Old, extensive beech woods, steep rocky outcrops and rare slope bogs make the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park unique. The foremost goal of the nature reserve that opened in 2015 is to let nature take its course. The newest of Germany’s national parks covers a good 10,000 hectares on the western uplands of the Hunsrück around Birkenfeld, Hermeskeil, Herrstein, Nohfelden, Nonnweiler and Thalfang am Erbeskopf, not far from the gemstone metropolis of Idar-Oberstein. Most of the park lies in Rhineland-Palatinate; around 100 hectares are in Saarland. It is the first cross-state national park in Germany.
Around the Erbeskopf – the highest point west of the Rhine and in the whole BeNeLux area – a primeval forest of tomorrow will now be able to grow. Even today, the area with its incredibly diverse landscape is home to unique flora and fauna and has been distinguished as a biodiversity hotspot. About half of the national park consists of beech woods. In particular the copper beech, quite a worldwide rarity, is at home here. Deadwood and tree hollows form an ideal habitat for many animal and plant species that have long since disappeared from most managed forests.
The black woodpecker, the black stork and bats are still indigenous here – along with the largest population of wild cats in central Europe.
Hiking and cycle trails run through the national park. A highlight is the Saar-Hunsrück Climb, which leads in four stages to the most beautiful spots in the national park. In addition, six national park “dream loops”, all set up as circular hiking trails and certified by the German Hiking Institute, allow you a closer look at the natural treasures of the area. The 80-kilometre national park cycle route guides hobby bikers around and through the new national park.
Starting from the Wildenburg near Kempfeld, the Hunsrückhaus at the Erbeskopf and the Celtic circular rampart in Otzenhausen, rangers lead regular tours for each season: to the rocks, to the moors, to the wild cats, into the forest, and into the Celtic past. If you wish, you can book one of the certified national park guides for yourself, your family or for a whole group. The guides offer additional exciting tours and are happy to tailor them to your requirements.