Waldnaabtal Nature Reserve

The Waldnaabtal Nature Reserve is a 300 acre plus protected area centered by its namesake River Waldnaab. Located between Falkenberg and Neuhaus in the Oberpfalz or Upper Palatinate in English, this incredibly lush slice of paradise is the primary draw of an area know to beer aficionados for Zoigl. Little known outside the German speaking world, it is garnering more attention with the promotion of the country’s longest hiking trail, the 660 km Goldsteig, opened in 2007. 
IMG_6205the Goldsteing cuts right through the Waldnaabtal Nature Reserve
With well-marked trails, it’s a great place for hikers of all levels to enjoy a beautiful nature experience easily accessed from nearby towns. With dense lush forests, it is a also a great place to escape the heat in summer. 

the lush Waldnaabtal 

Designated a nature reserve in 1950, it is most noted as home to many geotopes, often spectacular rock formations, which provide insights into the history of an area and of the earth itself. 
IMG_6358.JPGthe Tischstein
IMG_6239mossy formation near the Hammerwagen
IMG_6229pool from the Hammerwagen 
IMG_6235.JPGHammerwagen
Great for kids and adults that like to read a bit about what they’re looking at are signed areas with write-ups (in German only). It’s surely a great way to get a kid into hiking as it breaks the trail up into smaller sections. 

signed areas with descriptions great for kids and adults alike

Surely the hightlight of the trail is the Butterfass, a series of very smooth rock formations about half-way through the reserve, stradling the river. It’s a great place to take a break and enjoy the cool serendity if affords. 
IMG_6293the Butterfass
Another highlight of the hike, not far from the Butterfass, is the Blockhütte, a great hut in cooler months and Biergarten in warmer ones. If you’re hungry, this is the place to eat but even if not, you have to stop for a Zoigl if nothing else. 
IMG_6331the Blockhütte
Numerous scenic bridges cross the river, offereing alternate routes back for those not interested in walking the whole route. 
IMG_6364scenic bridges cross the Waldnaab River
This scenic trail between Falkenberg and Neuhaus is about 14 km long and is well-marked and suitable for people of fair fitness level.  As mentioned, there are loops that can be make using the bridges and from Falkenberg in particular, they have a circulate route for people staying or parked there.
IMG_6338.JPGcircuit from Falkenberg is well-marked and long with a lunch stop
The longer route is most suited for those walkers carrying their gear from Falkenberg to Neuhaus, a great way to link these two (three counting Windischeschenbach just a stroll from Neuhaus) Zoigl paradises via a gorgeous swath of nature! 

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