Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to subnavigation Skip to search

All other countries:
International extranets in German

All other countries:
International press centers in German and English
Want to know more about Germany?
Dip into our inspiring E-book and get your first impressions about the sheer diversity of Germany as a travel destination. The E-book is available in 26 different languages. Click here

Further information:
You can find more information about Germany on our website at:, or on our local websites.


Hainich National Park

The Hainich, an area of western Thuringia dominated by beech forests and previously used by the military, is now a national park.

The route linking the spa town of Bad Langensalza with Eisenach, the town of Wartburg Castle, passes through the largest contiguous area of mixed deciduous forest in Europe, also known as the "ancient woodland in the heart of Germany". These are plenter forests, managed using environmentally sensitive practices. They are of great interest to forestry experts as well as nature lovers.
Visitors here will find bio-rich and structurally diverse woodlands with a high proportion of dead wood - the perfect habitat for a variety of organisms such as fungi, mosses, lichen and insects. Because it has hardly been touched by man, the Hainich National Park is home to a vast range of wildlife. Long woodland walks and tours led by expert guides introduce visitors to rare animals like wild cats and black storks and endangered species such as the Bechstein's bat.

Circular footpaths and ridgeway paths, including the Rennstieg trail, lead to picturesque towns in the region, such as Bad Langensalza, a spa town, Mühlhausen, associated with the theologian Thomas Müntzer, and Eisenach, with its Martin Luther connections. These all have fascinating cultural histories and also plenty of other attractions. Sites of cultural and historical interest not to be missed on the Rennstieg trail include the "begging oak", which is around 1,000 years old, and the stone cross.

This perfect blend of nature, culture and leisure activities makes a stay in Thuringia's only national park an unforgettable holiday experience.

  • Town wall on which visitors can walk in Mühlhausen
  • Town houses spanning seven centuries in Mühlhausen
  • Almost circular town wall with 15 towers and one gate in Bad Langensalza
  • Rose garden in Bad Langensalza
  • Friederike villa and park in Bad Langensalza
  • Wartburg Castle in Eisenach
  • Anrode Abbey near Bickenriede
  • Volkenroda village and Abbey with the EXPO 2000 Christianity pavilion

Discovery trails have information boards which make it fun to find out about the flora and fauna of the Hainich Nature Reserve. Walkers on the Silberhorn trail, for instance, can see if they are able to recognise the call of the yellow-bellied toad. On the Brunstal trail, they are invited to lift up various types of wood and guess how much they weigh.

For younger visitors there is the Wild Cat Children's Forest, where forest spirits have been put under a spell and are waiting to be released. Children with a taste for adventure will enjoy the challenge of the forest's wooden play area.