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In Germany’s oldest national park, Mother Nature is reclaiming her territory. The forest wilderness that is taking shape here is largely left to its own devices – set within the carefully managed landscape of the nature park. It is here that you’ll find the Grosser Arber: the highest (at 1,456 metres) and best known of the Bavarian Forest mountains.
The ‘Tierisch wild’ project in the Bavarian Forest National Park gives you access to nature-friendly activities in this unspoilt landscape in the border triangle of Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Austria, which – together with the adjoining Bohemian Forest national park – forms the largest area of protected forest in Europe.
Wild animals at close quarters
The national park centres feature spacious enclosures that faithfully recreate the natural habitat of the indigenous species, who spend their days doing what comes naturally to them – running, climbing, swimming, eating, sleeping or simply hiding away. Here, you can get up close to animals that you perhaps wouldn’t want to meet in the wild, including aurochs, bison and even wild horses. These mighty hoofed animals, which were indigenous to the area during the ice ages, can be seen from the visitor trail at Falkenstein National Park Centre. Its path leads to a dark, rocky cave with replica cave paintings depicting wild animals in true-to-life form. The Stone Age brought to life.
High above the forest floor you can enjoy nature in its purest form as well as unparalleled views – thanks to the world’s longest treetop path, at Lusen National Park Centre. A lift in the entry tower means older visitors, wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs can also get up amongst the treetops. The 1.3km boardwalk gives you an authentic experience of the forest from a totally new perspective. It ends at a platform on the viewing tower, 44 metres above the ground, where the views are simply glorious.
Helping out with conservation
Activity weeks in the Bavarian Forest National Park are a chance for you to experience the dynamic of the woods when they’re left to nature’s own devices. On guided walks, you’ll learn that you’re not only able to observe nature, you can also make use of it – particularly when it comes to the herbs: you first of all gather the wild herbs by the banks of the stream and then mix them together to make medicinal remedies and oils. The mountain pastures of Grosser Arber provide a precious habitat to highly endangered plant species such as Hungarian gentian and clubmoss. To ensure these species continue to thrive, the pastures must periodically be tended to, which includes cutting back bilberry bushes. It’s an opportunity to put what you’ve learned into practice, while also giving nature a helping hand.