Return to Dammhaus by bus and rejoin the trail. Your day begins through tranquil forests and along water ditches before you join the Magdeburger Weg, widely regarded as one of the finest walking trails in the Harz which leads you up to the summit of Torfhaus, where you can clearly see the summit of Brocken (1,141m), your objective for the day.
Germany's famous writer, philosopher and statesman, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, was well known for having summited Brocken in 1777, 1783 and 1784 and from here on you will be following the Goetheweg footpath to the summit. The Brocken has always featured in myths and legends of witches and devils and interestingly gave its name to the Brocken Spectre, an optical illusion whereby your shadow, surrounded by a rainbow, is cast on the clouds below. Enjoy the view from the highest mountain in the Harz before taking the legendary Brockenbahn steam engine (included) to Schierke, where you will spend the night.
In rainy weather, the trails can be muddy and slippery. Take footwear with good tread that gives you support. Inquire about the current weather conditions (e.g. in your accommodation or at the local tourist information office).
Pay attention to any diversion information. On almost 100 kilometres, forestry work or storm damage can result in short-term diversions and road closures. You can find current trail information at www.harz-hexenstieg.de and www.harzinfo.de/erlebnisse/wandern/harzer-hexen-stieg/aktuelle-hinweise.html.
Tips and hints
Bus Timetable can be found here: www.vbn.de/fahrplaner
Train timetable for the Brockenbahn can be found here: www.hsb-wr.de
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
Sturdy hiking boots, layered clothing items and a waterproof/wind-break layer may all be required. Make sure to check the weather before you go to see if you need suncream or a waterproof layer, as the weather can change quickly.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it could be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Take plenty of water for the days walk - especially if a high temperature in the summer.