Kellerwald-Edersee National Park - UNESCO World Heritage & fairytale home


Primeval forests in Germany - the Kellerwald Edersee National Park

There are hardly any real primeval forests in Central Europe. The smallest remains of it can be found in the Bavarian Forest, in the Alpine region and in the Kellerwald Edersee National Park Hessen. We found out about this during our visit to the forests around the Edersee. Here you can hike well and learn a lot of interesting things about the primeval forests in Germany. There are forests whose tree population can be traced back to the time after the Ice Age. They too are few and far between in densely populated Europe. But some of these forest islands have been preserved on aristocratic property. This includes the areas of the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park.


Nature reclaims the forest in the Kellerwald Edersee Nature Park
Kellerwald-Edersee National Park Nature is reclaiming the forest




These natural forests were mostly part of hunting grounds. There humans did not intervene much in the course of nature. They are therefore considered as primeval forest. That's the case in the forests of the county Waldeck-Pyrmont. The counts surrounded even after a protest of the farmers their Wäldereien with a fence. This was to prevent the game from hitting the crops. This not only benefited the peasants, but also the beech forest. This spread out behind the fence border.


Fallen tree in the Kellerwald Edersee National Park
Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park Fallen tree in the “wilderness of the future”


Buchenwald as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

It is this beech forest that gave the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These forest sections are therefore something very special. Beeches are very adaptable trees. They grow in all kinds of soil. They are found on limestone soils. They can also be found on acidic soils, in greywacke or slate terrain. Beeches displace other tree species over time. They create their own shadow realm and get by with little sunlight.

The beech forests in the national park are therefore left entirely to nature. This is what Jutta Seuring from the Kellerwald National Park tells us. We take her for a walk through the “wilderness of tomorrow”. "Nature can definitely be nature here," she says. “You no longer intervene in the processes of the beech forest. Instead, you leave it to its natural development. "


What do you need for a hike in the Kellerwald Edersee National Park?

  • The forests in the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park are primeval forests. Some paths are correspondingly rough. Hence are comfortable walking shoes are essential.
  • You will move in rough terrain where there are no places to stop. So it's worth it to get one backpack to pack. What you for a picnic you can find here.
  • There are many hiking opportunities and bike paths in the region. This Maps and hiking guides * help with orientation.


Woodpecker egg in the visitor center in the Kellerwald Edersee National Park
In the visitor center of the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park: the egg of a woodpecker under construction


Why are the beech forests in the Kellerwald Edersee Nature Park so special?

Deciduous forests are almost only found in the northern hemisphere. The common beech is only found in Europe. As a tree species, it determines large parts of the European continent. It was pushed to the east by the last ice age. But then, within a few thousand years, it recaptured almost the entire continent. It eventually spread from the east to the Pyrenees. If the forests in these regions are left to nature, the common beech is the dominant tree species. We can see this on a walk through the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park. Here a beech forest wilderness emerges from cultivated forests.

Tree management is still practiced in the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park. However, the beech forests of the national park are left to their own devices. Suddenly there are fallen trees on the ground. Twin trees, split by lightning, raise their treetops upwards. In addition, grass and bush make it difficult to get through. In a few decades, forest paths and aisles will have completely disappeared. Then nature took over the region again.


Do you like to travel by motorhome?


Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park The Cave of the Seven Dwarfs?


The fairytale home of Snow White and the Bad Wolf

It is therefore hardly surprising that the people of the region told tales of dwarfs and wolves. The stories that the Brothers Grimm recorded in their fairy tale collection come from here. In Waldeck there is even rumor that Snow White was the daughter of Count von Waldeck. In the first edition of the Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales, Snow White was blonde. Just like the count's daughter. But then the similarity ends. Even if some think that the seven dwarfs could mean child laborers from ore mines. However, there is no evidence of this.


Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park Once there were moose in these beech forests
Tree canopy trail in the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park


Fairytale: the treetop path on the Edersee

Most likely, our tour on the treetop path put us in a fairytale mood. It belongs to the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park. Therefore, it does not lead through the forests of the national park. There are also bookings here, but not only. We even discover Douglas firs. This tree species is native to North America. For this purpose, access to the treetops has been created. This brings us closer to the world in the treetops. On the way there we pass a cave. That reminds me of the home of the seven dwarfs. On the way we will also see carved animals that once made their home in these forests. Underneath we discover a moose, eagle or a black stork. This looks like it is hatching its eggs in the canopy of a tree.


Adler am Baumkronenweg in the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park
Black stork
A black stork in the treetops of the trees


Families with children can explore the world of trees with us. But hikers also stop. They want to take a closer look at life in the treetops. We really liked the treetop path. On the one hand, because it explains the influences of human interventions in the forest world. On the other hand, because we experience the world in the treetops so closely.


The Waldheimat of Snow White can be found here:


National Park Center Kellerwald
Path to the wilderness 1
34516 Vöhl-Herzhausen
Telephone 05635 992781

Tree canopy path on the Edersee
Brühlfeld 3,
34549 Edertal-Hemfurth
Phone: 0 56 23 / 9 73 79 77

We stayed in the

Hotel Seeschlösschen Edersee *
Kirschbaumweg 4
34513 Waldeck

The country hotel is located on a hill in Waldeck. From there you have a view of the Edersee and the forests of the region. An inn welcomes us. The hotel is our starting point for exploring the lake and the surrounding forests.


More travel tips for Hessen


National Park Kellerwald-Edersee
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Source: On-site research with the support of the Grimmheimat North Hesse

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Kellerwald-Edersee National Park - UNESCO World Heritage & fairytale home

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.

12 thoughts too "Kellerwald-Edersee National Park - UNESCO World Heritage & fairytale home"

  1. How great <3 My whole family comes from near the Edersee and we spend a few days there every year. I am always in love with the natural landscapes. You put it together wonderfully. My heart is attached to the article.

    1. Dear Lisa,

      what a nice comment. We are very pleased <3 and thank you very much. It's great that we have described the region the way you feel about it. We were particularly impressed by the forests.

      Best regards,
      Monika and Petar

  2. Oh that's cute, did not know that snow-white comes, so to speak, from the Kellerwald-Edersee. I really love forests, if only because of the big trees and the fresh air. I've never run over a canopy, but that's on my list now. Must be really great.

    1. The treetop path was also our first, Nicole. From above, the forest looks very different. An impressive experience!

      Best regards,

    1. Hello Anke,

      then you come from a nice corner: D. Have you already published something about it?

      Best regards,

  3. Wow great tip! That suits me very much wanted to explore Southern Germany in April and that sounds like a great destination! Especially the treetop path sounds impressive!

    1. Hello Franzi,

      South Germany is that - from southern German point of view :) - not exactly. Rather Central Germany. But the treetop path was great! The view from the top is terrific.

      Best regards,

  4. Hello you two,

    So it's amazing what you always find for places. I've never heard of it, even though it's in my home country. Sounds definitely super exciting and so slow I can do a real Germany tour by simply dropping off your reports.


    1. Hello Victoria,

      we are the same: D. Only since we blog about traveling, we discover Germany (and the rest of the world) in detail. And there's so much that we did not know existed before. An exciting thing.

      Best regards,

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