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Ortsteil of Altenau
Location of Torfhaus
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Coordinates: 51°48′09″N10°32′12″E / 51.80250°N 10.53667°E / 51.80250; 10.53667 Coordinates: 51°48′09″N10°32′12″E / 51.80250°N 10.53667°E / 51.80250; 10.53667
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Goslar
Town Altenau
780 m (2,560 ft)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 05320

Torfhaus is a village in the borough of the mining town of Altenau in the Harz mountains of Germany and lies at a height of about 800 m above  sea level (NN) . It is the highest settlement in Lower Saxony.


This small settlement consists mainly of restaurants, youth hostels, ski huts and large car parks. A resort area with hotel and cabins was built in 2012/2013. The B 4 federal road, which is a major traffic route, runs from Brunswick to the north via Torfhaus to Braunlage and on into the South and East Harz.

Today Torfhaus is a popular start point for walks along the Goethe Way to the Brocken, but also to the historic Dreieckiger Pfahl boundary stone and on over the mountains of the Wurmberg or Achtermannshöhe to Braunlage.


View of Torfhaus from the Goethe Way Torfhaus.jpg
View of Torfhaus from the Goethe Way

Torfhaus lies about 7 km east of Altenau and roughly 9 km south of Bad Harzburg in the Upper Harz. The river Radau rises east of Torfhaus on the Torfhaus Moor (also called Radauborn Moor).

Tourism and sport

Torfhaus lies at the heart of the Harz National Park and has inter alia a national park visitor centre, opened in 2009, as well as a youth hostel run by the German Youth Hostel Association. Numerous hiking trails, such as the Goethe Way, that runs to the Brocken, and is part of the Harz Witches' Trail, and mountain biking trails run through Torfhaus. Racing and touring cyclists generally prefer to cycle to Torfhaus via the Landstraße 504 from Altenau, which is also called the "Steep Face" (Steile Wand); [1] The Bundesstraße  4, with its heavy motor traffic, is only used for round trips as an unavoidable route section. The cafe Brockenblick ("Brocken view") is a popular meeting point for motorcyclists. In winter, Torfhaus has various cross country skiing routes as well as hiking trails. There is also a toboggan run with a lift and a ski slope with a drag lift.

The Goethe Way runs along the Torfhausmoor (a raised bog). It is accessible on a board walk installed by the national park and enables as good view of the Brocken.

View over the raised bog to the Brocken Hochmoor-Torfhaus-Harz-Panorama.jpg
View over the raised bog to the Brocken

Related Research Articles

Harz Low mountain range in northern Germany

The Harz is a highland area in northern Germany. It has the highest elevations for that region, and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart, Latinized as Hercynia. The Brocken is the highest summit in the Harz with an elevation of 1,141.1 metres (3,744 ft) above sea level. The Wurmberg is the highest peak located entirely within the state of Lower Saxony.


The Brocken, also sometimes referred to as the Blocksberg, is the highest peak of the Harz mountain range and also the highest peak of Northern Germany; it is located near Schierke in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt between the rivers Weser and Elbe. Although its elevation of 1,141 metres (3,743 ft) is below alpine dimensions, its microclimate resembles that of mountains of about 2,000 m (6,600 ft). The peak above the tree line tends to have a snow cover from September to May, and mists and fogs shroud it up to 300 days of the year. The mean annual temperature is only 2.9 °C (37.2 °F). It is the easternmost mountain in northern Germany; travelling east in a straight line, the next prominent elevation would be in the Ural Mountains in Russia.

Wurmberg Gondola Lift

The Wurmberg Gondola Lift is a monocable gondola lift with a length of 1.7 miles (2.7 km), built in 1963, leading from the Braunlage tourist resort within the Harz mountain range on the top of the 3,185 feet (971 m) high Wurmberg mountain.

Sankt Andreasberg Stadtteil of Braunlage in Lower Saxony, Germany

Sankt Andreasberg is a former town in the district of Goslar, in Lower Saxony, Germany. Since 1 November 2011, it is part of the town Braunlage. It is situated in the Harz, approximately 7 km west of Braunlage proper, and 20 km east of Osterode am Harz.

