The circular hike around the former basalt mining area can be done comfortably in 1 hour.
At 3.7 kilometres, it is the shortest tour, but can also be extended halfway to a total of 7.9 kilometres (see D2). It starts at the foot of the Gauss Tower and leads first south and then west through the former mining area. Until 1971, basalt rock was mined on the Hoher Hagen - incidentally, once one of the northernmost volcanoes in Germany: This rock was formed around 14 million years ago when the African earth plate pressed against the European one and these movements had an impact on what is now southern Lower Saxony. After eruptions, the lava from the active volcanoes solidified into hexagonal basalt columns. This hard and weather-resistant basalt became a sought-after building material for road construction, especially from the beginning of the 19th century - roads paved with basalt stones still bear witness to this today. The stone was quarried at Hoher Hagen with hammers and hoes and transported away via lorries, and later even a four-kilometre-long cable railway was built to the Dransfeld railway station. At its peak, 500,000 tonnes were extracted per year. All in all, more than 3.5 million cubic metres of basalt and sand were quarried at Hohen Hagen. Along with recultivated and reforested areas, the trail leads into the Dransfeld municipal forest. This species-rich limestone beech forest is a so-called flora-fauna-habitat area and part of the European Natura 2000 system of protected areas. Passing the Giesekestein monument, the route returns to the quarrying area. The path leads along the old quarry edge; stations report on geology and basalt mining. The trail leads back to the car park via the "Haus Hoher Hagen" educational centre.
Source: Göttinger Land, Naturpark Münden e. V.