Harz Mountains, Germany


The Harz Mountains National Park is a nature reserve in central Germany that is almost entirely covered by spruce and beech forests. The Harz provides spectacular hiking, wildlife watching, winter sports, spas, and unique historic sites such as the Brocken – the setting for a memorable scene in Gothe’s Faust. The park is also home to wildlife such as dipper, black stork, peregrine falcon, European wildcat, and Eurasian lynx. Lynx died out in the Harz in 1818 but were reintroduced in 1999 and have repopulated the forest. Since the reintroduction, the village of Bad Harzburg on the southern edge of the park has branded itself as the ‘kingdom of lynx’ . With lynx based t-shirts, statues, and stuffed toys covering every surface!

Average rating: 3.5 (good)

Average spend per person: $125 ($125 – $125)

Number of reports: 2

Best time to visit: June – September

Typical activities: animal watching, hiking

Wildife in the Harz Mountains

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the species visitors most want to see here are as follows:


The main wildlife attraction in the Harz – and the focus of almost every shop and building in Bad Harzburg – is lynx. A study of lynx tourism in the area estimated that lynx were an important reason for over half of all visits to the park, and help to generate between £7-11 million a year.

As part of the reintroduction process, an enclosure was built in the park which allows visitors to view captive lynx from a platform. The enclosure is based at Rabenklippe which can be accessed by a bus or a ~4 km hike from the town. Lynx are fed at 14:30 every day and a short talk is given (in German!) about the reintroduction project. The real draw, however, is the chance to look out for wild lynx while hiking through a forest straight out of a German fairy tale. Chances are you won’t see one but the feeling that they are out there watching you is a magical one.

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