Hiking trails to the Brocken
The Brocken is the highest peak in the Harz at 1,141 meters and from the summit you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views across the whole region.
A tour to the Brocken is one of the highlights of any trip to the Harz. Well known travelers like Johann Goethe and Heinrich Heine drew their inspiration from the summit.
The "Mountain of the Germans", as the summit is often referred to, has some special features: it is geographically located on the former inner-German border and was from 1961 to 1989 a restricted area. Its position and altitude in northern Germany ensures at times harsh winds and cold temperatures, comparable to the mountains of Iceland.
As the Brocken is within the Harz National Park it is not possible to drive to the summit by car. You can take a ride up with coachmen who offer carriage rides to the summit from Schierke. Another way is to take the Brocken steam train, which is part of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railway to the summit. Alternatively you can hike in the footsteps of Goethe from Torfhaus to the Brocken. Follow the path that Goethe took on December 10th 1777, on his first visit to the Brocken. The rough terrain and untouched nature that created bizarre shapes left a lasting impression on him and manifested years later in one of the greatest works of German literature: Faust.
Take time on the Brocken trail to see the witches altar and devils pulpit. These two granite cliffs on the Brocken summit impressed Goethe; this is the meeting point for witches and the devil on Walpurgis night.