Harz Witches' Trail – Broomsticks on Mount Brocken

From picturesque half-timbered buildings to steep cliffs and enchanted forests – the Harz Witches’ Trail between Osterode and Thale features the best beauty spots of the Harz region.

With sparse deciduous forests and dense coniferous woods, brightly coloured mountain pastures and sheer rock faces, babbling brooks and majestic reservoirs, it shows the full glory of the Harz – a land shrouded in myth and legend. A rich variety of flora and fauna, culture, history and the legacy of more than 1,000 years of mining can be found along this route, providing insights into the geological features and cultural heritage of the landscape. Part of the trail passes through Harz National Park along a path winding through jagged rocks and mysterious upland moors. The highlight of the walk is Mount Brocken, rising to a height of 1,141 metres. Legend has it that witches gather to dance here every year on Walpurgis Night when April turns to May. Other places of interest as you head towards Thale are the ancient woodland on Mount Brocken, Rappbode reservoir and Rübeland caves. The trail finishes in impressive fashion at the Bode valley – the ‘grand canyon’ of the Harz and one of the most striking rock valleys north of the Alps.

Tip: Harz walking badge scheme

The Harzer Wandernadel is a walking badge scheme with a network of 222 checkpoints for you to collect stamps for your ‘hiking passport’. It takes you to attractive locations throughout the region and offers nature at its best – from well-known attractions to insider tips. You receive different badges depending on the amount and type of walks you have completed.

At a glance:

  • Starts: Osterode
  • Ends: Thale
  • Length: 94km - 149km (incl. all route variations)
  • Number of stages: 5
  • Altitude variation: ascent 1,560m, descent 1,600m
  • Terrain: 41% unmade, 9% asphalt, 50% other, e.g. farm tracks

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