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Hiking and Birdwatching in Hainich National Park
Hiking in the German primeval forest you can
follow the trail of the nightingale,
observe animals in the morning,
enjoy a ride in a horse carriage, or
hear about the myths of the woods and the trees:
The guided tours of the National Park Administration offer you this and much more.
Hainich National Park is a protected area for animals and plants:
You can observe rare animals like the wild cat, the black stork, or the Bechstein bat.
Woodpeckers find ideal nesting places, you can watch tree falcons, whinchats, stonechats, great grey shrikes and red back shrikes.
Red deer and fallow deer, wild boar, martens, foxes and badgers find their natural habitat in Hainich.
Grassland, brooks and ponds, bushes and woods: In spring the many colors of blossoms, flowers and butterflies are an impressive experience.
Near Kindel, waterfowl and snipe nest on the Silver Lake, the ponds around the lake are biotopes for yellow bellied toads, tree frogs, northern crested newts, natterjack toads and fire salamanders.
In Hainich National Park you find the largest stretch of deciduous mixed forest in Europe, including a large amount of beech trees.
For decades, the South of the Hainich was used as a military training site, the woods could develop undisturbed during this time. In areas that had been cleared away, trees begin to grow. In Hainich National Park you have the rare opportunity to observe the natural development of a forest.
In the middle and the North of Hainich, for centuries farmer cooperatives have cultivated the forest using semi-natural methods, old and young trees stand next to each other, the high amount of coarse woody debris - dead wood - is the habitat of beetles, mushrooms, moss plants and lichens.
You travel through nature and through history: many hiking trails follow medieval trade routes, e.g. the 19,4 mile Rennstieg trail along the ridge of the plateau - a shorter alternative to the Rennsteig through the Thuringian Forest.
The National Park Administration in Bad Langensalza offers bird call trips, morning and evening animal observation tours, excursions, horse carriage rides and bicycle tours. Children listen to fairy tales, go treasure hunting, accompany the National Park Rangers or fold origami animals.
Southeast of Kammerforst village you find the "Wildkatzenkinderwald" - a children's playground in the middle of the forest. The artistic designs of the wooden climbing constructions, the swing, the tunnel, the sand box and the climbing net connect nature, art and culture.
From April to October on weekends and on bank holidays special busses are run, and the Hainich-Express takes you from Muelverstedt to Ihlefeld into the National Park.
The 2 mile long Brunstal trail from the Fuchsfarm parking lot in Muelverstedt is accessible for wheelchairs.
A bicycle sign marks hiking trails permitted for cyclists. Two cycling trails take you across Hainich National Park: From East to West you go from Bad Langensalza via Thiemsburg, Craulaer Kreuz to Berka vor dem Hainich, from North to South from Muehlhausen via Kammerforst to Berka vor dem Hainich. You obtain detailed information from the National Park Information.
Hainich National Park is part of Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werratal Nature Park. The Nature Park aims at achieving a balance between nature, tourism and regional development.
You can buy a National Park Hiking and Cycling Map posted by German booksellers.
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