The Harz National Park

Mountain wilderness shrouded in legend

Located in the centre of Germany, the 24,700-hectare Harz National Park offers a unique low mountain range landscape with forests, moors, watercourses and fascinating rock formations. The Harz National Park nature reserve is spread across the two federal states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

A large part of the area is woodland, 97% to be precise. Over 7200 plant and animal species live in the natural habitat, offering an enormous diversity of species. The highest mountain in the Harz National Park is the Brocken at 1141 metres.

Forests and moors in the Harz National Park

The Harz National Park is particularly characterised by its natural diversity. On its northern and southern edges you will find extensive beech forests, which are particularly inviting for a hike in spring and autumn. Moors, spruce forests and rocks characterise the landscape in the higher areas of the Harz. The Oberharz moors are among the best preserved in Germany. A hike over the boardwalks offers you an insight into the extreme habitat of the raised bog with its highly specialised plants, such as peat moss and sundew.

Due to the extreme climatic conditions at high altitudes, the natural tree line is 1100 metres. On and around the summit of the Brocken, icy temperatures, lots of moisture and strong storms prevail in winter. This is why relics from the Ice Age can be found here time and again, as well as animal and plant species that otherwise only occur in colder climate zones.

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Animal diversity in the Harz National Park - The "Big Five" in the Oberharz Mountains

With capercaillie, lynx, red deer, raccoon and wildcat, the Oberharz  offers five animal superstars in the wild. If you are lucky, you may be able to spot these Big Five of the Oberharz  on your expedition through the Harz National Park. The Harz National Park offers protected habitats that have even made the successful reintroduction of the endangered lynx possible. If you would like to experience the lynx up close, why not take a trip to Bad Harzburg to the "Rabenklippe" lynx project. You will rarely see lynx in the wild. You can marvel at other wild animals, such as the Harz red deer, at the barrier-free wildlife observation centre in the Oder Valley. The station is located on the hiking trail between the Oderhaus and the Rinderstall forest restaurant.

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Protect the Harz National Park

The Harz National Park has set itself the task of protecting and supporting nature so that nature can develop freely. They thus follow the worldwide national park motto "Let nature be nature".

The Harz National Park is characterised by its diverse flora and fauna, the beauty and variety of which can hardly be described. The extraordinary landscape invites you to hike and observe animals, where you can see and learn a lot and also switch off from the stressful and noisy everyday life. To ensure that the Harz National Park remains so beautiful and unique, it is very important that all visitors behave accordingly and show respect for the plants and animals. Of course, this includes visitors staying on the paths, not leaving rubbish lying around and not being too loud.

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The Harz becomes a mixed forest

Help protect the forests.

Due to the numerous storms and the drought years of 2018 and 2019, large areas of forest belonging to the Lower Saxony State Forests have been destroyed or dried out. Unfortunately, bark beetles can proliferate in these conditions. These animals are the reason for the numerous dead spruce forests in the Harz National Park and the many clearings in the forests of the state forests.

To prevent the bark beetle from destroying even more forests, it is necessary to fell the infested trees and remove them from the forest before the bark beetles leave the trunk and infest other trees. This means that many trees have to be felled, but this is the only way to save the forest.

Please understand that sections of the forest are closed for safety reasons during the felling work.

Several million new trees will be planted on the empty areas every year, as a stable mixed forest is now to be created.

Become a climate protector and help with the reforestation of the Harz forests as part of the "Climate Action Forest" project.

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