It’s not difficult to escape the city and enter a blissful sanctuary in Germany. After all, the country is covered in forested hills and mountains. This makes Germany a great place to effortlessly immerse yourself in nature. In fact, national parks are the perfect locations to do so. With that said, here are 5 must-visit national parks in Germany.
1. The Bavarian Forest National Park (Bayerischer Wald)
The Bavarian Forest National Park offers hiking, cycling, skiing, and snowshoeing adventures. Hiking trails are spread over 300 kilometres of the park. These include looping trails, out-and-back trails, and longer trails. It comes as no surprise that this national park’s long-distance hiking trails are certified for quality. Also, if you’re looking for more adventure, the park has got you covered. Freely explore fun trails in the forest playground.
Along with hiking trails, enjoy many fun cycling routes throughout the national park. A 200-kilometre web of bike paths is laid out with guiding signs. However, only cycle on the marked routes.
Due to snow in winter, there are about 80 kilometres of cross-country ski trails leading through the park. Of course, not everyone is up for skiing, we get that. So, throw on some snowshoes and hike the trails still available. Especially when the park is covered with thick snow. If skiing is something you want to try out have a look at the top 4 ski resorts in Germany. Furthermore, enjoy the diverse animal and plant species at the Bavarian National Park in summer or winter.
2. Black Forest National Park (Nationalpark Schwarzwald)
The large Black Forest National Park is in southwest Germany. Established in 2014, this was the first national park in Baden-Württemberg. Interestingly, the culture-rich spa town of Baden-Baden is the gateway to the park. Apart from breathtaking views of high mountains, animals roam around freely in nature.
What’s more, tours and events are hosted for those who want to know more about this undisturbed natural setting. The tours focus on traditional farmhouse visits, cuckoo clocks workshops, and Black Forest Gateaux tastings. Black Forest Park also has long-distance walking trails for those who are keen.
However, these long-distance trails require a certain level of fitness and some hiking equipment. If you are a hiking addict, move to the southern or central part of the park for more great trails to hike. As you can see, Black Forest is the national park to visit for unique and exciting activities and a variety of hiking trails.
3. Saxon Switzerland National Park (Sächsische Schweiz)
Don’t let “Switzerland” in the name confuse you. Although it doesn’t sound like it, Saxon Switzerland National Park is located in Saxony, Germany. 40% of this national park is covered by woodland and grants, making it the highest natural protection in Germany. Besides the woodlands, Saxon Switzerland is a rocky canyon landscape.
Saxon Switzerland offers nature conservation which limits hiking and climbing. As a result, there are 400 kilometres of hiking trails marked here. Be sure to not stray from the allocated paths. Also, 50 kilometres of cycling trails are marked. Once again, it is compulsory to use signposted walking and cycling routes.
Not only is hiking and biking popular here but rock climbing is too. Because of the sandstone cliffs in Saxon Switzerland, the park attracts tons of tourists and residents every year. Be cautious, however, due to the sandstone.
For your safety, follow the rules set by the national park. For example, no climbing is allowed when the rocks are wet or crumbling. Metal equipment is also not permitted. Furthermore, do not use chemical aids like magnesia. Finally, end your day at one of the lovely mountain restaurants. You deserve it.
4. Hainich National Park (Nationalpark Hainich)
Hainich is the only national park in Thuringia, Germany. The park protects an ancient native beech forest with large trees capable of reaching lengths up to 35 metres. As a result, Hainich offers you views of a special kind. Huge deciduous trees, rare animals, and colourful orchids growing wild. Surely, Hainich National Park is a special habitat with many rare species.
Why not take on a wellness activity by tackling one of the 26 hiking trails in this national park? In fact, 13 of them are easy. However, advanced hikers can get on a more strenuous hiking trail. Walking paths that don’t lead up mountains are also available. What’s more, Hainich welcomes your entire family.
Besides the many walking and hiking trails, a thrilling treetop trail awaits. It starts at a regular hiking trail and takes you to the top of the forest. Here, you find yourself at treetops above the forest. If you are bold enough, why not cross the rope bridges to sway with the trees at crazy heights? Hainich is definitely the perfect blend between nature and adventure.
5. Eifel National Park (Nationalpark Eifel)
The last national park we look at is the Eifel National Park. Just like Hainich National Park, Eifel is a conservation for deciduous forests. Additionally, the forest is home to wildcats, red deer, eagles, and owls. For this reason, explore the park with a ranger.
This large park crosses Belgium’s national borders. When hiking around, expect an abundance of dark blue lakes, rivers, dams, bubbling streams, and forested mountain ranges. Remember to look at the several types of orchids along the rivers. What’s more, the park surrounds a World War II military training ground. Tours are available if you want to visit both Eifel Park and the war ground.
Be mindful that the park is a dark sky oasis with strict light pollution regulations. The park is known for its diverse range of activities. The astronomy workshop, ‘Stars without Borders’ is one of them. It is a regular event that takes place at the Vogelsang Observatory at Eifel. You will never be bored here.
End of Your Walk in the Park
Walking and hiking carry many physical benefits. Thus, combining the wellness activity with stunning scenery is only beneficial for you. And with so many parks to choose from, you there is no chance of disappointment. With beautiful trails and amazing wildlife, a visit to a German National Park is truly ein spaziergang im park (a walk in the park as the Germans say)!