4 Best National Parks in Germany to Visit by Train

If you are a nature lover, Germany is a fantastic travel destination for you. From gorgeous, dense forests and incredibly rocky landscapes to lovely, calm lakes, this country is the epitome of natural beauty. A slow relaxing train ride along the snow-blanketed mountain railways is one of the most magical ways to explore this underrated country in Europe.

Germany has an incredible rail transport system with clean, comfortable, fast and affordable trains. Rail transport is undoubtedly one of the best ways of getting across the most extraordinary cityscapes and landscapes in this country.

Train travel is also much gentler on the environment than driving, and Germany is one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world. You can book your train tickets for Germany online via Omio. And here is a list of four beautiful national parks in Germany you can visit by train.

Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve (Rhineland Palatinate)

National Parks in Germany - Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve

The Palatinate Forest is a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve that covers an area of approximately 1,800 square kilometres. The reserve is known for its diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and wetlands, as well as its rich biodiversity.

Some of the best walking trails in xxx are those included in “Premiumwanderweg” which is a network of well-maintained trails that offer stunning views. These trails are marked with a distinctive “Premium” logo and vary from easy walks to strenuous hikes. 

The Premiumwanderweg trails are well-connected, so you can create your own routes or follow one of the pre-designed routes. The trails take you through some very picturesque landscapes and adorable towns and villages. As always, keep your eyes peeled for red deer, wild boar, and foxes if you are keen on spotting wildlife on your hikes.

One of the most striking areas in the park is the Dahner Felsenland rock formations. There are quite a few different sandstone and volcanic rock formations to explore

  • The Dahner Burgfelsen is a group of large rock towers that rise up to 150 meters above the surrounding forest.
  • The Teufelstisch is a large, flat rock formation that resembles a table which earned it the nickname of the Devil’s table.
  • The Teufelskanzel is a natural rock platform with panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • The Teufelskehle is a narrow gorge popular with hikers and rock climbers.
  • The Teufelsschlucht is another deep, narrow gorge with steep walls that can be explored via a hiking trail.

The Palatinate Forest can be easily reached by train. The region is served by several train lines, including the regional trains of the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) and the regional trains of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar Transport Association).

Hainich National Park

National Parks in Germany - Hainich

Part of Germany’s World Heritage Site, Hainich National Park is located in Thuringia between Eisenach and Bad Langesalza in Germany. This is the place where world history becomes one with nature. Today, the previous military exclusion area is home to Europe’s largest mixed deciduous forest. If you are visiting during winter, a sledge ride is one of the best ways of exploring the beautiful wooded area, while taking the Thiemsburg treetop trail is much recommended in summer, spring and autumn.

European wildcat

Your visit to Haimich National Park is never complete without touring Hutscheroda Wildcat Village, dedicated to the conservation of the European wildcat. It also gives you a chance to take in the magical view of the beautiful Thuringian Forest, Rhon Mountains and Wartburg Castle on a platform raised 17 meters above the ground.

If you are visiting with family, be sure to take the canopy walk, one of the most common family activities. The 530-meter-long canopy walk is a rare chance for you and your loved ones to enjoy breathtaking views of the entire national park. The walkways are constructed along the top of towering trees and meander to the observation tower, 44 meters above the ground.

The nearest train station to Hainich National Park is in the city of Mühlhausen, which is located about 15 kilometres away from the park. From Mühlhausen catch Wunderbare Wanderbus to the park.

Black Forest National Park

National Parks in Germany - Black Forest

From beautiful, friendly towns to gentle picturesque hills and mouth-watering delicacies, the Black Forest is perhaps the most well-known of all national parks in Germany. Established quite recently – in 2014, it covers an area of about 6,000 hectares and protects a diverse variety of landscapes, including dense forests, rolling hills, and picturesque valleys.

The park has an extensive network of hiking trails for all fitness levels. Some of the famous long-distance trails that pass through Black Forest National Park are Westweg (170km) and Mittelweg (600km).

Schiltach village in Black Forest
Schiltach village in Black Forest

There are, of course, shorter nature trails that are suitable for families and those who are less experienced in hiking. Many of the trails are well-marked with signposts, maps and information boards. But always check the condition of the trail and weather forecast before heading out.

As you walk the park’s trails, keep an eye on local wildlife, including deer, wild boar, and foxes, as well as some interesting birds like the black woodpecker, crested tit, and the magnificent capercaillie.

To get to the Black Forest by train, you can take a train to one of the nearby towns or cities, such as Freiburg, Offenburg, or Triberg and then take a local bus or train to the park.

Wadden Sea National Park (North Sea)

Wadden Sea National Park in Germany

The Wadden Sea National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that spills across the Germany-Denmark border, with most of the park in Denmark and a smaller part in northern Germany. It is located along the coast of the North Sea and protects a wonderfully unique environment that offers all kinds of unusual nature adventures. There is mudflat hiking at low tide, sand dune hiking, boat tours and island hopping.

Grey seal

If you enjoy wildlife watching, a boat tour to visit colonies of Harbour seals and Grey seals is a must.

The Wadden Sea is also home to millions of migratory birds during the spring and fall migration seasons when many species stopover here on the way between their breeding and wintering grounds.

You can arrange bird-watching tours and boat tours at the Visitor Center in Cuxhaven. Cuxhaven is also the most convenient train station if you are coming from Germany – it’s less than 2 hours from Hamburg. From the station, you can take a bus to the park.

These are some of the most beautiful national parks in Germany that you can visit by train. And what is a better way to enjoy epic nature than taking a scenic train journey across a beautiful country?

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