Around the witches on the Brocken - also called the “Blockberg” - and the Walpurgis Night in the Harz entwine many mysteries and stories. A journey through this world of myths, the old mining areas with their water art, the highest mountain in Northern Germany and the wild romantic beauty of the Harz forests await you on your hike over the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg.
About 100 kilometers long is the path, which by its class belongs to the "Top Trails of Germany". The almost endless and still cultivated trenches of the old miners in the dark spruce forests, the High Harz with its roof, the Brocken, and the course of the Bode in the wildest of all Harz river valleys are just a few of the highlights on your journey crossing the Harz from west to east. Puffing steamers, witch houses and a trail through the maw of the Bode let the Harzer world of myths and legends become real.
And by the way, the likelihood of running into a witch in the forest is quite large on the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg, so we heard. ;-)
The first stage takes you from Osterode over the Hundscher Weg, a historic trade route. The path once provided the Harz miners with food and other important goods.The tour leads directly into the Harz, so you have to adjust to a few meters in altitude. The paths are consistently solid. Rest areas can be found on the way.At the Eselsplatz you will meet the Harzer Wanderadel on the first stamp. If you get hold of everyone on the track, the pin of the witch's bow beckons you.Further highlights await you at the Lehrbacher Fenster and Bärenbrucher Teich. Another rest area is u.a. at the lackhaler gate. Maybe you would like to spend the night at the camping Prahljust near Clausthal-Zellerfeld.
Passing Clausthal-Zellerfeld and Altenau, the witches' staircase is heading for the Harz mountains. But before you get even the full load of the Harz water art offered. Along the Dammgraben you will also get to Huttaler Widerwaage, a masterpiece of engineering. The Magdeburger Weg challenges you and leads you up to Torfhaus.The resin becomes mystical and demands a lot from you. We avoid the Magdeburger Weg, which is difficult to pass after storm damage, in this tour. Along the Dammgraben you have consistently pleasant surface. In Torfhaus you will find a way to stay in the youth hostel.
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The path to the roof of the resin lies in front of you. Torfhaus serves many hikers as the starting point for a haul. The Harzer-Hexen-Stieg takes you up to northern Germany's highest mountain. When the sun is shining, you can see endless views. Maybe you will arrive at the Brockenwirt on the summit. A photo at the highest point is required!
The whole way is well developed and leads partly even over the Brockenstraße. Really steep climbs do not expect you. After crossing the Brocken you go the Glashüttenweg to Drei Annen Hohne. There are many parking possibilities here.An entry into the Brockenbahn or in the Harzquerbahn is also possible.
From Drei Annen Hohne it goes on to Rübeland. You leave the high resin behind you and now follow the Bode. Already in Königshütte two highlights await you with the waterfall and the castle ruins. Here you can choose between the northern route and the southern route to Altenbrak. Along the dam, the northern route goes to Trogfurther Bridge and on to Rübeland. Enjoy the view of the village and the chunks up there on the Hohe Kleef.This stage makes no great demands on you. The height profile is very moderate. All paths are very passable. In Rübeland there are hardly any free parking spaces. Some overnight accommodations can be found in the village.
The final is approaching slowly but surely. Your penultimate stage will lead you along the Bode on narrow romantic hiking trails. Alluvial forests and meadows and dense young forests line the path. In the upper part of the dam are mighty beech trees along the way. At the dam, you can rappel and test your nerves, which are hopefully as strong as the ropes that hold you there. ;)After Wendefurth you enter the Bodetal valley, which leads you to Altenbrak. Here it is still extensive. In Altenbrak you can get a freshly smoked trout and watch the fly fishermen at their art on the Bode.The difficulty of this stage is very moderate. The trails range from the path to the road surface. Everything is easily passable at any time. In Altenbrak there is ample parking and even a camper place right on the Bode. Various hotels and guesthouses offer their services. The bus takes you easily to Thale or Blankenburg.
When it's the most beautiful, you should stop. But until that happens, the grand finale of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg awaits you. Starting from Altenbrak, you go through the still wide Bodetal to Treseburg. There you enter the wildest part of the Bodetal, maybe even the Harz. Mystic places, the raging Bode and high above you the Hexentanzplatz and Rosstrappe. Here, legends become real. When leaving the valley, you can take the cable car to the Hexentanzplatz or the chairlift to Rosstrappe. At the end of the climb, the Peace Park is waiting for you. The actual gate of the witch's staircase is in the city center at Wotansbrunnen. Until then, the Mythenweg will accompany you in the form of Germanic sculptures.Strength does not demand this section very much. But technically the area from the sun cliff to the guest house Königsruhe is appealing. Stumbling lurking and sometimes it's slopes that require your attention. None of this is insurmountable.Altenbrak has several bus stops and can be reached from Thale and Blankenburg. At the end of the witches staircase in Thale you can find the Thalenser train station.