The small yet mightily impressive Hainich National Park in central Germany is home to the largest unused area of deciduous woodland in the country. The national park's spectacular beech forests became a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site back in 2011 and they are home to wildcats, which you may be able to spot whilst exploring the wooded area if you're very lucky. For a stunning view and fascinating insights into the flora and fauna in the national park, check out the treetop trail and the accompanying information centre.
You can reach great heights at the Hainich National Park if you venture up to the treetop trail, which is the second longest and the highest in Germany, with a fully accessible viewing platform at 44 metres. You can really see things from a new perspective when you emerge out of the woods and start to walk over the leafy canopy that stretches out as far as the eye can see.
The National Park Centre is home to an interactive exhibition about the ancient Hainich woodland, the conservation of natural habitats and their residents. Younger visitors in particular are sure to be impressed by the chance to get involved with the hands-on exhibits. You should definitely remember to keep your hands to yourself, though, when visiting the Hütscheroda Wildcat Village. But there's still plenty of opportunity to admire the creatures, learn about them and watch them being fed.
The magnificent Wartburg Castle is just a stone's throw away from the national park. This monument of historical significance is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are plenty of guided tours, events and exhibitions offering culture vultures plenty of opportunities to get to know the local area better.
Hop on board a well-equipped Deutsche Bahn train to visit the Hainich National Park via Eisenach, Bad Langensalza or Mühlhausen/Thuringia.
You can find the best train route here or on the DB Navigator app.
Top tip: Make sure you enter your exact starting and finishing points in when searching for a route.
For example: Stephensonstrasse 1, Gallus, Frankfurt to Thiemsburg 1, Schönstedt.
You can also find international super saver fares on the Deutsche Bahn website.
Getting around the local area
Local transport operators run an extensive network to get you where you need to be without stress or delay. All the main attractions, towns and villages are well connected during the peak season, with the Hainich Bus (line 150), the National Park Bus (line 154) and the Culture Bus (line 160) all running.
You can find out more about getting around the local area online.
Black Forest National Park and
The two nature parks in the Black Forest promise unforgettable experiences surrounded by nature and a stunning cultural landscape. The national park is a little bit on the wilder side, with perfectly intact habitats that provide undisrupted homes for native flora and fauna.
Thuringian Forest Biosphere Reserve and
The oldest and best-known hiking trail in Germany, the Rennsteig, covers almost 170 km through the region in the centre of Germany, linking the Thuringian Forest Nature Parks and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It sure does pay to be well connected!