Bark Beetle Trail at the Harz national park near Ilsenburg shows the devastations of the bark beetle: countless dead spruces that fell victim to the hungry insect. However, this area was never meant to be filled with spruces. For their fast growth, people planted them to produce charcoal - but spruces are a bark beetle's favourite dish. Nowadays, with no human intervention, a new, healthy mixed forest has started to emerge.
The trail shows how nature is best left alone, and how a functioning eco system simply regenerates itself. Hence, in a few years, no traces will be left of the once dead spruce forest. The trail is well signposted and easy to follow.
- You're traveling a distance of 2 miles on this easy trail. The hike is therefore not too long. Average length of all hikes in Saxony-Anhalt is 28 miles.
- Don’t hesitate to take your kids along on this easy hikes.
- Make sure to bring sturdy footwear on this track. Hiking boots are highly recommended.
Highlights of the tour
The remainings of the dead forest interspersed with fresh sprouts of newly growing trees are an absolute highlight.
Sturdy shoes are recommended.
You can easily reach the trail on public transportation. If you are staying overnight at Landkreis Harz, you get a HATIX holiday ticket at your hotel, which allows for free use of public buses. The trail starts in Ilsenburg. Bus line 260 goes there from Wernigerode, Stapelburg, or Abbenrode. From Ilsenburger Nagelschmiede, walk uphill along the forest and then turn right. The beginning of the trail is well signposted.