Nature Parks in Germany

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Ninety eight official nature parks have been established in Germany. They comprise about 25 percent of the total land area of Germany and are brought together under the Association of German Nature Parks. The oldest is Lüneburg Heath Nature Park, whose core area was established in 1921 as a nature reserve; by 2007 it had expanded to more than four times its original area. The largest nature reserve in Germany, with 3,750 square kilometres (1,450 sq mi) is the Nature Park of the Central and Northern Black Forest and the smallest is Siebengebirge with an area of 48 square kilometres.

Below is a selection of Naature parks in Germany

Altmühl Valley

Bavaria

The park is characterized by gently undulating plateaus and steep valleys with precipitous cliffs, and half of the park is wooded. The Altmühl flows through a spectacular valley from west to east.

Franconian Switzerland-Veldenstein Forest

Bavaria

The park includes varied valleys and plateaus of the Franconian Jura, with some bizarrely shaped rock formations. Erosion has created numerous caves in the area. In the central area lies Franconian Switzerland.

Rhön Mountains

Bavaria

The park includes the area of the Rhön Mountains and lies amongst many low mountain ranges. In the south it extends to the Franconian Saale, and in its treeless Long Rhön shares a part of the central region of the High Rhön. The gently undulating surface is partially offset by basalt hills.

Bavarian Forest

Bavaria

The park lies between the Danube and the heights of the Bavarian Forest. The park, nearly half forested, includes the peaks of the mountains as well as the southwestern slope, and is crossed by deep valleys and bordered by the Bavarian Forest National Park.

Bergstraße-Odenwald Geopark

Hesse, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg

The park includes the wooded low mountains of the Odenwald and extends east to the Maintal. It is borderd by the rivers Rhine, Main and Neckar. The region has stone runs formed by huge granite blocks and bizarre rock formations.

Black Forest

Baden-Württemberg

The park is characterized by a varied landscape typical of the Black Forest with deeply incised valleys, rocks, streams and large, contiguous forested area. The crests themselves are treeless. In the south the Naturpark Schwarzwald Mitte/Nord blends into the Southern Black Forest Nature Park.

Lüneburg Heath

Lower Saxony

The park includes the Lüneburg Heath, that includes typical vast heath regions; the Wümme has its source there, and runs through the park. The hilly landscape was formed by ice age glaciers. Large areas of the region are covered by pine forest.

Ore Mountains/Vogtland

Saxony

The park includes the Erzgebirge and the Vogtland and forms a diversified landscape. A forested area runs along an undulating plateau in the Vogtland, which rises gently to the south. Deeply sunken valleys run across the Erzgebirge.

Palatine Forest

Rhineland-Palatinate

With a forested area of 76 percent the park forms the largest contiguous forest in Germany. It is characterized by a varied and impressive landscape of Buntsandstein rocks found nowhere else in Germany.

Saar-Hunsrück

Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland

The park includes the Hunsrück, its Schwarzwalder Hochwald and the Osburger Hochwald. The region is characterized by a low mountain landscape with deeply incised valleys, forested mountain ridges, meadows and rocks.

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