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A magical journey on Germany’s Harz Witches' Trail

Gaby D.

A magical journey on Germany’s Harz Witches' Trail

Hiking Collection by Renée

5-9

days

3-5 h

/ day

63.4 mi

6,300 ft

6,450 ft

There are many enigmatic myths and stories about the witches on the Brocken – also known as Blocksberg – and the associated Walpurgis Night in the Harz. Follow in their footsteps on a journey through the rugged, highland Harz region. On your hike along the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg (Harz Witches' Trail), you’ll see the old mining districts with their water art, the highest mountain in northern Germany and the wild and romantic beauty of the Harz with its rocky cliffs and deep valleys.

The roughly 100-kilometre-long (60 mi) "Stieg" is a particularly wonderful hiking trail. The sheer, endless moats of the old miners, which are still maintained today; the Upper Harz with its roof; the Brocken; scenic cliffs and the course of the River Bode in the wildest of all Harz river valleys are just a few of the many highlights on this adventure. Puffing steam trains, witches’ houses and a path through the gorge of the Bode make the Harz’s myths and legends come alive around you.

Thanks to well-developed hiking trails, the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg is easy for beginners. You should bring rainwear and sturdy boots as well as food and water, as there are not always places to stop along the way. At the end of each stage, you’ll find at least one place to stay overnight.

The start in Osterode and the finish in Thale are easily reached by train. If you travel by car, you can then take the train back to Osterode, but this involves two or three changes. You can easily get on or off the trail near public transport at Torfhaus, Drei Annen Hohne and Rübeland.

Six varied stages through Germany's northernmost low mountain range await you. Remember, the probability of running into a witch in the forest is said to be quite high on the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg! ;-)

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Harzer-Hexen-Stieg

60.1 mi

6,200 ft

6,350 ft

Last updated: October 24, 2021

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Osterode nach Buntenbock – Harzer-Hexen-Stieg

    Intermediate
    03:30
    7.45 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,525 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Let's go on your Harz adventure. A few meters of altitude are waiting for you on the first stage of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg. For this you will be rewarded with some beautiful views of the Harz foreland and insights into the history of mining in the region.

    A small hut signals the starting point of your

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  • Difficult
    05:55
    13.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,350 ft
    675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The second stage of your hike is characterized by the ponds, ditches and watercourses of the Upper Harz water management. The traces of mining in the Harz are omnipresent and fit perfectly into the landscape, which is now slowly becoming a little more mountainous.

    You pass the first of these ponds just

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  • Difficult
    06:20
    14.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,225 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today the roof of the Harz Mountains and thus also the highest point in Northern Germany lies in front of you. By the way, you will find some promising cliffs along the way - so you can expect a varied day on the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg. If you want to save yourself the altitude, you can also choose the variant

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  • Intermediate
    04:21
    9.89 mi
    2.3 mph
    600 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the fourth stage you are now slowly leaving the Upper Harz behind you. Soft hills and the entry into one of the most beautiful valleys of the Harz await you, because most of the day you follow the course of the Bode.

    You first hike through the forest to Königshütte. Here the route of the Brocken bypass

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  • Intermediate
    04:07
    9.11 mi
    2.2 mph
    825 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The penultimate stage of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg leads you over narrow hiking trails and along the Bode, whose valley is now slowly getting narrower. Alluvial forests, meadows and dense, young forests line your path and in the upper area of the dam there are mighty beeches at the edge of the path.

    Two

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  • Intermediate
    04:31
    9.54 mi
    2.1 mph
    800 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you can expect the grand finale of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg and with the rugged Bodetal definitely one of the most beautiful sections of the tour. While steep granite walls rise up to 250 meters on both sides, in the middle of the valley the Bode rushes between the smoothly ground rocks. The "Grand

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Distance
    63.4 mi
  • Duration
    28:43 h
  • Elevation
    6,300 ft6,450 ft

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