Kristin Biebl guides visitors through the Bavarian Forest National Park, whose wild, original landscapes are always utterly magical. And she reveals her favourite walking trail
Ranger Kristin Biebl
Countless mighty trees. The path leads ever higher. And suddenly – arriving at the peak of the Lusen – walkers are faced with a breathtaking view: “Up on the mountain they savour the wind and, naturally, a sense of achievement for getting that far,” explains ranger Kristin Biebl, who regularly guides visitors to the Bavarian Forest National Park to the top of the Lusen.
Together with her colleagues, Kristin Biebl provides them with information about Germany’s oldest National Park. She checks, clears and secures the trails and looks after the animals that live in the forest. Protecting the environment is a special mission for her: “I want to make our guests aware of the need to protect the natural world and explain to them what the National Park means, why it exists and why it is such a good thing”, the young woman explains.
Ranger: A dream come true
Her love of nature in her native Bavarian Forest goes back to Kristin Biebl’s childhood. Together with her parents and grandparents, she spent most of her time in the impressive landscape around Spiegelau. At the age of eleven she joined the ranks of Junior Rangers in the National Park. Building nest boxes, hiking through the mountains and exploring the moors - Kristin Biebl was fully inspired and resolved to become a ranger one day. A couple of years later her dream became reality.
A rollercoaster of special impressions
Informing people of all ages about the forest and showing them the comings and goings of nature – the tour through the Bavarian Forest National Park sets off at 10:30 am every Tuesday in the summer season. Visitors assemble in the Park and Ride car park in Spiegelau. “There’s no need to register in advance – anyone who turns up can just join in,” says the ranger.
An impressive walk through the forest
Visitors to the National Park find themselves immersed in various different worlds. Huge boulders, mixed woodland, old and dead trees that have stood for centuries, young saplings in the prime of life: After an impressive walk through the forest, visitors to the 1,373 metre high Lusen come across a highly distinctive geological feature – a sea of countless blocks of granite. From here they have a unique view out over the whole Bavarian Forest, and on a clear day they can even see as far as the Alps.
Fascinating Bavarian Forest National Park
In order to preserve, maintain and look after this idyllic landscape, rangers have been employed in the Bavarian Forest since 1974 – four years after the National Park was established. They work with scientists to ensure that the habitat of many trees, plants and animals is preserved. “Here in the National Forest our focus is on research,” comments Kristin Biebl. On special guided tours she imparts some of this knowledge to her guests.
This could be a tour to one of the impressive research projects, a visit to the animal enclosure or a walk through the fascinating high moorland: Visitors even come from America and Australia to experience the natural wilderness with all its facets in Germany’s oldest National Park. It’s something not to be missed – a trip to Bavaria’s green oasis.
... from Kristin
The most beautiful view
From the top of the Lusen you have a wonderful panoramic view over the Bavarian Forest. Due to the sea of granite blocks there are no trees blocking the view.
bayerischer-wald.de/lusen (only in German)
Chilling on the Rachel
I like Lusen, but I like Rachel even more. There are not so many people there. I enjoy a certain solitude in this place. That's why this is the mountain I would go up. But the way to Rachel is a bit more strenuous than to Lusen.
bayerischer-wald.de/rachel (only in German)
Folk festivals in the region
In summer you can visit the Gäuboden folk festival in Straubing and the Pichelsteiner festival in Regen. But also the smaller festivals in the individual communities are very worth seeing. In winter I recommend the Forest Christmas in Schweinhütt - a Christmas market right in the forest. As soon as it gets dark and it starts snowing easily, there is a very fascinating atmosphere.
bayerischer-wald.de/volksfeste (only in German)