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Travel

Walking above the tree tops

This isn’t just an unforgettable experience for city dwellers. Walking among the tree tops gives you a new perspective of the forest landscapes. Germany’s newest tree top trail has just opened in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The new nature adventure park Panarbora next to the town of Waldbröl includes a 36 meter high viewing platform. On a clear day, you can see Cologne Cathedral, some 50 kilometer away. Completion work is still in progress but this new attraction is already open to the public. Later highlights yet to be finished will include a maze and a labyrinth of caves.

Breathtaking views

Tree top trails are all the rage. Waldbröl is home to the 15th trail of this kind in Germany, in close cooperation with local foresters and nature protection associations. Panarbora belongs to an environmentally friendly youth hostel, the first of its kind in Europe. The aim is for youngsters to learn about environmental issues in an enjoyable way in their leisure time.

Great views of the surrounding area from the Panarbora viewing platform, Copyright: Maja Hitij/dpa

Great views of the surrounding area

The 1,600 meter long trail offers visitors great views of the local hills at a height of 23 meters. This is an adventure in itself if you are afraid of heights. One of the rewards is the relaxing tranquility you can find here.

An adventure for people of all ages

You can learn all about the project and aspects of nature as you make your way through the tree tops. This is a welcome opportunity to learn about things first hand from an expert guide for young people who are more at home in the digital world.

The first tree top project in Germany opened in 2003 in Fischbach at the French border. Its viewing tower is an impressive 35 meters high. A challenge for visitors of all ages is to be the first to make it to the top. The idea was initially seen critically by some but now it is a major tourist attraction in the Pfalz region.

Among the trees

Deutschland Naturerlebnispark Panarbora im Bergischen Land

Learning about the forest via digital media

Tree top trails are also popular with foreign visitors to Germany. The Black Forest, the Spessart and the border regions of the Bavarian Alps are among the most popular destinations. The trails are a great way to experience freedom and get away from everyday worries, reduce stress levels and enjoy life at a more leisurely pace.


Tourists interested in nature can find tree top trails throughout Germany, from the Baltic coast to the Black Forest. The views change with the seasons. On the island of Rügen you can also watch the stars during nighttime trails.

Most of the trails are suitable for people in wheelchairs and for anyone pushing a pram. The ascents are gentle but offer fantastic views.

Germany’s oldest tree top trail in Fischbach attracts some 150,000 visitors every year.

The organizers of Panarbora hopes to welcome some 80,000 guests a year.