Bavarian Forest National Park

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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.

Getting there

By Train

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".

By Bus

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.


Park website


Park size

242 km²

Park founded


Useful links

National Park App


Bicycling in Bavarian Forest


Hiking in Bavarian Forest


Frequently Asked Questions


Nature in the National Park


Map of Bavarian Forest National Park

Image gallery of Bavarian Forest National Park

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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.

Cabins & Shelters

This section lists some of the cabins and shelters for the national park. They can be great places to stay for the experience or as overnight stays on hikes.

Natural Sights

Most national parks have there own trademarks. This goes for both natural sights and man-made. This section will list any popular sights in nature.

Mountains in Bavarian Forest National Park

This section will list some of the famous peaks in the national park. Be sure to do proper research before venturing on to the high peaks.

Wildlife in Bavarian Forest National Park

These sections shows you some of the characteristic wildlife to the national park.

Bears in Bavarian Forest National Park

Bears in Bavarian Forest National Park

Bears in the park

This national park has bears and you need to take the necessary precautions. Read the article on bears and seek information from local park authorities.