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Welcome to the Southern Black Forest Nature Park

Green hills, dark trees, small villages

Its unique countryside, breathtaking scenery and the rich variety of intact nature and local traditions makes the Southern Black Forest Nature Park (Naturpark Südschwarzwald) one of Germany’s most interesting regions and top travel destinations.

It´s extraordinary for the Southern Black Forest, that nature and many types of human land use (such as farming, forestry and tourism) can co-exist here. That is the basis for the region’s status as a Nature Park.

Why is there a ´Nature Park´ in the south of the Black Forest?

In difference to the status of a National Park - there the main priority is the protection of plants, wildlife and natural habitats - a Nature Park involves strongly the local human society and settlements in its preservation concept. The goal is a peaceful co-existence of man and nature, based on a sustainable development of the region.

The idea of the Naturpark Südschwarzwald is to balance the protection of the natural environment with the needs of the people who live within the area. That preservation concept also includes the old local customs and the traditional style of land use.
Under the shield of the item ´Nature Park´, there is hope, that an enduring form of environmentally-compatible exploitation can be developed. The Association wants to preserve the special character of the environment of the Southern Black Forest with its certain beauty and richness for future generations.

The ´Naturpark Südschwarzwald Association´ was founded in February 1999 as a cooperative project, of the five local districts and the 103 towns and villages within the area. It covers the size of more than 370,000 hectares, which makes it one of the largest Nature Parks in Germany.

Farmboy with his pet

The Projects of the Southern Black Forest Nature Park

Funded by the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the European Union, the ´Naturpark Südschwarzwald Association´ supports numerous projects that promote tourism, agriculture, forestry, culture, leisure, sports and nature protection.
The following examples of supported projects will show the importance of the Nature Park to support the region:

  • On the right way: 
    A new hiking trail concept was developed together with the ´The Black Forest Hiking Association´ (Schwarzwaldverein). It includes uniform signposting throughout for an easier orientation. Concept-based maps, published by the Land Survey of the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, show detailed information about hiking trails, day trips destinations, tourist infrastructure and sports facilities. 
  • For cheese lovers: 
    Eighteen farm cheese dairies in the Nature Park are united under the name ´Black Forest Cheese Route´ (Käseroute). It was founded in December 2000. It is Baden-Wuerttemberg’s very first cheese route and it has become a very popular attraction for gourmets.
  • Bike fun:
    To admit the beautiful views and scenery, the Naturpark Südschwarzwald bike path network offers a large scale of different routes for cyclists: from a relaxing tour for the whole family up to the thrill of an extreme mountain bike tour on the steep mountain slopes. In addition to the new signposts of the mountain bike trails, the routes and their classifications are marked in the new mountain bike maps.
  • Hands-on Learning: 
    The Naturpark Südschwarzwald has around 100 learning and adventure trails to discover!
  • Food sensations from local products:
    The Association of the ´Chefs of Nature Park of the Southern Black Forest´ (Naturpark-Wirte) offers high quality dishes in the 38 restaurants of the association members. With the use of local agricultural products and herbs they show their customers the richness and the high quality of the food of the southern Black Forest in a very delicious way.
  • Further projects: 
    Regional Activities – Information campaigns – Development of technical guidelines for communes