The 110 square kilometre Eifel National Park, established in 2004, is still categorized as a “National Park in development.“
Conservation areas falling under this category have 30 years to allow at least 3 quarters of the area to revert to its natural state; only then will they meet the requirements of an international national park.
Coniferous woods are removed during this operation, and mixed natural beech trees forests are put in their place.
More than half of the region already follows the National Park’s motto, “Let nature be nature,” which means that people are letting nature thrive according to its own principles.
The atmosphere of Eifel National Park, which has been shaped by centuries of volcanic activity, promises visitors unmatched magnificence with stunning views.
Every visitor will find something to captivate their heart, from hiking routes and attractive isolated towns to fairytale forests and lakes.
1. Where is Eifel National Park
Eifel Nature Park, located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, their only national park, is about a four-hour drive from the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Calais terminal.
North of the Eifel, between North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, and eastern Belgium, is the Hohes Venn Eifel nature park, which spans international boundaries.
It is one of the many gorgeous hiking tours in the area, which is well-known.
The park, which spans over 110 km and connects North Rhine-Westphalia with Rhineland Palatinate and eastern Belgium, is a great place to explore.
2. The Park’s Geography
North Eifel, a thickly forested low Eifel mountains range that runs through western Germany and eastern Belgium, is the focal point of Eifel National Park.
The 33 sq km (12.7 sq mi) Dreiborn Plateau (Dreiborner Hochfläche) sits in the middle of the park.
The Dreiborn Plateau is one of the most well-liked regions in North Eifel due to its open heathlands and vistas of the surrounding countryside.
The River Uft, which winds through the centre of National Park Eifel, is one of many noteworthy rivers in the Eifel region.
Schleiden is the significant town that is most nearby to Eifel National Park.
There are 18 communities in Schleiden, including the city’s core and Gemünd. Schleiden-Gemünd serves as Eifel National Park’s administrative centre.
In the vicinity of Eifel National Park are Simmerath, Monschau, and Heimbach, among other notable communities.
Eifel National Park is not more than 40 km (25 mi) from Aachen, which is the westernmost city in Germany.
The largest creatures in the wildlife in Eifel National Park are red deer and the park is home to about 1,000 red deer. Raccoon dogs, stone martins, ermines, and mouflons are some more notable animals.
One of Central Europe’s largest populations of European wildcats resides in the Eifel and the nearby Ardennes.
Despite this, wildcats in the park are rarely spotted because they hunt mostly at dawn and twilight. The Mediterranean water shrew is one of the tiniest but most intriguing creatures in the park.
It is considered to be critically endangered in Germany and nothing is known about its habitat. It is also one of the planet’s only venomous mammals.
The unusual and fascinating bird species that inhabit the forests and meadows of Eifel National Park are in plenty. The black stork, which nearly went extinct but has survived because of conservation efforts, is one of the rarest.
The Eurasian wryneck, which is renowned for its ability to mimic snakes, is another fascinating type of bird found in the forest. Peregrine falcons, kingfishers, eagle owls, and grey herons are some other noteworthy bird species.
The painted lady butterfly is one of the greatest rovers among the many insect species that inhabit the park, travelling to the Eifel from as far away as North Africa.
The cranberry fritillary, wart-biter, and pseudoscorpion are a few other noteworthy insect and arachnid species.
Only found in low mountain ranges, the green houndstongue is one of the park’s rarest flowers. Lilies of the valley, fragrant orchids, spotted orchids, and evening primroses are just a few of the other famous flowering species that may be found in Eifel National Park.
Numerous unusual and stunningly colourful fungi also flourish. The octopus stinkhorn, which most likely originated in Asia or Australia and is distinguished by its red and black arms, is one of the highlights of plant species.
The tinder fungus, which is very flammable when dried up and has been used as kindling for thousands of years, is another fascinating mushroom species.
5. Attractions of The Eifel National Park
Some of the major highlights of this park are mentioned below.
5.1. Wilderness Trail
In Eifel National Park, there is over 240 km (149 mi) of hiking trails for you to discover. Make sure to plan your route, let people know where you’re going, and pack adequate food and drink before you leave.
If you want to explore more about Eifel National Park, stop by one of the four national park gates. These gates are in Nideggen, Heimbach, Monschau-Höfen, and Simmerath-Rurberg.
The Wilderness Trail (Wildnis-Trail) is the most popular long-distance hiking route in Eifel National Park.
