The Bavarian Forest is the oldest national park in Germany. Nature has been allowed a free reign in this unspoilt highland region, 95 per cent of which is covered by forest. Together with the Bohemian Forest National Park adjoining it to the east, the Bavarian Forest National Park is the largest unbroken area of protected forest in central Europe.
Visitors are warmly welcomed to experience the fascinating process of an ever-evolving forest wilderness at close hand. A network of clearly marked footpaths, cycle routes and cross-country ski trails offers visitors plenty of opportunity to enjoy the beauties of the national park in summer and winter.
In Bavaria, in south-eastern Germany, the country´s first national park was founded in 1970. In 1997, its total surface area was extended to 243 square kilometers. Leaving nature to its own devices − this is the philosophy of the Bavarian Forest National Park. In fact, here nature can develop freely according to its very own eternal laws on a surface area which, in its size, is unique in Europe. Most people who like Black Forest like the Bavarian Forest too.
Visitors are very much welcome and invited to experience the exciting processes which take place during the redevelopment of a forest wilderness. Besides extensive woodland areas, the national park offers mountain peaks with fascinating vistas of nearly endless forests which cover the mountain range representing the Bavarian-Bohemian border, mysterious bogs, crystal clear mountain streams and Lake Rachelsee, the park‘s only glacial lake.
The fauna, which is characteristic of this region, is the result of a rather harsh, slightly continental climate with high snowfall in the winter, increased by large differences in altitude between 600 to 1,453 meters. Besides the eagle-owl, the ural owl and the raven, which have been reintroduced to this area, the otter, the capercaille, the hazel grouse, the Eurasian Pygmy Owl and the Three-toed Woodpecker belong to the indigenous fauna.
A network comprising more than 300 kilometers of well-signposted hiking routes, nearly 200 kilometers of bicycle routes and about 80 kilometers of cross-country ski runs give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beauties of the national park‘s characteristic nature, both in summer and in winter.