The Harz National Park is a nature reserve set across the Harz Mountains; a landscape of forest, moors and flowing rivers. It was established in its current form by the merging of the Upper Harz National Park and the Harz National Park in Lower Saxony in 2006 following the two National Parks uniting.
The former German border ran though the Harz and large parts of the Harz were prohibited areas. The Brocken was used by the Soviet Union as a watching post. Today it is a protected area covering 15,800, hectares, where numerous varieties of wildlife flourish and rare animals have been reintroduced.
In the National Park visitors might catch a glimpse of red deer, roe deer and wild boar. Some of the rarer animals are the Dipper, the Black Stork, the Peregrine Falcon and the Lynx. The Harz National Park is in a ten year programme to reintroduce the Lynx back to the Harz. The last known wild Lynx was shot in 1818. If successful there should be 30 - 50 of these beautiful wild cats back in the Harz. Today you can walk the many walking trails such as the Goetheweg and Hexenstieg which take you across this mystical landscape. Or you can take the steam train to the summit of the Brocken or walk along the new 75km trail of the former German border which is part of the "Grunes Band Germany."