From the park’s southernmost point at Höfen National Park Gate (Nationalpark-Tor Höfen) to its northernmost point at Hürtgenwald-Zerkall, this route travels 85 kilometres (53 mi).
The lengths of the four sections that make up the Wilderness Trail typically range from 18 km (11 mi) to 24 km (15 mi). The path network is well-marked with wildcat symbols, making it simple to navigate.
5.2. The Volcano Route
Even though the drive finishes in a single day, you should try to make stops along the way to enjoy the various locations.
A must-see is the Laacher See, a crater lake close to the town of Andernach. The lake is a wonderful place to stop and unwind because it has beautiful vistas and pristine waters.
Visit the Lava Dome in Mendig, where visitors can explore the museum’s volcanic vaults; it’s ideal for aspiring geologists.
Germany’s westernmost city, Aachen, is also the largest city, closest to Eifel National Park. Due to its location on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium, Aachen is a cosmopolitan city.
Visitors swarm to Aachen to see the cathedral (Aachener Dom). One of Europe’s oldest cathedrals.
Various architectural styles and elaborate reliquaries embellish the church. Aquis Grana City Hotel, Hampton by Hilton, and Leonardo Hotel are a few of the well-known accommodations in Aachen.
The town of Schleiden is the Eifel National Park’s capital. It’s the biggest village in the national park and where the park’s offices are located.
Schleiden Castle an enormous building from the 12th century, is the principal feature and attraction in Schleiden.
In Schleiden, popular hotels include Katharinenhof Hotel and Pension Zum Alten Rathaus.
Heimbach, the smallest town in North Rhine-Westphalia, is a well-liked vacation destination.
The Mariawald Abbey, which until the final monks left in 2018 was Germany’s last Trappist monastery, is one of Heimbach’s top tourist destinations.
Hengebach Castle is another famous site (Burg Hengebach). Atop a 216 m (708 ft) tall hill, this fortress from the 12th century offers commanding views of the surrounding area.
Astoria Hotel, Art-Hotel Eifel, and Der Seehof Hotel are a few of the well-known hotels in Heimbach.
5.6. Other Places to Visit
In terms of accommodation options, Eifel Nature Park visitors are spoiled with choices.
There are numerous hotels, vacation rentals, and B&Bs, as well as a campground and guesthouse in a national park.
This is the ideal time to take in as much of the park as you can, and since every accommodation selection is sustainable and environmentally friendly, you can relax knowing that your tour with your family won’t harm the ecosystem.
There are numerous hiking paths around the park that cover a variety of landscapes and ranges in length and degree of difficulty.
iews of gorges, lakes, and streams will be present, but the more seasoned hiker can also take on the challenge of some of the more difficult climbs.
Visitors can reserve a cruise on Lake Rur, if they want a more leisurely way to take in the views. The riverside cruises, which run from April to October, are a terrific way to relax.
6. When to Visit
While the park’s scenery is stunning all year round, May through September is one of the greatest months to visit this region of Germany because of the ideal temperatures and weather conditions.
Summertime visits allow avid hikers and mountain bikers plenty of chances to take in all the parks’ unspoiled beauty in all its splendour.
Eifel Nature Park is an excellent area to stop and relax for a few days before continuing on, especially for visitors who arrive later in the year or who plan to attend Oktoberfest.
7. Wrapping Up
The Eifel region has been home to humans since around the Paleolithic era. The Magdalena Cave’s (Magdalenahöhle) human remains provide evidence that the territory was inhabited even at the height of the last glacial period.
The Eifel National Park in Germany offers hikers serene lakeside and woodland strolls. Eifel National Park contains 24 named mountains.
Awaken your senses in the Eifel National Park by gazing out from vantage points like the Hirschley, which is 180 metres above the Rur reservoir.
You can smell woodruff, hear woodpeckers tapping, and feel rough bark and soft moss. The park ranger will advise lying down on one of the spacious “sense benches” in the area.
The sense benches are warm and off the usual path. Lay down and close your eyes. Enjoy your surroundings as you take them in with all of your senses.
The village of Monschau is an excellent location if you have time and want to explore more of the surrounding area.
The ancient walls, cobblestone lanes, and timbered houses—famous for having remained almost unaltered for 300 years—provide another opportunity to immerse in the local culture.
The town’s most recognizable landmark is the distinctive Rotes Haus, which is simple to identify thanks to its red brick exterior.
It’s worth taking a look at the self-supporting staircase that shows the several steps of textile creation.