The Bavarian Forest National Park (German: Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald) is a national park in the Eastern Bavarian Forest immediately on Germany's border with the Czech Republic. It was founded on 7 October 1970 as the first national park in Germany. Since its expansion on 1 August 1997 it has covered an area of 24,250 hectares. Together with the neighbouring Czech Bohemian Forest, the Bavarian Forest forms the largest contiguous area of forest in Central Europe.
Conservation & History
Especially protected are the Norway spruce–dominated highland forests, mixed mountain forests of European silver fir, European beech and spruce trees and water meadow spruce woods in the valleys. Although a few remnants of ancient forest remain, the National Park area is still heavily influenced by the former forestry industry. Since nature is now left to take its course again, there is no human intervention when there are catastrophic events such as large scale bark beetle infestation. This resulted in the death of a portion of the high elevation forests in the 1990s and triggered controversial discussions amongst the residents of the National Park, which highlighted differing attitudes to the wilderness. As the result of a compromise, bark beetle is now fought in the buffer area.
The highest peaks in the National Park are the Großer Falkenstein (1,305 m (4,281 ft)), the Lusen (1,373 m (4,505 ft)) and the Großer Rachel (1,453 m (4,767 ft)). In addition to the forests, there are also ecologically valuable raised bogs with bog lakes such as the Latschensee and former high meadows, the so-called Schachten, which spread even further on the Czech side of the border in the Bohemian Forest.
With over 700,000 visitors per year, the National Park is an important economic factor in the economically underdeveloped region of the Bavarian Forest.
From the main station in Munich, take the Regional Express toward Passau main station and transfer at Plattling station. From there, take the regional train to Ludwigsthal.
Take the A92 from Munich to the Deggendorf junction and then follow signs to Bavarian Forest National Park - Zwiesel. Follow the National Park (B11/E53) signs toward Patersdorf and farther to Regen. At the end of the main thoroughfare, Ludwigsthal, you'll reach the parking lot at "Haus zur Wildnis".
You can reach Ludwigsthal with the Falkenstein bus of the company Lambürger from Zwiesel station.
In the area of the Bavarian Forest National Park and Nature Park you can use the "Bayerwald-Ticket" for public transportation. It replaces all the individual tickets and is the most flexible way to travel, as it is valid for all forms of regional public transportation.
When to visit
June through September is deemed to be the best time to visit Bavaria. Warm summer months are famous for the bright cultural events like Kaltenberger Ritterturnier or Bayreuth Festival and for the perfect conditions for hiking in the Alps.
Map of Bavarian Forest National Park
Image gallery of Bavarian Forest National Park
Sights in Bavarian Forest National Park
Some national parks contain more than just natural wonders. This list shows you some of the sights that are located in the national park. This includes museums, cathedrals, bridges, dams and much more.
Visitor/Information centres in Bavarian Forest National Park
Most national parks have an associated visitor centre to help visitors. They are usually open most of the year but some close in the off-season. You will often be able to find information on all the activities in the national park. A visit to the visitor centre is often recommended before venturing into the park.
Hiking trails in Bavarian Forest National Park
Almost all national parks have some opportunities for hiking. You can see some of the more popular trails here. You should get local information for detailed information on all trails of the national park.