Vom Wald das Beste. – Nationalparkregion Bayerischer Wald

Bavarian Forest National Park

Discover forest wilderness

In October 1970, the first national park in Germany was founded in the Rachel-Lusen area.

Since then, nature around the two mountains Rachel and Lusen has been allowed to unfold and develop freely according to its very own laws and largely without human intervention. In 1997, the area was extended to include the Falkenstein, so that the entire national park now covers an area of almost 25,000 hectares. Together with the adjacent Sumava National Park on the Czech side, this now forms the largest contiguous forest area in Central Europe.

"Let nature be nature"

"Let nature be nature" is the motto of the national park. And indeed, the forest is developing into a fascinating forest wilderness with a wide variety of flora and fauna, with impressive streams, bogs, felts and shafts and mighty rock formations to delight every visitor.

Countless kilometers of well-signposted hiking trails, the Bavarian Forest treetop path, the two national park centers Lusen and Falkenstein with their respective animal enclosures, a varied program of guided tours, as well as several themed and adventure trails - these are just a few excerpts from the wide range of activities offered by the Bavarian Forest National Park, which make it an ideal destination for an unforgettable nature vacation, adventure vacation or family vacation in Bavaria.

Experience the natural forest rejuvenation in the Bavarian Forest National Park vacation region and witness how new, wild forest is created.

Almost throughout the year, the Bavarian Forest National Park, in cooperation with the two associations Pro Nat Freyung-Grafenau and Pro Nat Zwisel, offers a diverse adventure program.

In addition to exciting excursions into the wild nature - whether on foot, by bike or on snowshoes - a wide range of activities is available. Also a colorful children's program, children's birthday parties, interesting lectures (scientific series), cheerful festivals, inspiring concerts as well as diverse exhibitions are among them.

Many of the tours take place in cooperation with the Bavarian Forest National Park vacation region.

With your NationalparkCard/GUTi-Card as well as the activCard there are also discounts.


To the adventure program



Registration with your telephone number is required at least one day in advance by 5 p.m., on weekends and holidays by 1 p.m. at the National Park Guiding Service at:

0800 0776650 or nationalpark@fuehrungsservice.de

All guided tours can also be booked online.

To the online booking in the adventure store


Because pictures often say more than 1000 words....

Our Wild Forest!

Übernachten in der Region

Germany's largest forest national park

The national park was pleased to receive a special birthday present in the fall of 2020: With the Finsterau felt at the southern end, the national park will grow by another 700 hectares. A great gift for the 50th anniversary of the park.

You can already experience this intact high moor up close. This trift system, so typical for this region, with its cloisters, drift channels and artificial water supply lines, is of the highest cultural and historical significance, enthuses Franz Leibl, the park's director, and names yet another attraction: for example, the national park foothills also offer a fascinating cultural landscape.

"Particularly with the forest hoof structure around Mauth, Hohenau and Freyung, a cultural landscape is revealed that can no longer be found anywhere else in this form."

Planned for the next few years are the construction of several viewing platforms, a sun terrace and a children's playground with kiosk, as well as a barrier-free path through the Finsterauer Filz. So there will be a lot of new things to discover in the future, look forward to it!

You can find more info about the extension on the homepage of the Bavarian Forest National Park.

website: Bavarian Forest National Park

The ceremony for the expansion of the National Park took place on 06 July 2022 at the Open-Air Museum Finsterau

A day of celebration for the Bavarian Forest

Let nature be nature - this motto is to apply in the Bavarian Forest by about 700 additional hectares. The national park has been expanded and is now the largest forest national park in Germany with a total of almost 25000 hectares. Nature and species conservation went hand in hand with gentle tourism here, said Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber (Free Voters) at a ceremony on Wednesday in Mauth (district of Freyung-Grafenau).

"Come to the Bavarian Forest!" was the appeal of the Minister of State. This was addressed to all vacationers who, due to the staffing problems at the airports, do not yet know where the vacation trip should go.

Around 3.5 million euros are now to be invested to turn the former commercial forest into a protected area suitable for tourism. This includes, for example, new signs and benches, as a ranger reported during a visit to the new area. In addition, some of the existing forest roads are not suitable for mountain bikers and need to be made safe. An adventure playground, a kiosk and a viewing platform are to be built. The expansion was a gift to mark the 50th anniversary of the national park in 2020.

District Administrator Sebastian Gruber summed up: "A more sustainable person like the Waidler, there is not".

The expansion of the Bavarian Forest National Park also means a longer common border with the Czech Šumava National Park. This will strengthen the existing cooperation between the two national parks, said Director Franz Leibl, and allow visitors to experience nature more across borders. Eva Volfová, deputy minister of the environment, came from the Czech Republic to attend the ceremony. She spoke of a "historic moment".

You can download the press report here

After the signing and official ceremony, the handover of the state forest to the national park has already taken place.

However, it will still take some time until the new forest area can be connected to the new existing national park or can be hiked with correspondingly designated new hiking trails for locals, vacationers and guests.

However, with the following tours you can already hike the extension area of the national park in the municipality of Mauth and be enchanted by the unique flora and fauna:

  • Pilgrimage trail Via Nova (cross-border)
  • Historical hiking trail "Goldener Steig" (cross-border)
  • Alternative route of the "Goldsteig" to the Czech Republic (orange "S"; cross-border)
  • Circular trail Trauermantel (cross-border to the Fürstenhut cemetery)
  • Rundweg Wachtelkönig (NEW in the PG Hiking)

Our tip: The circular trail Wachtelkönig

This trail leads to the Hammerklause. It is located in the southernmost part of the expansion area and is thus both the starting and ending point of the circular trail. An absolutely charming "Fleckerl" in the municipality of Mauth.

The circular trail starts in the center of Finsterau. Alternatively, you can also park at the Finsterau ski/sports center (sufficient parking spaces). From there, after a short stretch on the winter hiking trail/gravel road next to the scooter track, you reach the direction of Finsterauer Reute and directly afterwards the circular route.

The exact tour description can also be found in our new pocket guide hiking and as a download in our tour portal.

We wish everyone lots of fun hiking and exploring the Bavarian Forest National Park!

50 years of the National Park in 2020

The magazine

On 64 pages, the national park administration not only looks back at the most important stages in the history of the protected area, but also presents the work of the present.


Behind our national park lies a moving story. For more than 50 years now, something has been dared here in the Inner Bavarian Forest that was - and still is - groundbreaking. For the first time in Germany, nature was allowed to simply be nature over a large area. And it is still allowed to do so today. The primeval forest of tomorrow is developing from yesterday's commercial forest. We have been able to observe these amazingly dynamic processes for more than five decades now. In 2020, the Bavarian Forest National Park celebrated its 50th birthday . A unique success story.


"The Bavarian Forest National Park is an extraordinary piece of wilderness in the heart of Europe with a high level of biodiversity and space for rare species."


More info about the Bavarian Forest National Park

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