Majestic beeches, gnarled oaks and clear streams characterise the varied landscape of woods, water and wilderness in the North Eifel. That is where the Eifel National Park was founded in 2004 as the first national park in North Rhine-Westphalia. The national park lies between Nideggen in the north, Gemünd in the south, and the Belgian border to the south-west. It covers roughly 11,000 hectares and mainly protects the Hainsimsen beech wood in the North Eifel. A large, uncut forest area with a high proportion of beech woods is the “Kermeter” ridge, which is bordered by the Rur Dam in the north and west, and by the Urft Dam to the south. Bit by bit, the landscape is reverting back to the original beech woods.
The Eifel National Park is home to many endangered animal and plant species that are on the Red List. These include the shy wild cat, also known as the “Eifel tiger”, the black stork, and the common wall lizard, rarely found in North-Rhine Westphalia.
The national park administration is based in the Eifel National Park Forestry Office in Schleiden. The Eifel National Park is a popular tourist destination in North-Rhine Westphalia and in Rhineland-Palatinate. There is something special to see in every season. In spring, it is the yellow daffodil carpets; in the summer there are meadows full of the scent of wild herbs; in autumn the mating season with bellowing stags; or in winter you can look for tracks in the snow with the rangers of the Eifel National Park.