Oberhof was settled in 1641, and remained a small town until the late 19th century, when the town, then in Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was connected to the railway line from Erfurt to Ritschenhausen, and skiers and other tourists discovered the place.
From the early 1900s onwards, Oberhof became a center for winter sports, with luge, nordic skiing, and ski jumping taking place in the town's regularly updated sports facilities. In recent years the town has also seen the construction of lift-equipped alpine skiing slopes and an international competition standard biathlon stadium. Their bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track has hosted many world and European championships in luge.
In August 2009 the first German ski tunnel opened in Oberhof.
Oberhof, Germany is twinned with: