Christina/ September 6, 2020/ The daily grind

This saturday we are starting a hike around Scharzfeld. On our list are the Steinkirche on top of the Steinberg, der Große Knollen, the Einhornhöhle and the ruins of the castle Scharzfeld. With about 17km and 600 metres difference in altitude the tour is quite challenging and long. Unfortunately en route a hyetal region upset our plans, so that we have to cut our way back a little bit shorter and leave out the ruins. The hike is nice because of the spectacular view from the top of the lookout at the mountain hut of the Große Knollen and also because paradise is just 4.3 kilometres away from that height.

Jahn, the father of gymnastics
Just at the beginning of our hike there is one place of interest after the other. We start at the parking lot of the Mönchetal, which is directly located at the B27. Upon a look on the information board of the Harzer Baudenstieg close to the parking space we get a general idea of today’s walking tour: the roundtrip of Scharzfeld. Right after 500 metres and some difference in altitude we reach the so called Steinkirche, a former cult site. Archaeologists have it that this place has already been active 15.000 years (!!!) ago. It used to be reindeer hunter’s rest area.
I am even more fascinated with the marvellous view from the Steinberg, overlooking the towns of Scharzfeld, Barbis and Clausthal-Zellerfeld. Also the Karstwanderweg starts here and crosses the Harzer Baudenstieg. We just dragged ourselves away from this wonderful place when we spot the next place of interest: a memorial sign of Jahn, the father of gymnastics. Oh, he has been here as well? However, his affords to limber up the youth were not without an ulterior motive.

Almost in paradise
Just behind the memorial we walk into the forest. We follow the signs to the aviator’s memorial on the Fulge and to the Große Knollen. From now on it is uphill only for 7.5 kilometres. After 30 minutes we reach another benchmark. This time it has been errected in memory of two Czech aviators, who died at this place on July 30th, 1936 on their way to Olympia.

We start our long ascent through the forest to the top of the Große Knollen. The path is neither very interesting nor does it have a view. However, the compensation comes with the climb on top of the Große Knollen, a mountain close to Herzberg. The hut over there is quite packed this day, even though the weather is quite cold and rainy. We are carried on top of the hill by the beats and sounds of young people carrying a colossal boom box.

On the Große Knollen we spoil ourselves with a nice rest having pea soup, beer and coffee for lunch. Although I have been twice on the Großen Knollen already I have not been on top of the lookout so far. I have to catch up with that today. In fact today’s weather conditions are not perfect, however the ascent is worth the effort anyway. The panoramic view from top of the outlook is gorgeous, you can even see the Brocken.

Back down I come across paradise, almost. A signpost tells me that it is only 4.3 km away from here – unfortunately in the wrong direction. We are heading towards the Einhornhöhle instead and enjoy the descend after the struggle up.

Rain break
It begins to rain on the Schnabelweg. Hm, my weather app told me that there will only be a little chance of rain this day. However, it kind of pours down now so that we have to look out for some shelter. At the next curve we discover a refuge. We take it for a small consultancy break. We decide to make a short cut and leave out the castle ruins and go to the Einhornhöhle instead.
From the parking lot of the Einhornhöhle we head towards the Steinkirche. Via a small and nice path we cross the Karstwanderweg again. However the trail seems to be wet and slippery by the rain therefore we decide to walk through Scharzfeld instead and get back to our parking lot. Overall the roundtrip of Scharzfeld is a challenging hike with beautiful views and nice places of interest.

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