The Goethe Trail to the Brocken Summit
Ascending the Brocken Mountain in Goethe's Footsteps

Der Blick zum Brocken  
View from Torfhaus to the Brocken Mountain  

Distance: 16 km
Duration: 5 to 6 hours
Old and New Torfhaus (Torfhaus = "Peat House")

Before starting your hike we suggest a visit to the National Park Visitor Centre Altenau-Torfhaus ( Here you can obtain much information about the area and also procure a good map of the walking trails. A short tour of the exhibit, presentations and slide shows will show you many things you won't want to miss on your tour to the Brocken Mountain and introduce you to the unique landscape. During inclement weather or if a hike to the highest elevations of the Harz should be too strenuous, there is the opportunity to take an audio-visual tour.

The Visitor Centre is located in the Torfhaus settlement, which has a long history. In 1713, when the first cutting of peat in the surrounding moor began, the first building was erected. Torfhaus became known beyond its borders after the German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe who, accompanied by the Torfhaus forester Degen, began his first ascent of the Brocken on December 10, 1777 from here. The climb through the rough terrain in heavy snow left a lasting impression on the poet who was going through a period of creative struggle then. The experience of untouched nature and the joy of having reached the summit gave him new creative impetus. Goethe incorporated these Brocken impressions in his famous tragedy "Faust" - bringing world renown to the Harz. Exactly which route Goethe took at that time to reach the Brocken peak (1,141 m above sea level) can no longer be determined. It is not the route named "Goethe Trail" today.

Using public transportation, we reach the Goethe Trail by way of the train to Bad Harzburg, and from there with the bus to Torfhaus. We begin at the National Park Visitor Centre Altenau-Torfhaus at the large car park Torfhaus, following along the B4 in the direction of Braunlage for a short distance to the bus stop. In the immediate vicinity of the bus stop is the actual beginning of the Goethe Trail.


    more information:
  1. Start - The Goethe Trail to the Brocken Summit
  2. The Great Torfhaus Moor and the Quitschenberg Mountain
  3. Brocken Narrow Gauge Railway
  4. Goethe Moor
  5. Brocken
  6. Harz National Parks, Hiking Tips and more
  7. Video - Brocken Narrow Gauge Railway


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