Man riding his bike through the Harz National Park near Braunlage
Jan Kopriva

Braunlage in the Harz Mountains: It’s all downhill from here

In the Corona year of 2020 in particular, many people rediscovered cycling for themselves; some as a healthy and environmentally conscious method of transportation; for others, a means of thundering down a wooded slopes as quickly as possible. Especially for the latter group, the Harz is likely to be an interesting and challenging travel destination.

Braunlage is a suitable starting point for extensive downhill tours. The climatic health resort is located directly on the Lower Saxony border with Saxony-Anhalt and in the immediate vicinity of the Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz Mountains and all of Lower Saxony in general. The region around the place is ideal for cycling, both for relaxed and extended bike tours as well as for sporty mountain bike training. 

And don’t worry, there are so many and, above all, demanding trails where you can push your E-MTB to its limits. What you should notice on your first tour in the national park is the landscape which is so diverse that sometimes you don’t even know where you are. You’ll be cycling idyllically across the open field and in the next moment, you’ll see yourself confronted with rocky seas followed by a picture-book mountain lake. There’s no need to worry about your eyes getting bored. 

Mountain bikers in the Harz National Park
Jan Kopriva

Bike tours for adrenaline junkies

Real talk though: There are a lot of low mountain ranges in Germany. The Harz Mountains simply offers the highest density of bike parks not only in Germany, but in all of Europe. Yes, you read that right. Let it sink in first. Five bike parks await the inclined downhill enthusiast here and all of them are equipped with a lift. What more do you want?

The MSB-X-Trail Bikepark, Sankt Andreasberg, is suitable for beginners. A 12-kilometer route has already been prepared here, alternatively, you can simply free ride down the slope. Afterwards, beginners and experienced ones alike can relax for five minutes on the lift to the top. Experienced mountain bikers can alternatively come to the Braunlage bike park. It is located directly on the Wurmberg and is almost part of the urban area of ​​Braunlage. Long stretches, rocky passages and above all, by far the longest runs in the Harz Mountains – all of this is waiting for you here. 

Man rides e-bike through national park in Lower Saxony
Julian Hochgesang

Bike routes for people with a normal instinct for self-preservation 

But it can also be a little less agitated. Yes, there should also be places for people who like to cycle comfortably. You can find everything your heart desires at the Braunlager Tourist Information. If you don’t want to spend too much, you can go on a nearly 15-kilometer tour, for example, which leads from Braunlager Marktplatz, past the gondola pond of the local spa park, via the climate path and the Königskrug district to the Braunlage bike park. From here, it is only 500 casual meters to the starting point.

If you have more stamina, you can take the 40-kilometer route along the Bodefälle (waterfalls of the Bode river), past the Oderteich and to the Clausthaler Flutgraben. From here, back to the Wurmberg, it’s only six kilometers to the starting point.

National Parks in Germany: In the Harz National Park you can experience Germany's beautiful nature

The Harz around Braunlage has a lot to offer. There is also always the option of not exploring the routes on your own, but of having a local, knowledgeable tour guide work by your side. Not only does he look friendly, he can also provide tips and tricks on how to use the trusty (or borrowed) bike. The guide can also assess which routes are best for which level of experience. Nothing can go wrong here.