In Hainich National Park, part of the World Heritage region of Wartburg Hainach, world history comes face to face with nature: what was once a military exclusion zone is now the largest unbroken expanse of mixed deciduous forest in Europe.
This wild and untamed national park in Thuringia is located in the southern part of the Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werra Valley Nature Park. It is situated between the spa town of Bad Langensalza and the Wartburg Castle town of Eisenach. In winter, the best way to appreciate the beauty of the landscape is to take a sleigh ride. In spring and autumn, the Rennsteig Trail and other well-marked footpaths are popular with walkers.
High above the forest floor
At Hainich National Park you can be king of the forest. The treetop trail at Thiemsburg national park centre takes you up to a height of 44 metres above parts of the forest that would be virtually inaccessible from the ground.
A rendezvous with wildcats
Another highlight is the Hütscheroda Wildcat Village, where you can watch the wildcats having breakfast in a clearing in the forest. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the Rhön hills, Wartburg Castle and the Thuringian Forest from a 17-metre-high platform. The 'wildcats barn' provides fascinating facts on the local flora and fauna.
Walking amid ancient trees
A whole host of discovery trails showcase the beauty of the region. And if you've ever wanted to see a thousand-year-old tree, simply follow the Rennsteig to the ancient 'Betteleiche' oak.
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