Let’s face it.
Most teenagers don’t want to go hiking with their parents.
There are just too few computers, social media and youtubers on the trails.
In other words: Boooooooring.
So which options do you have as a parent, if you really want to spend time with your teen outdoor?
You may forgo hiking and instead book an all-inclusive vacation to a popular resort in Southern Europe where your teen has access to the desired media.
Or you could organize hikes at a destination that offers outdoor adventures and activities that your teen may fancy.
Well, I would definitely go with the latter option since we gain so many important qualities from hiking – excercise, meaningful conversations, common experiences – that strengthen our family ties.
The Harz in Germany is a paradise for nature lovers who want to go hiking with their families.
The national park offers several adventures and awesome activities for your teen near the trails: Exciting mines, historic spots, mountain steam trains, toboggan runs, cable cars and much more.
Here are two trails you should check out when you are there.
Mount Brocken – the Highest Peak of Northern Germany
Whenever I take my son on outdoor adventures it’s important to me that his interests, dreams and wishes are respected.
In this respect Mount Brocken (1141 metres) was perfect because it let me combine the hiking with other activities that he likes.
So we decided to go by steam train to the summit and then walk down.
We boarded the train in the village of Schierke 5,4 km from the mountain summit. My son thought the train was cool because you could stand outside, have a chit-chat and enjoy the beautiful scenery while the train took us to the summit.
We both looked forward to reaching the summit since this is a historic spot.
Mount Brocken laid in East Germany’s border zone during the Cold War, where The Soviet Union and East Germany used the mountain for surveillance and espionage. The mountain was not accessible for the public untill 1989.
My teen is a sucker for history, particularly Second World War and the subsequent Cold War, and was therefore very happy to visit The Brockenhaus Museum on the summit. The museum lets you study the dramatic story of The Cold Ward, the Eastern Bloc’s espionage of West Germany and the wall that was erected here.
Oker Tal — the secret hiking area
Apart from Mount Brocken we really enjoyed hiking in the Oker Tal area during our time in the Harz.
Mass tourism hasn’t really discovered Oker Tal yet. This means that you can walk long distances here without meeting other hikers and thus enjoy the nice views, witches, waterfalls and interesting mountain formations in peace and quiet.
In the area, you find a large number of interconnected trails with different lengths and levels of difficulty.
It is therefore very recommendable to stop by the tourist agency in the nearby city of Goslar before you go hiking in the area. The agency offers maps with route recommendations that allow you to plan hikes that suit your family’s needs and level.
The agency may also guide you to nice cafées and restaurants in the area. My teen really likes taking a break at local restaurants to taste local dishes and specialities.
My son was also thrilled about our subsequent visit in the Rammelsberg Mine near Goslar that is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
The mine offers interesting guided tours in the underground tunnels where silver, copper and lead have been extracted for over 1,000 years.
Give Your Teen a Hiking Experience That’ll Have Them Wanting More
The Harz is an amazing hiking area and perfect for an active vacation with your teen.
Sure, it would be easy to choose a popular tourist resort for your family vacation that offers all sorts of popular activities.
But you want something more than that for your teen and family, right?
You want to get your teen off screens, share magic moments in a unique hiking area and strengthen the family ties.
Two amazing trails in the Harz will get you started off right.
So book your tickets to the Harz and give your teen an unforgettable outdoor adventure.