Schierke Stadtteil of Wernigerode in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Schierke is a village and a former municipality in the Harz district, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. Since 1 July 2009, it is part of the town Wernigerode. Situated within the Harz mountain range in the valley of the Bode River, at the rim of the Harz National Park, it is mainly a tourist resort, especially for hiking and all kinds of winter sports.


At 925 m above sea level (NN), the Achtermannshöhe in the Harz National Park is the third highest mountain in Lower Saxony and the fourth highest in the Harz mountains.

Wurmberg (Harz)

At 971 m above sea level (NN) the Wurmberg is the second highest mountain in the Harz and the highest in Lower Saxony (Germany).


At 927 m above sea level (NN), the Bruchberg in the Upper Harz is the second highest mountain in Lower Saxony and the third highest in the Harz mountains in North Germany. It lies between Altenau and Torfhaus in the middle of the Harz National Park. The Bruchberg is more like a plateau and has no real summit. This plateau is partly covered with trees, but on the sunny southern slopes the trees have largely died as a result of bark beetle infestation. Following this insect destruction, a new natural forest, rich in its variety of species, is now growing in the heart of the Harz National Park.

Königsberg (Brocken)

The Königsberg is a neighbouring peak of the Brocken and, at 1033.5 m above sea level the third highest elevation in the Harz mountains. It lies on a long ridge that runs from southeast to northwest about 1.5 km south of the Brocken's summit. Near its summit on the northwest side is the rock formation of Hirschhörner. To the east the land descends to the Schwarze Schluftwasser, a small tributary of the Kalte Bode which flows south of the mountain. To the east on the far side of the Schwarzer Schluftwasser is the Heinrichshöhe, another subpeak of the Brocken.

Ravensberg (Harz)

The Ravensberg is a 659 m high mountain in the South Harz mountains in the German state of Lower Saxony. It is relatively isolated and visible for a long way. It lies in the district of Göttingen, north of Bad Sachsa.

Upper Harz

The Upper Harz refers to the northwestern and higher part of the Harz mountain range in Germany. The exact boundaries of this geographical region may be defined differently depending on the context. In its traditional sense, the term Upper Harz covers the area of the seven historical mining towns (Bergstädte) - Clausthal, Zellerfeld, Andreasberg, Altenau, Lautenthal, Wildemann and Grund - in the present-day German federal state of Lower Saxony. Orographically, it comprises the Harz catchment areas of the Söse, Innerste and Grane, Oker and Abzucht mountain streams, all part of the larger Weser watershed.

Harzer Hexenstieg

The Harz Witches' Trail is a footpath, just under 100 km long, in Germany that runs from Osterode through the Harz mountains and over its highest peak, the Brocken, to Thale. It is a project by the Harz Transport Association and Harz Club and is part of the system of trails known as the Harzer Wandernadel.


The Renneckenberg is a mountain, roughly 933 metres (3,061 ft) high, in the High Harz part of the Harz mountain range of central Germany within the borough of Wernigerode in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Goethe Way is the name given to a number of footpaths or trails that run through various regions in Germany and the Alps as well as a railway station on the Brocken Railway. They are all named after the German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Dreieckiger Pfahl

The Dreieckige Pfahl is an historic boundary stone, about 1.35 metres high and made of granite, located southwest of the Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz Mountains of central Germany. The stone, erected before 1866, marked the border between the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Brunswick. Originally this spot was a tripoint. During the division of Germany the border between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany ran past the Dreieckiger Pfahl. Today it marks the border between the states of Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony, the post lying just within the Lower Saxon side. During the Cold War it was accessible from the west.

The Eckerloch is a forested mountain valley, 845 metres above sea level near the village of Schierke in the Harz Mountains of central Germany.

Scharfenstein (Ilsenburg)

The Scharfenstein is a mountain, 697.6 m above sea level (NN) high, in the Harz Mountains of Germany, near Ilsenburg in the district of Harz in Saxony-Anhalt. It is part of the Harz National Park.

The Ahrensklint or Ahrentsklint in the Harz Mountains is a granite rock formation, 822.4 m above sea level (NN), on the Erdbeerkopf in Harz district in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.


The Dehnenkopf in the Harz Mountains of central Germany is a summit about 775 m above sea level (NN) near Torfhaus in the unincorporated area of Harz in the county of Goslar in Lower Saxony.


  1. "Höhenprofil Steile Wand" . Retrieved 22 August 2009.