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.
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.
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.
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?
- Closest to the National Park Visitor Center is this campsite: Camping & Holiday Park Teichmann. However, there are even more campsites on the Edersee. There you can after a day trip in a Dutch Oven or on the portable grill or maybe on a campfire . You can also find Dutch oven accessories can be found here.
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these booking options. Or do you prefer to travel with a roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tents is possible.
- Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- You want to know where you can stay overnight in Germany can and are you looking for pitches and campsites? You can find information about this under this link.
- Why is a folding e-bike useful when camping?
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.
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.
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
Telephone 05635 992781
Tree canopy path on the Edersee
Phone: 0 56 23 / 9 73 79 77
We stayed in the
Hotel Seeschlösschen Edersee *
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
- Discover more travel tips for the Region on the Edersee on the OverlandTour Travel Blog
- Three tips for bon vivants in Bad Wildungen
- A culinary trip through Hessen
- Kassel sights
- Where to eat in Kassel?
- Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kassel
- Baroque water games in Kassel
Do you also know:
- Hiking in the nature park Hoher Fläming
- Treetop walks in Germany
- Fläming holidays for connoisseurs
- Bled at the Bled lake
- Gifts for hikers
Source: On-site research with the support of the Grimmheimat North Hesse
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline