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On the Brocken with wooden hiking board and view into the valley


From Osterode over the Brocken to Thale

8 Days / 7 Nights
On the Brocken with wooden hiking board and view into the valley

This famous hiking trail leads from Osterode to Thale. You will cross the Brocken and hike through lush beech and spruce forests. You can feel the power of water in the high moor and at numerous ponds and streams located in the dreamlike landscape. It is the pristine nature and the mystical atmosphere that make this hike so special. On the well-signposted hiking trail, you will explore the "Oberharzer Wasserregal" or "Oberharzer Wasserwirtschaft" World Heritage Site. This is a water diversion and storage system that was created from the 16th to the 19th century. The German Hiking Association has awarded the approximately 100-kilometre-long hiking trail the ‚Quality Hiking Trail‘ certification for the third time. Experience the diversity of the Harz up close.

Stephanie Erbschwendtner
Stephanie Erbschwendtner
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The hike starts in the half-timbered town of Osterode and leads along old trade routes to the university town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld. From there it continues to Altenau and over the Brocken in the Harz National Park to Schierke or Wernigerode. Then the trail takes you through Rübeland to Altenbrak or Treseburg. You explore the Bode Valley and end up in Thale below the legendary Hexentanzplatz. 

  • Oberharzer Wasserregal: This term, which originated in the Middle Ages, describes the Upper Harz water management system. Certain regions possessed royal sovereign rights called ‘regale’. The Upper Harz had the right to use the water sources in the region.
  • Half-timbered town of Osterode: The pedestrian zone of this picturesque town welcomes you with its quaint charm.
  • Clausthal-Zellerfeld: In this charming town you can visit the largest wooden church in Germany.
  • Königshütter Waterfall: This beautiful spot is located at an altitude of 450 metres on the south-eastern flank of the Rabenstein. Enjoy the sound of the water and the relaxing nature at the idyllic waterfall, which was created out of a quarry in 1994.

The hiking tour on the Harz Witches Trail is assigned to our hiking type 'Walking'. With a good basic level of fitness, surefootedness and a love of movement, this active trip will be a wonderful adventure in nature. The trail is well-developed and leads along forest and riverside paths that are easy to walk. The biggest challenge of this hiking route are the ascents and descents at the Brocken.

Discover more tour suggestions and ideas for walking holidays in Germany.

Itinerary at a glance

Osterode charms with its half-timbered buildings, and Clausthal-Zellerfeld is known as a lively university town. In the heart of the Harz Mountains, you'll ascend the Brocken, and the descent is made by narrow-gauge railway. The tour ends in Thale, near the famous Hexentanzplatz (Witches' Dance Square).

Explore the half-timbered town of Osterode am Harz during a stroll through the pedestrian zone.

At first you will go uphill along old trade routes, where you will discover the first harbingers of the Upper Harz water shelf, before you reach the university town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld. Marvel at the largest wooden church in Germany.

Leaving the mountain town, you now walk at the same altitude, mainly on forest paths and narrow trails, along the fascinating system of dams. You pass the iron spring and end in the town of Altenau with its herb park.

Today the highlight of your hiking tour awaits you: the ascent to the Brocken in the middle of the core area of the transnational Harz National Park. On well developed and varied paths you climb the summit. Down to Schierke or Wernigerode you will take the Harz narrow-gauge railroad.

On the ‘Pfarrsteig’ you reach the hiking trail again. Passing the ‘Trudenstein’ with its distant view you walk downhill to the Königshütter waterfall. Now you meet the small river Bode and a new landscape appears, here the limestone mining is still going on above ground.

Your companion on this day tour is the small river Bode. Sometimes on small paths, on wide trails or high above the Wendefurth dam you follow the course of the river to Altenbrak or Treseburg.

On the last day you hike through the mythical and legendary Bodetal. Between towering granite rocks the narrow path always leads along the river. The hiking tour ends in the village of Thale, below the famous witches' dance floor.

Departure or extension

Route information


A good basic fitness level and surefootedness are required. However, the hiking trail is also suitable for beginners, as it is well developed for tourism. You almost always hike on well passable paths such as forest or shore paths and through less populated regions. More demanding ascents and descents can only be mastered in the area of the Brocken.

Prices & Dates

Category: pretty 3***-hotels

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accommodation as already mentioned
  • Breakfast
  • Luggage transfer
  • Carefully elaborated route description
  • Detailed travel documents 1x per room (German, English)
  • Service-Hotline


  • return transfer to Osterode, costs per fare EUR 199 (max. 7 people), reservation required, payable in advance.

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Arrival by train to Osterode at Harz. From the station in a few minutes on foot to the hotel.
  • Leipzig or Hanover airport
  • Parking: limited number of hotel parking spaces, approx. EUR 4,- per day, pre-booking possible directly through the hotel. At the entrance of the Harz-Witches-Trail public unguarded parking lot ‘Bleichstelle’, no pre-reservation possible.

Things to note

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price
  • Harz narrow-gauge railroad Brocken, about EUR 30 per person
  • The last overnight stay is also possible in Quedlingburg on request (with surcharge).
  • Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.
Stephanie Erbschwendtner

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Stephanie Erbschwendtner
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