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

If you purchase through a link marked *, we will receive a commission.

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


This map was created with Wanderlog, the best trip planner app on iOS and Android


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.

If you purchase via a link marked *, we receive a commission, which we use to run this blog.


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

Is it any wonder that the people of the region told each other fairy tales about dwarves and wolves? This is where the stories that the Brothers Grimm recorded in their fairy tale collection come from. In Bad Wildungen There are even rumors that Snow White was the daughter of Count von Wildungen. In the first edition of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Snow White was blonde. Just like the Count's daughter. But then the similarity ends. Although some people think that the seven dwarves could mean child laborers from ore mines. However, there is no evidence of this.

Nevertheless, Eckhard Sander, a former mathematics and German teacher, sees parallels between the life of the count's daughter Margarethe and the fairytale character Snow White. It is documented that the Brothers Grimm collected their stories from the people. The life story of Margarethe von Wildungen is ideal for this. She lost her mother at an early age. When she was six years old, her father married Catharina von Hatzfeld. The evil stepmother? Margarethe is soon passed around to various family members.

So she finally reaches the court of Emperor Charles V via the Siebengebirge (the seven mountains?), where she is supposed to complete her education. There she finally met Philip of Spain, the emperor's son. It is therefore possible that history and legend were mixed here. However, Margarethe's story does not end with a happy ending. Philip is to marry Mary of Tudor in England. Margarethe herself falls ill (from poison, as rumor has it in Waldeck) and dies at the age of 21. Which.


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.

Traditional festivals in the area

  • The festival of lights takes place in the spa gardens of Bad Wildungen in mid-August.
  • Around the same time there was also the stuff and livestock market in Bad Arolsen, which has been held for several hundred years.

You can find good restaurants with regional specialties here:

During your visit, try out culinary specialties such as Ahle sausage, trout from the Edersee or sour cream cake.

  • The Fishtail restaurant serves, among other things, specialties from the lake and the surrounding rivers. (Zur Barrier Wall 59, 34549 Edertal)
  • From Easter to October you can Snack station “Zum Waldbölker” enjoy a cozy snack.
  • In the Old Tower Clock in Waldeck you can try regional dishes in an upscale atmosphere. (34513 Waldeck)


More travel tips for Hessen

Have you ever been to the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park?

Then pass on your tips and experiences in the comments to others who are planning a visit there. How did you experience the nature park?



National Park Kellerwald-Edersee
Click on the photo and then save “Kellerwald-Edersee National Park” on Pinterest


Do you know this?

Source: On-site research with support from the Grimmheimat North Hesse. Our opinions definitely remain our own.

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 Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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,

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked