Karst hiking trail

Karst hiking trail
Karst hiking trail

The Karst Hiking Trail in the Southern Harz

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With a total distance of 239 kilometres, the Karst Hiking Trail is one of the longest themed hiking trails in Germany. The German Hiking Association has certified it as a Wanderbares Deutschland quality trail.
The Karst Trail runs east-west from Pölsfeld (Saxony-Anhalt) to Bad Grund (Lower Saxony). It also takes in the unique karst landscape of the municipality of Südharz. Among other things, it leads past the broom-making village of Hainrode and through Questenberg. From there it runs along Bauerngraben, through the area of the Karst Landscape South Harz Biosphere Reserve with a view of Breitungen to the Heimkehle karst cave near Uftrungen and on to the Reesbergdoline in the Thuringian forest area of Alter Stolberg before Rottleberode.
More than 200 information boards provide information along the route: geology and landscape, environment and nature conservation, groundwater as well as settlement and industrial history all become tangible here.

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Hiking geology and nature

On the karst hiking trail, hikers experience a geologically unique landscape throughout Europe: old and new sinkholes, dolinas, karst springs, river sinkholes, karst cones and much more line the route.
One section runs through the Questenberg gypsum karst landscape with the Dinsterbachschwinde and the Bauerngraben, an almost mysterious episodic lake. Rare plants find a home there.
Impressive caves are also part of this geologically unique region, such as the approximately two-kilometre-long Heimkehle karst show cave near Uftrungen. With its natural cavities and crystal-clear lakes, it refers to exciting subterranean natural phenomena along 600 m of guided trails and has been designated a National Geotope.

Discover history

In addition to natural monuments and botanical treasures, human and industrial history also accompanies the hiker along the way: from copper shale mining, which has helped shape the surrounding landscape since the Middle Ages, to the lime road with its lime kilns, to the misuse of underground caves as production sites during the Third Reich, there is much to learn and discover in the Southern Harz.
A special waypoint on the Karst Trail is Questenberg: from the Queste, hikers enjoy a magnificent view of the idyllic village with its castle ruins and the wooden Roland. Annual highlight: the Questen festival on Whit Monday, which revives ancient customs.

Harzer Wandernadel

Stamp hikers will find what they are looking for on the Karst hiking trail: The stamping points 210 "Schöne Aussicht Hainrode", 212 "An der Queste", 213 "Bauerngraben" and 214 "Reesbergdoline" help you get closer to your personal Harz hiking pin.

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