Bavarian Forest National Park is the first and oldest national park in Germany. On 243 sqare kilometres, the area by the Czech border follows the philosophy of 'letting nature be nature'. Guided tours and hikes give you insight into the wild woodlands, that has been changed significantly by windfall and bark beetle infestation.
There is a lot to explore and experience during your visit at Bavarian Forest National Park. Apart from 350km/217mi of hiking trails, the two national park centres on Lusen and Falkenstein mountains offer several activities. Highlights include the animal enclosures as well as the Treetop Walk. In St. Oswald, three innovative exhibitions teach you about the forest history at Waldgeschichtliches Museum.
Bavarian Forest, Bohemian Forest, Šumava - all these names mean the same mountain range in the centre of Europe, dividing Bavarian and Bohemia, the Danube and the Vltava drainage areas. The landscape shaped by round, drawn-out hilltops, softly ascending slopes, high plateaus and trough-like valleys that bear witness to long weathering and influences from the ice age.
The mountain range was a big point of issue between environementalists and the tourism industry in the 1960. While the latter wanted to create new ski slopes to extend tourism and revenues, the former pleaded for creating a protected natural park. In 1969 the Bavarian state parliament decided in favour of the environment, and the Bavarian Forest became the first German national park. It was extended in 1997.
How to get there
National Park Centre Lusen
From the direction of Deggendorf, follow motorway A3 to exit 111-Hengersberg, then follow federal road B533 to Grafenau. At the roundabout, take the third exit and continue to Aufeld. Turn right in front of the gas station, then continue via Neuschönau to the car park at the national park centre.
National Park Centre Falkenstein
Coming from the Cham direction, follow federal road B85 for 26km/16mi. At Hof, turn left towards Geiersthal/Altnußberg. Continue straight onto Hauptstraße at the next roundabout, then turn right at the end onto Teisnacher Straße. Take the second exit at the next two roundabouts. Just before Bodenmais, take the first exit of another roundabout. After around 2km/1.2mi, turn left onto Waldhausstraße and follow it to the national park centre.
Coming from Deggendorf, follow motorway A3 to Hengersberg, then take federal road B533 to Grafenau. In Aufeld, turn right in front of the gas station. After around 2km/1.2mi, turn left and continue to Waldgeschichtliches Museum.