The only national park in Thuringia, the Hainich National Park protects a magnificent tract of native beech forest and forms part of the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany World Heritage Site. It’s one of the last remaining, undissected beech forests to retain distinct Central European characteristics and supports a number of rare and vulnerable species.
The Hainich National Park is surrounded by the towns of Eisenach, Bad Langensalza and Mühlhausen but has remained largely intact due to the area’s use as a restricted military zone for many years. It encompasses ash trees, maples, lindens and hornbeams, as well as summer snowflake flowers and an outstanding diversity of fungi. In addition to its plant life, the national park is home to wildcats, various species of woodpeckers and over 500 different types of wood beetles.
A highlight of visiting Hainich National Park is the Treetop Trail, which offers a truly unique perspective on this primeval forest. The Brunstal Adventure Trail and Silberborn Adventure Trail are both dotted with stations where you can touch, hear and read interesting facts about the flora and fauna of the park while the “Feensteig” Fairytale Nature Trail is complemented by fairytale texts.
Hainich National Park can be visited at any time of the year, with wild garlic and spring snowflakes igniting between March and May. Orchids come into flower during the summer months while autumn is particularly beautiful as the decidu-ous trees change color. If you visit during the winter, you may be able to spot the odd early-wood anemone as the herbal layers wait for the sun’s return.