Between Göttingen and Hann. Münden on the grounds of the small city Dransfeld, Germany you can find the mountain Hoher Hagen. It is one of the most northern former volcanoes in Germany. In the past people came here for a coffee or a lunch in the restaurant at the now closed Gaußturm. But it is still worth a trip: you can walk through an old basalt quarry, enjoy good views or ride your sledge in winter times.
If you get by car to Dransfeld you can follow the signs to the Gaußturm up on mountain Hoher Hagen. Don’t worry – the narrow road is really leading there. At the end you will see the Haus Hoher Hagen (a seminar centre), the not so beautiful Gaußturm and a parking lot.
The famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauß came here, enjoyed the views and used the mountain to measure the size of the kingdom of Hannover. On the spot where is measurement point was you can find a plague telling the details. Close-by a tower was built in 1911 to give visitors better views. It was destroyed in 1963 because of the basalt quarry in front of it.
A year later the new Gaußturm was opened (paid for by the quarry company). From the 1980s to 2012 it hosted a restaurant and you could watch the landscape from a viewing platform. Today it is closed but groups can visit the platform after making an appointment with the owner of the camping ground in Dransfeld.
The basalt quarry at this place was an important employer in the area and was active from 1825 to 1971. Today there is a path with information about geology and the basalt quarry. It is really nice to walk through the old production site and see the strange structures in the basalt stone of volcanic origin.
As the top of the Hoher Hagen is at 492 meters over sea level the first snow can be observed here pretty early each year. There are different sections where you can enjoy riding your sledge. But even only for a walk it is a nice place – you only have to return to Dransfeld for your coffee afterwards.