The Black Forest National Park

In 2014 an area in the north of the Black Forest, one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, officially became a National Park. The first area to be awarded this status in SouthWest Germany (the federal state of Baden–Württemberg), it is Germany’s fifteenth National Park. 

Baumstamm mit Pilzen

Tree fungus on a tree trunk in the northern Black Forest. | © TMBW

With the longest and largest mountain range in Germany, the Black Forest stretches from the Swiss border in the south to the city of Karlsruhe in the north. Known around the world for its delicious Black Forest Cake, its cuckoo clocks and red-bobbled Bollenhut, the Black Forest gets its name from the endless dark fir forests. But there is much more. Now this unspoiled and varied landscape is officially protected, from rocky mountain peaks and wild romantic valleys to rolling meadows – and of course, the trees.

The new National Park covers about 40 square miles/10,000 hectares. It is in the northern part of the Black Forest, between the cities of Baden-Baden and Freudenstadt, which are linked by the scenic Black Forest High Road. Highlights of the new park include the Hohen Ochsenkopf Mountain (3,360 feet /1,024 m) and the Ruhestein nature reserve. The new region is protected from development by man, but it offers more than just a home for plants and wildlife. On the well-marked trails, adults, families and children can hike and cycle, exploring and learning about the environment.

The National Park already offers visitors special experiences: the sun streaming through the branches, dappling the forest floor; the sound of rippling water and chirping birds. It is all about relaxation: the smell of the pines, the fresh clean air and the silence. Also special to this new National Park are glorious panoramic views of the Rhine valley and range after range of the Black Forest hills.