© HTV, M. Gloger

Essential & useful information

Signage

Hexenstieg Wegweiser
© HTV, Foto: M. Gloger

Throughout the Harz Mountains, the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg is clear waymarked with signposts, that have red signal edges. They bear the headline "Harzer-Hexen-Stieg" and usually indicate the direction and distance in kilometres to the next stop-off point. In the Harz National Park, the trail is marked on the highly visible wooden sign posts  by the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg logo (white witch in the green circle). This logo also serves as an intermediate marker post and can be found along the entire trail as a metallic or spray paint marker.

Distances, accommodation & travel packages

Wandern am Harzer-Hexen-Stieg
© HTV, Foto: A. Lehmberg

There are no fixed stages on the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg. Depending on your own fitness and ability, the daily stages can be planned individually. The distances between the locations can best be estimated consulting the map online.

Along the way, there are numerous villages offering accommodation in almost all categories. Booking in advance is especially recommended during the hiking season.

Click here to find hosts that have adapted to the needs of hikers travelling on the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg and that often offer additional services such as luggage transfer and in some cases transportation of passengers. If you do not want to organise your hike yourself, you can take advantage of various tour operators. These also offer walks including luggage transfers and are happy to cater for any individual requests.

The best time for a hike

Wanderweg im Nationalpark Harz
© HTV, Foto: M. Gloger

In the Harz Mountains hiking is possible throughout the year, but it is especially beautiful in spring, when sunshine brings growth and greenery to the region, and in autumn, when the leaves change colour and morning mists cover the plateaus. The first snow may fall in late autumn and sometimes lasts until April.

Many sections of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg are suitable for hikes in winter. An exception is the section between Treseburg and Thale in the Bode gorge, which has to be closed in the winter months due to ice and snow. During this time, an alternative route is signposted towards the Hexentanzplatz (“Witches' dance floor“).

Getting to & from the route & shuttle services

Warten auf die Brockenbahn
© HTV, Foto: A. Lehmberg

The starting points Osterode and Thale are easily accessible by train and the beginnings of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg are well signposted. Along the way there are numerous parking spaces for hikers and bus stops with regular services. However, if you want to use them, make sure to check the timetables in advance (www.bahn.de - also for bus connections).

Many hosts usually offer luggage transfers to the next location. Tour operators also sometimes offer hikes from one hotel and with return transport.

For the transfer between Osterode and Thale you have to calculate about four hours by train, by car the journey takes about 1.5 hours. In Osterode and Thale some taxi companies offer transfers at a flat rate. Ask the local tourist information offices for more information.

Map booklet & guidebook

The official map booklet of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg is published by Schmidt-Buch-Verlag (ISBN 978-3-945974-19-3), also available as a weatherproof edition.

On a hiker-friendly scale of 1:30,000, it contains, among other things, contour lines at 20-metre intervals, information on distances, parking spaces, bus stops and bus routes, as well as a grid with GPS coordinates.

Harzer-Hexen-Stieg – the official guide

Directions for both ways, 5 stages, 2 alternative routes, elevation profiles, graphics, overview map, places to stop for refreshments and accommodation, GPS tracks, ckeckpoints of the Harz Walking Badge, 80 pages in total, cellophane covered flap brochure with a 8-page cover.

The map and hiking guide are available in our online shopping site or in bookshops.

Equipment

Picknick am Goetheweg
© HTV, Foto: A. Lehmberg

During the hiking season from April to October, sturdy shoes and weatherproof garment are adequate for a hike. Walking poles are useful in some places, although they are not a must. A packed lunch and something to drink should definitely be in your daypack, as well as sufficient sun protection.

In spring and autumn it can be quite warm during the day, but the mornings are sometimes cool. A jumper or a fleece that can be easily stowed away might help here. You will probably also need this on Mount Brocken, where it is often windy and foggy due to its exposed position.

Depending on whether it is a mild or a strong winter, snow can be expected from November to April.

Even if the sun has been shining already for quite some time in spring, white surprises can still be waiting in shady places at high altitudes. Waterproof and slip resistent footwear is therefore essential.

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