Bavarian Forest National Park, known locally as Bayerischer Wald, is located on the southeastern border of Germany running alongside the Czech Republic. The protected forest combines with the Czech Republic’s Sumava National Park to create the largest protected contiguous forest in Central Europe.
The Bavarian Forest on the German side covers an area of 93.50 square miles (242.2 sq km) and was established as Germany’s first national park. The forest is comprised of spruce trees, European silver fir, European beech, Norway spruce, mixed mountain forest, highland forests, and water meadow spruce woods.
The national park is located in the highlands between the Danube River and the Bohemian Forest. The landscape is primarily short granite and gneiss hills covered and surrounded by the dense forest.
The Bavarian Forest national park features three key peaks of which GroBer Rachel is the highest with a summit of 4,767 feet (1,453 m). The other two peaks include Lusen at 4,505 feet (1,373 m) and GroBer Falkenstein at 4,281 feet (1,305 m).
Wildlife of the Bavarian Forest National Park includes popular animals like the lynx, the bear, and the wolf which make up the primary predators of the forest. Other mammalian species include deer, European bison, beaver, and otters.
The Bavarian Forest National Park is the epitome of a natural forest. It is a place that you escape to turn off the world and let nature do the talking. Driving through, hiking, and just exploring the wilderness is the reason to escape to this park.
The park has served as inspiration and settings for numerous pieces of literature as well as movie films. With the serene and peaceful rolling hills and abundance of rarely disturbed forests and valleys, it is no wonder that it fosters such inspiration.
Bavarian Forest National Park Trails:
The Bavarian Forest National Park is full of hiking trails that meander up and down and throughout the park. This is one of the best escapes into nature as well as ways to experience the area.
Baumwipfeldpfad Bayrischer Wald Trail
This is an easy trail that travels into the forest 1.2 miles (1.9 km) before returning back the same route. There is only an elevation change of 167 feet (50.9 m). This is a simple but great way to experience some of the forested landscape.
Baumwipfeldpfad und Tier-Freigelande
This easy trail is long but wheelchair accessible. It is a loop of 6.1 miles (9.8 km) providing an excellent opportunity to explore the Bavarian Forest and even catch glimpses of some of the wildlife.
Lusen Rundweg Trail
This is a 5.7-mile (9.2 km) with an elevation change of 1,240 feet (377.9 m). Although parts of it are boarded, it is rated moderate. Apart from the scenic forest, one of the highlights is the river.
Entlang des Schmalzbachs zum Schwellhausl Trail
This is a 6.7-mile (10.8 km) loop trail that meanders through the forest and along with one of the rivers in the park. It features an elevation gain of 1,007 feet (306.9 m) and is rated as a moderate trail.
Bavarian Forest Nationa Park was created to invest in the exquisite forests. Combined with Sumava National Par in neighboring Czech Republic, it is the largest protected contiguous forest in Central Europe.
The park was established to protect the habitat of lynx, wolf, brown bear, and other wildlife living in the forest. The German government also wanted to insure that its citizens and global visitors would always have this enchanting forested terrain to explore and enjoy.
Bavarian Forest Highlights
- The serenity of the dense forest and exploration of nature
- Bavaria, Through The Bavarian Forest with Ranger Kristen Biebl, https://www.bavaria.by/forest/ambassadors/ranger-bavarian-forest-national-park/, retrieved August 2019.
- Britannica, Bavarian Forest, https://www.britannica.com/place/Bavarian-Forest, retrieved August 2019.
- National Park Bayerischer Wald, Bavarian Forest, https://www.nationalpark-bayerischer-wald.bayern.de/english/, retrieved August 2019.
- National Geographic, Bavarian Forest National Park, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/parks/bavarian-forest-germany/, retrieved August 2019.