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Features[ edit ] The Harz hiking badge is significantly different from many other hiking badge systems. In addition there are special themed hiking badges that may be earned.

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It is also worthwhile buying a set of 3 maps on which the checkpoints are marked, although this information can be found in other ways, including the organiser's website. The Foreman Steiger and Emperor Kaiser badges can only be obtained from the Harzer Wandernadel main office in Blankenburg, which is only open Monday to Friday during working hours.

Harz Mining Foreman Steiger different control points, of which 22 are special checkpoints connected with mining in the Harz stamps: For example, there are hardly any other places where there is a system with as many as control points crossing state and district boundaries.

The first checkpoints were set up in ; since the current system of control points has been available.


In addition the system helps tourists and locals to get to know the many, varied and attractive sights and hiking trails in the Harz. Purpose[ edit ] The idea of the Wandernadel "hiking badge" is to give those holidaying in the Harz a worthwhile goal to achieve and encourage them to stay for longer or return.

For example there is one for collecting 11 stamps on checkpoints located on the Harzer Hexenstieg the "Harz Witch's Path". There are no plans to extend it, however the checkpoints are sometimes relocated to different places in the Harz.

Resonance[ edit ] The system soon gained extraordinary popularity, as can clearly be seen from the number of walkers stamping their passes at the control points. In addition the system is relatively well protected from vandalism and can be set up anywhere on the terrain, whilst with other systems the checkpoints are at restaurants, shops, etc.

The website first published its English pages in with the support of the British garrison in Hohne.

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Harz Hiking Emperor Wanderkaiser or Empress Wanderkaiserin The awards may be earned over any period of time; there is no time limit within which the stamps have to be collected. Hiking badge system[ edit ] Harz hiking badges are awarded at several levels depending on the number of checkpoints reached verified by stamping a pass book: The pass must be stamped at each checkpoint.

Process for getting a hiking badge[ edit ] Before visiting checkpoints and starting to collect stamps, the hiker first needs to buy a hiking pass book Wanderpass ; these can be obtained cheaply online or in the tourist and spa facilities in the towns and villages of the Harz, in participating pubs within the network and in some bookshops.

With a few exceptions, the checkpoints can only be reached on foot or bicycle.

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Harz hiking badge in bronze 16 stamps: Some of examples of checkpoints in the Harzer Wandernadel are listed below: Harz hiking badge in gold 50 stamps: These special stamps are only collector's items and do not count towards any award.

It is also possible, in addition to collecting all stamps, to collect several additional special stamps that are recorded at the end of a walking pass. In alone about 10, hiking passes were sold.

To that end, checkpoints have been located at scenic viewing points, places of geological or botanical interest and locations that are either rich in culture or steeped in history.

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Harz hiking badge in silver 24 stamps: It also aims to encourage those who live in the local area to go hiking and improve their fitness. This ensures that vandalism should not prevent hikers from collecting points towards their badges.

Because the control points are spread across a km long and 30 - 40 km wide range of low mountains, that can only mean that individuals have spent a total of several weeks driving by car or motorcycle to the area of the checkpoints, and then walking or cycling on the hiking trails.

If the stamp is missing or damaged, a code number can be noted down as an alternative. Unlike other hiking badge projects, the hassle of enrolling as a 'customer' is avoided, because the stamps may be collected freely without needing to supply anyone with a telephone number or address. On gaining the requisite number of stamps, the pass is handed in again at a counter and the badges can be bought at little cost after the pass has been checked.