to offer. And it’s so quiet everywhere, a serene atmosphere.

Beautiful villages in the Harz?

They were a little disappointing, the villages of the Harz. Along the Malerweg but also in the German Schwarzwald, you regularly come by picturesque, lively towns. The Harzer villages along the Hexenstieg have little to offer.

Kanchen Kaffee mit Kuchen

Often, it is dead quiet in the villages and there are few shops. But the people you encounter are quite friendly. Other important features: there are lots of terraces where you can relax while taking the inevitable “Kanchen Kaffee mit Kuchen”.

Two tips for the Harzer Hexenstieg

- A visit to the nearby medieval towns of Quedlinburg and Goslar is highly recommended. Wonderfully atmospheric towns, with so many interesting buildings and streets that they are put on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The villages are easily accessible, by car as well as by train. - The food in the restaurants along the Harzer Hexenstieg is great. Forget the schnitzels and enjoy a delicious piece of game for very reasonable prices. There are a lot of deer in the Harzer forests, so you can also find them in tasty stews when you go out for a meal. Vegetarians have a hard time.

Tags: backpacking, Germany, long distance walking, Harz

Written by Frank van der Meer.