Near to Lake Constance, where the Alps begin and the landscape is characterised by its unusual geology, the Nagelfluhkette Nature Park is part of a diverse landscape comprising biospheres and national parks.
Where the Allgäu meets the Bregenzerwald Forest, a picture-book landscape of biodiverse alpine meadows, magnificent peaks, rugged gorges and idyllic towns has evolved over hundreds of years. Central Europe's newest nature reserve, the Nagelfluhkette was given protected status in 2008 and is so far the only reserve to have a foot in both Germany and Austria. For its 15 member towns and villages, the top priority is to make the reserve a showcase for sustainable regional development. From rare animals and raging waterfalls to the 'hobnailed' rockface and mountain pastures in full bloom, Nagelfluhkette is an endless voyage of discovery. As its name suggests (literally 'nail rockface hills'), geology plays an important role in the reserve. The Nagelfluh rock consists of river pebbles which have become cemented together, giving the appearance of nails that have been hammered in so hard that only their heads are visible. Over a relatively small area of just 405 square kilometres, the reserve comprises a large number of different habitats and the flora and fauna that thrive in them. These biodiverse alpine areas and unspoilt mixed forest are the result of careful land management by man. Look out here for the golden eagle, the rare mountain Apollo butterfly and the 'signature plant' of alpine meadows, the carline thistle.