Finally, after quite some time we visited Harz NP again. We always try to go there in the winter, but it´s either bad weather or we have something else on the weekend. But now the days are longer and sunnier, so the hiking season is officially opened! This time we were on Wurmberg, which is the second highest mountain in Harz, just after Brocken.
It wil take you around 1 hour to get to Braunlage from Braunschweig. Drive through Bad Harzburg and pass Torfhaus, don´t forget to take care of the speeding limits. Once in Braunlage, which is a really nice holiday resort with many hotels, hostels and shops who rent our all sorts of sports equipment, drive to the centre and you will see the Wurmberg Seilbahn on your left side – there is a bigger parking lot in front of it.
From here you can either walk up the mountain or get a lift with the gondola. Adult ticket to the top (one way) will cost you 7€, children under 6 years of age go free. There is also a middle station you can get out at if you like. We decided to take the gondola to the top and then walk down on one of the many hiking paths. From the top you can also continue to several other points of interest, also to the highest mountain in the area, Brocken. At the station you can also rent bikes and drive down the nicely constructed bike park trails – or just take the paved road.
There are 6 skiing pistes on Wurmberg, the longest one ist 4,5km long and makes 400m height difference (we really want to try this one out in the winter if there is enough snow on the right weekend ;)). In the summer, you can walk down either on the grassy slopes, on the paved road which is closed for personal vehicles, or take the smaller paths through the woods. There are big boards at the gondola stations with marked paths.
The lake which awaits you on the top was created in the last years to satisfy the needs of making artificial snow for the skiing pistes. Around it an interesting playground is being done (not just quite finished, but you can already use it) with bridges and stones going over little water streams – looks very appealing and even though it is not made by mother nature they did their best at making it seem so. And Lu loved it of course!
There is usually lots of wind on the top and today was no exception. So after a brief climbing & playing session it was time to walk back down. We chose a longer way 8km! Not a big deal, since we were just walking down and not up :). We might return in the summer to pick some blueberies – they are everywhere here!
Ski jumps! We knew they were there, but when we walked here around 3 years ago we were really surprised to see them ;). I guess we were not aware of the fact that this really is the biggest ski centre in the area and people here actually do winter sports!
Almost back at the car park, you pass a little stream and if you look closely you see this nice bridge!
Before driving back home we of course had to stop at the playground next to the gondola station – it´s quite a nice one too. All in all, this is a nice trip for a couple of hours, coming up from Braunschweig you can count 4-5 hours for it, but you can combine it with a stop elsewhere on the way and make it a full day trip!