The northern Harz foothills: experience nature and explore the border on the Green Belt

The northern Harz foothills between the towns of Wernigerode, Ilsenburg, Osterwieck, Bad Harzburg, Hornburg and Vienenburg is marked by rolling hills, interrupted by the 'Großer Fallstein', a rock of shell limestone that rises up, providing a special view.
Always in view of this, and usually with the Brocken in sight, topical routes of different lengths, for walkers and cyclists, wind their way along the Green Belt.
They connect orchards, fields, avenues of chestnut trees and many areas of unspoilt nature, with the remains of former border installations, such as the former watchtower at Rhoden, which is being renovated and opened to the public.

The nature experience route on the Green Belt
A circular tour for walkers and leisure cyclists connects the picturesque mediaeval townscapes of Hornburg and Osterwieck with scenes of outstanding natural beauty.
Past old cherry orchards, semi-arid grassland providing warmth and idyllic nature reserves, such as a reserve for ants and birds, the path connects an old manor, a fallow deer enclosure, ancient churches and a significant limestone quarry, the geo-point of the "Harz·Braunschweiger Land·Eastphalia Geopark".
Observation posts along the way provide views of the surrounding area, dominated by the silhouette of the Brocken in the Harz close by.
The Green Belt is crossed many times on the 46-kilometre-long path. Parts of the path touch on sections of the Harz border path and on the cycle routes on the Green Belt.

Border experiences between the Ilse and the Oker: Cycling on the Green Belt
Between the former border rivers, the Ilse and the Oker, from Hornburg in the north to Ilsenburg in the south, a circular cycle route, classified as easy, stretches across the flat to slightly hilly terrain of the Harz foothills. As a cyclist along the Green Belt, you get to know the delightful countryside and its history.
The day trip combines numerous treasures: Apart from the Veckenstedt pond landscape, 40 hectares in size, there is the 'Schimmerwald' on the old border by Stapelburg, Vienenburg with the oldest existing railway station in Germany and the Wöltingerode monastery estate, the shale corridors of the Oker riverbed, the protected landscape at the Fallstein, Osterwieck on the Romanic Road and the German 'Fachwerkstraße'.
Vienenburg, Schladen and Ilsenburg are ideal starting points if you are travelling by train.