Hiking on the Harzer Hexenstieg
Where to go in times of a pandemic, what can you do?
Hiking is a particularly low-contact form of leisure activity. The risk of contracting a dangerous virus in the fresh air is relatively low. We would therefore like to recommend a particularly beautiful hiking trail in the heart of Germany, the Harzer Hexenstieg. It leads from Osterode in the West Harz over the Brocken to Thale in the East Harz. Two alternative routes extend the hiking network to 152 km. Since 2014, twelf artistically designed adventure islands have been created along the hiking trail. In terms of content, regional topics are taken up on each island. Six stations were implemented by SIK-Holz in high quality craftsmanship based on drafts from design office, Bad Harzburg.
Torfhaus – flora and fauna of the Harz Mountains
The eye-catcher at the Torfhaus is a huge wooden sculpture that represents a magical union of flora and fauna of the Harz Mountains. Huge ferns break through the stone floor and rise six meters into the sky – lynx, fire salamander, brown trout, pygmy owl and dragonfly travel along on the ferns. Other oversized wooden ferns accompany visitors on their way into the national park towards Brocken and present literary natural quotations.
Oderteich – Mrs. Holle
At this point you can find the often sung about and written about Mrs. Holle, designed in blue-green watercolors and rooted in the ground. Dragonflies, which are typical for this location, adorn her face.
Jordanshöhe – Ants
The place focuses on the ants, which as very small forest dwellers have an often underestimated importance for the ecosystem. On site there is a bank made of oversized spruce needles, two aphids and a red wood ant.
Hasselfelde – Cows
Reference is made here to the long tradition of farming on the meadows and in the forests of the upper Harz Mountains.
Schierke – Goethe train station
The former train station was right on the inner-german border and was used by the border guards as an illegal shelter. The seating elements at the transition between the mountain spruce forest and the forest-free Brocken top invite you to linger.
Osterode – Kiepenfrau (woman with a box)
The hikers can take a seat right next to a Kiepenfrau and rest with her. Or, when lifting a 40 kg box, you can feel how difficult it is for the energetic women, popularly known as «Harz camel», to drag.
Another stop in the Harz National Park is the HohneHof nature experience center.