Nationale Naturlandschaften - National Natural Landscapes in Thuringia
National parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves
National parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves: rare animals and plants can be observed in no less than eight National Natural Landscapes in Thuringia. Each of the eight protected areas has its own charm and character.
Discover early blossoms and wild garlic in the Hainich, karst landscapes in the southern Harz, summer retreats in the Vessertal, grazing sheep in the Rhön, apple feasting and crane calls in the Kyffhäuser or hay wellness and hay roasting in the Thuringian Forest. Out and about with the nature guide, in the information centres or at events - the National Natural Landscapes never cease to surprise nature lovers!
8 Nationale Naturlandschaften in Thuringia
Nationale Naturlandschaften at a glance
Hainich National Park
A primeval forest in the heart of Germany? Yes, that is the Hainich. Nature can grow as it wishes. It is untouched and pristine here. The impressive variety of tree species and the size of the beech forests are best discovered from above – on the up to 24-metre high tree tops trail, which winds through the tops of the trees. Yoga classes are also possible up here.
Further information: www.nationalpark-hainich.de
Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werratal Nature Park
Three unique landscapes come together here. In the Eichsfeld, you will find Germany’s largest yew forests and can admire impressive tufa formations. In the Hainich, you can walk through a magical primeval forest. The Werra Valley impresses with grazed river meadows and the limestone rocks that rise up steeply from the river. On guided hikes, you will find out more about the local herbs, how to experience nature with all your senses or go on wilderness treks away from the paths.
Rhön UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Vast meadows and green pastures await you in the Rhön. It is affectionately known as the Land of Open Distances – if you’re lacking perspective, you will find it here! If you are looking for animal company, take the Schäferweg (shepherd’s path). You will meet a Rhön sheep or two along the way.
Thuringian Forest UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
The Thuringian Forest Biosphere Reserve is the oldest forest biosphere reserve in Germany. From high peaks – such as the Grosser Beerberg – a view of vast mixed mountain forests opens up. The Rennsteig, the oldest long-distance hiking trail, leads through deeply carved valleys, across flowering mountain meadows to small mountain brooks and small moors. The latter can, for example, be experienced on the Schützenberg moor nature trail near Oberhof – also a climatic spa. To strengthen your mind and body, take the AtemWeg (breathing trail) around Stützerbach with stops for breathing meditation or Kneipp exercises.
Further information: www.biosphaerenreservat-thueringerwald.de
Forest walks that make you feel the magic of wild nature. Breathtaking views and lasting insights into the importance of wild forests. The most beautiful and primeval forests of Thuringia can be experienced on the primeval forest trails. Photo: ©Max Boxleitner
Kyffhäuser Nature Park
The Kyffhäuser Trail in the park of the same name takes you through magical forests, across species-rich steps and past vast orchards. On the forest adventure trail, you will discover the forest with all of your senses, for example on the barefoot trail made of natural materials. From the well-known Kyffhäuser Monument, you have a wide view over the landscape. If you venture to look up to the sky in the autumn, you will see thousands of cranes making their way south. You can observe this in peace around the dam near Kelbra – at viewing points set up for the purpose.
Further information: www.naturpark-kyffhaeuser.de
Thuringian Highlands/Upper Saale Nature Park
It's all in the name: the nature park impresses with breath-taking slate landscapes. It is not far from the rocks to the water: the Land of the Thousand Ponds, also known as sky ponds, awaits you. Laid out by monks in the Middle Ages, it is now home to otters, scarlet dragonflies or water birds. On a circular trail with shelters and observation towers, you can marvel at the flora and fauna. You can also access the nature park via the reservoir region, the Thuringian Sea – in a relaxed manner by water or by foot along the many loops in the Saale.
Further information: www.thueringer-schiefergebirge-obere-saale.de
Thuringian Forest Nature Park
In what is probably the best known nature park, you will find extensive spruce forests and flowering mountain meadows, clear mountain brooks and hidden natural caves. The colourful meadows are not only filled with flowers that invite you to take a deep breath. On the herb nature trail around Oberweissbach, you will discover beneficial helpers from nature. Also recommended: a relaxed trip through the deep green forests on the Thuringian mountain railway. In the open convertible carriage, you have an unhindered view of the deep green forests and can enjoy a breeze of fresh forest air.
South Harz Nature Park
In the South Harz, endless gypsum landscapes with steep slopes, rock formations and caves await you. The “Kelle sink-hole” provides a special natural spectacle: a grotto with a lake. However, there is wild nature here too: in the Brandesbachtal Forest Reserve, everything grows wild so that a primeval forest will re-emerge over time. Fire salamanders and rare dragonflies make their home here – keep your eyes open!
Header: ©Gregor Lengler, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH