A long-distance hiking trail through the gypsum karst landscape of the southern Harz Mountains

The Harz long-distance hiking trail Karstwanderweg takes you on around 200 kilometres over several stages and circular hikes through the southern Harz from Sangerhausen to Osterode. The name Karstwanderweg comes from the gypsum karst, the gypsum rock that strongly characterises the landscape in this region. Special features of the gypsum karst landscape include green forests, gypsum rocks and caves formed by water and an enormous variety of flora and fauna. The area is also characterised by sinkholes, caves, ditches, winding streams and springs. The rustic, narrow paths of the karst hiking trail lead you through a unique landscape and make hikers' hearts beat faster.


In 2011, the hiking trail was recognised as a quality trail by the German Hiking Association. It therefore fulfils the quality criteria that give the trail its special charm and appeal. Depending on the section of the trail, it is just as suitable for experienced hikers as it is for beginners or families with children. Benches along the hiking trail invite you to linger and rest. Numerous viewpoints offer spectacular views over valleys and the karst landscape.

The routes

of the Karst Trail

Main route: Bad Grund - Pölsfeld

  • Distance: 167.3 km
  • Duration: 45:33 h
  • Difficulty: medium

Circular route 25: around the Iberg

  • Distance: 3.6 km
  • Duration: 1:10 h
  • Difficulty: easy

Circular route 22: around Osterode-Südtour

  • Distance: 24.2 km
  • Duration: 6:30 h
  • Difficulty: medium

Circular route 23: around Osterode-Westtour

  • Distance: 21.2 km
  • Duration: 5:50 h
  • Difficulty: medium