The monastery hiking trail leads along idyllic paths and places steeped in history from Wöltingerode Monastery to Ilsenburg. At first, the path leads gently uphill along the Hercyniaweg, which takes its name from the ancient name of the Harz Mountains as “Hercynia silva”. After about two kilometers, the forest thins out and the path leads along the foot of the Harly. The peaks of the Brocken and Wurmberg, which are among the most popular hiking destinations in the Harz Mountains, greet you in the distance. Place names such as “Kalistraße” and “Kaliwerk” are reminders of the once flourishing potash industry in the region. Potash salt was mined here until 1930, which was used as a fertilizer and in the chemical industry.

On the Green Belt: traces of the division of Germany

Harzer Klosterwanderweg und Harzer Grenzweg
The Harz Border Trail and the Harz Monastery Trail share most of the route

A path now leads downhill along the Oker, one of the most important rivers in the Harz. The clear water babbles merrily along and invites you to linger. In Wiedelah, a district of Vienenburg, the Klosterwanderweg crosses the Oker and leads to the other side of the river. From Wiedelah, the trail follows the Green Belt, a nature reserve that runs along the former inner-German border. Here, hikers go in search of traces of German history and experience the unique atmosphere of this place steeped in history. Information boards along the trail provide an insight into the period of German division and the creation of the Green Belt.

Harzer Klosterwanderweg: Along the Ecker to Ilsenburg

The trail continues through the fields to Abbenrode, where it enters the Schimmerwald forest. This dense mixed forest with its tall trees and ferns provides welcome shade on hot summer days. An idyllic highlight now follows: along the Ecker, a small river that meanders through the valley, the trail leads to the meadow area of the former Jungborn health resort. Here, idyllic spots on the banks invite you to linger and picnic. The Ecker is also home to the first refuge along the way, which invites you to take a longer break with its wide benches.

Via the Ilsenburger Stieg, a steep path that leads through the forest, the route finally climbs up to Ilsenburg. The path leads past Ilsenburg Castle, a ruined castle from the 12th century, picturesquely perched on a rock. Once in Ilsenburg, the chestnut avenue leads through the spa gardens and past the lake to the market square. From there, the path leads uphill to Ilsenburg Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery that is now used as a museum and event venue. This is where today’s stage ends.

Route of the Harzer Klosterwanderweg – Section 2 – From Wöltingerode to Ilsenburg

Harzer Klosterwanderweg – Etappe 2 – Von Wöltingerode nach Ilsenburg
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All pictures of Harzer Klosterwanderweg

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