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

Nature conquers the forest back Naturpark Kellerwald-Edersee
Naturpark Kellerwald-Edersee Nature conquers the forest back

Primeval forests in Germany

There are hardly any real primeval forests in Central Europe. The smallest remnants of it can be found in the Bavarian Forest, in the Alps and on the Edersee in Hesse. We learned this during our visit to the forests around Lake Edersee. However, there are forests whose tree population can be traced back to the time after the ice age. They are also few and far between in densely populated Europe. But some of these forest islands have been preserved on noble land. These include the areas of the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park.
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
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 earned the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These forest sections are therefore very special. Beech trees are very adaptable trees. They grow on all kinds of soil. They are found on limestone soils. They are also found on acid soils, in Grauwacken- or slate terrain. Beech repress other tree species over time. They create their own shadow kingdom and come out 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. "

Woodpecker egg
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 European beech is only available in Europe. It determines as a tree species large parts of the European continent. From the last ice age it was displaced to the east. But then, within a few thousand years, it conquered almost the entire continent. It eventually spread from the east to the Pyrenees. Leaving the forests in these regions of nature, the beech is the dominant tree species. During a walk through the nature park Kellerwald-Edersee we can see that. This is where a beech forest wilderness emerges from cultivated forests.

The Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park is still home to tree farming today. However, you leave the beech forests of the national park to yourself. Then there are suddenly fallen tree giants on the ground. Twin trees split by lightning raise their treetops. In addition, grass and shrubs make getting through difficult. In a few decades, forest roads and tracks have completely disappeared. Then nature has taken the region again.

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

The fairytale home of Snow White and the Bad Wolf

No wonder, then, that the people of the region told tales of dwarfs and wolves. From here come the stories that the Brothers Grimm held in their fairy tale collection. In Waldeck it is even rumored that Snow White was the daughter of Count von Waldeck. In the first edition of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Snow White was blond. Just like the Count's daughter. But then the similarity ends. Although some people think that the seven dwarfs could mean ore miners. However, there is no conclusive evidence.

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 way in fairytale mood has moved. It belongs to the nature park Kellerwald-Edersee. Therefore, he does not lead through the forests of the national park. There are also books here, but not only. We even discover Douglas fir. This tree species is native to North America. For this one has created an easy access to the treetops. 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 also see carved animals that once lived in these forests. Among them we discover a moose, eagle or a black stork. He looks like he's hatching his 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

With us families with young children explore the world of tall trees. But hikers also stop. They want to take a closer look at life in the treetops. We really liked the treetop path. For one thing, because it explains the influences of human intervention in the forest world. On the other hand, because we experience the world in the treetops so close up.

The Waldheimat of Snow White can be found here:

National Park Kellerwald-Edersee

National Park Center Kellerwald
Path to the wilderness 1
34516 Vöhl-Herzhausen
Phone 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. A tasteful restaurant and friendly service welcome us. The hotel is a good base for exploring the lake and forests in the area.

In this hotel you get the

My Card Plus
This leisure card is a gift from the participating hotels. It includes admission to all participating leisure facilities in the GrimmHeimat. In addition, the free travel with the buses and trains in the North Hessian transport network is included.

Travel Tips for Hesse

Source: own research on site with the friendly support of Grimmheimat Nordhessen

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


  1. Lisa
    | Reply

    How great <3 My whole family comes from the vicinity of 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.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Lisa,

      what a nice comment. He is very pleased <3 and many thanks for that. Nice that we have described the region as you feel it. The forests in particular impressed us a lot.

      Best regards,
      Monika and Petar

  2. Nicole from PASSENGER X
    | Reply

    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.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

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

      Best regards,

  3. Anke
    | Reply

    Oh how cool - home mode! Almost ... But it is not so far from the Westerwald!

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Anke,

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

      Best regards,

  4. Franzi
    | Reply

    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!

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      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,

  5. Victoria of Nesting Nomads
    | Reply

    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.


    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      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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