"Let nature be nature!" ss the motto of the German national parks. Free from human intervention and guidance, nature should be able to develop according to its own laws. National parks contribute to the preservation of the natural biodiversity and fulfill important tasks for environmental education and recreation - "wilderness" can be experienced and discovered here.
In Hainich this means: The visitor feels the power of nature in the primeval forest, the trees' struggle for light, water and nutrients, discovers diverse habitats created by undisturbed processes.
With its forest area of 13,000 hectares, the Hainich is the largest contiguous deciduous forest area in Germany. The 7,500 hectare national park is located in the southern part of the Hainich.
In the past 50 years, forests have developed in southern Hainich that come very close to the original deciduous forests of Central Europe. An impressive reforestation process is taking place in the open spaces of a former military area (Kindel). The national park shows itself as a habitat mosaic - from the rough grasslands interspersed with bushes and small bodies of water to the species and structure-rich hardwood stands of the "primeval forest".
Flora and fauna
Many of the 800 vascular plant, 1,600 mushroom and 180 bird species recorded so far belong to the species typical of Central European deciduous forests. In addition, there are demanding forest dwellers such as wild cats and Bechstein's bats, seven species of woodpecker and highly endangered deadwood beetles. The large stocks of early bloomers are brilliantly colored.
The national park is of great importance for the preservation of old and dead wood inhabitants - for example for the more than 450 wood-dwelling beetles and the numerous wood fungus species.
The large open land areas with their small bodies of water are habitats for whinchat and barnacle warbler, for red-backed killer and wryneck, for crested newt, tree frog and yellow-bellied toad as well as a multitude of insect species.
What to expect
Whether on foot or by bike, alone or in company, educational, playful or adventurous - the Hainich can be explored in many different ways. A wide range of offers opens up a wide variety of insights into the "primeval forest" in the middle of Germany.
An extensive program offers the opportunity to experience the national park with an expert guide.
The trained eye directs attention to the particularities and opens the eyes to details and connections.
School in the national park. School classes can explore the jungle with a magnifying glass, blindfold and mirror. Nature adventure hikes are offered for different age groups.
Highlights in and around the national park
The Hainich National Park shows itself from new perspectives in unusual places:
Whether high up on the treetop path, on the trail of fairy tales on the Feensteig or on the way on one of the adventure trails - the forest can be experienced through new perspectives, games and knowledge. The jungle attracts even the youngest with the wildcat children's forest and environmental station.
Hainich-Eichsfeld-Werratal Nature Park
Centrally located in Germany, the Hainich - unique for a national park - is surrounded by a cultural environment that offers "pure" history with cities such as Bad Langensalza, Eisenach or Mühlhausen and which has also left its mark in Hainich itself: castles and waterways, Artful and historical invite you to go on excursions between nature and culture.