From picturesque half-timbered buildings to steep cliffs and enchanted forests, the Harz Witches' Trail is a chance for Walpurgis the goddess of spring to reveal the best beauty spots between Osterode and Thale.
With sparse deciduous forests and dense coniferous woods, brightly coloured mountain pastures and steep cliffs, babbling brooks and majestic reservoirs, the witches' trail 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 Harz 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.
Working charcoal-burning kiln at Stemberghaus Museum, Hasselfelde
Charcoal is still produced here using traditional methods that are explained at the museum. Charcoal was essential for smelting the ore extracted by miners in the Harz. The charcoal discovery trail puts the spotlight on charcoal burners' huts and the local mining industry.
At a glance