Germany is well known as one of the world’s most historical nations with numerous attractions to visit, but there’s also a lot of beautiful countryside to explore as well. If you’d like to visit some of the nation’s most attractive landscapes, you should consider a visit to the Bavarian Forest National Park.
It’s definitely not the largest park in the world at 93 square miles in total size, but it still has a lot to offer nature lovers. The park was established back in 1970 and the philosophy of the management team is to simply let nature be nature, meaning there’s hardly any interference at all from human hands. The park more or less grows wild and it’s filled with wild bogs and forests.
(photo by marcs-album)
Back in 1983, parts of the forest were destroyed by an enormously destructive thunderstorm. After the storm had finished it was found that some of the parks spruce trees had been uprooted. After further inspection, the number of trees that had been damaged was found to number in the thousands. However, the natural disaster was also deemed a part of nature and park officials decided to let the forest grow wild without replacing the trees.
Bavarian Forest National Park attracts quite a lot of birdwatchers due to the uncommon and rare species that can be found here. These include the pygmy owl, which is the smallest owl in Europe, as well as the three-toed (white-backed) woodpecker. There are also about 45 endemic species which can be found in the park centers and wildlife enclosures.
The wildlife areas also give you an excellent chance to get a close-up look at some magnificent animals such as bears, boars, wolves, and European bison among others.
There are some fantastic reminders of the Ice Age that took place 10,000 years ago in the park, including Lake Rachel and glacial moraines. If you’d like to see some of the park’s colorful plants and flowers, you can head over to the Hans-Eisenstein-Haus center as it features an extensive natural garden. There are over 700 different species of plants in this popular exhibit.
The Bavarian Forest National Park was the first national park in Germany. It stretches alongside the mountains which border Bohemia and Bavaria. If you travel over to the Czech Republic side of this border there’s another national park which was established in 1991 called Bohemian (Sumava) National Park. This park takes a similar management approach as the German park and they represent tone of central Europe’s largest forest areas.
If you’re flying, Munich (Germany) airport is about 100 miles away and Prague (Czech Republic) is about the same distance. You can also reach many of the park’s entry points by train and bus. The best time to visit this amazing park is during the summer. However, if you’re into winter sports you may want to go when the snow falls since you’ll be able to enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. There are numerous free tours available throughout the year.
There’s plenty of opportunity to get some exercise in the park as there is close to 200 miles of hiking trails to explore as well as cycling trails. When the winter arrives, there are 50 miles of trails for cross-country skiers. You’ll also find numerous campsites as well as forest cottages and mountain inns if you’d like to spend several days exploring the park.