Surrounding the Bavarian Forest Mountains of the Lusen, Rachel and Falkenstein and along the Czech border is the first national park of Germany - the Bavarian Forest National Park. Grafenau is home to the offices of the National Park Administration and is the gateway to an endless forest wilderness.
No plantation, no chainsaws. In the largest closed forest area in Central Europe the nature is completely untouched and left to its own devices.
But have no fear: although the National Park Authority in Grafenau works ‘in recognition of the bears’, you won’t meet any wild bears anywhere in the dark forest. The last wild bear was hunted down a long time ago. In the Wildlife Enclosure you can safely see wild animals such as bears, lynx and wolves in their natural environment. The Lusen Information Centre also offers many exciting experiences based on the National Parks main principle - "let nature be nature".
Nowhere else in Europe can nature in such a large area, develop unobstructed into a wild forest. The National Park is not only a virgin forest. Walkers can see up close the impact of climatic conditions during the last decades: the forest decline. Another thing that can be noticed by the observant viewer: in and around the dead trees grow a new, unusually diverse tree generation creating a new form of forest wilderness.
An exciting process that should not be missed!
When climbing the 1373m high Lusen, Grafenau’s local mountain, you can go through so many areas at different stages of the process it’s as if you were on the way from Bavaria to the north of Sweden. Take your time to enjoy the view over the wild, romantic hills.
Numerous special hiking areas show the National Park at its best. Explore the Seelensteig, the Aufichtenwaldsteig, the Schachten, the rocky hiking trails or the moors. Or visit the exciting National Park visitor facilities such as the Waldspielgelände (forest play grounds), Haus zur Wildnis or the longest Tree Top Walk in the world!