The rather nondescript little town of BRAUNLAGE sits in a beautiful location in a cradle of hills that include the Wurmberg (971m), the Harz’s second-highest peak, whose regular snow has made it a reasonable small ski resort – with Germany’s longest cable-car. But it’s often off-puttingly busy at weekends and, in marginal winters, often slushy around its base. At these times, the better option is to repair to the excellent network of cross-country skiing trails on the rolling hills about town, or mess around on a toboggan – and there are good runs both on the Wurmberg and in town for this – look for signs to the Rodelbahn. Gear for all these winter activities is readily available in town: expect to pay around €20 for a ski or snowboard setup.
Braunlage is also a popular summer base for hikers and bikers, and the tourist office publishes useful free brochures on the local trail network.