The Upper Palatinate Forest is shaped by prehistoric rocks – by granites and gneiss deposits. These rocks are some of the oldest rocks that shape the landscape anywhere. The Upper Palatinate Forest forms part of the Hercynian mountain range in the middle of Central Europe. It covers the area from the Fichtelgebirge via the Bohemian Forest down to Passau as far as the "Lower Bavarian Forest". Within this large complex, the Upper Palatinate Forest has its own specific and characteristic peculiarities in its natural environment which make it distinct from the other parts.
Particularly rare plant communities such as "orchid or gentian meadows" can also still be found in the nature park. Due to the numerous marginal earning sites for agriculture, extensively used wet meadows, which are particularly important both for the appearance of the landscape and for natural conservation, are taking up an increasingly large amount of space.
The Charlottenhof pond district is the second-largest natural conservation area in the Upper Palatinate region and it is noted for its beautiful countryside, its very precious plant populations, but above all for its outstanding importance as a breeding ground, transit site and rest area for over 100 bird species (e.g. ospreys, white-tailed sea eagles, black storks, cormorants, sandpipers, little ringed plovers).
On a tour of the Prackendorfer and Kulzer Moos you can wind your way through thick moorland forest and discover mysterious moorland bodies of water. Here you will find lots of rare animals and plants and learn useful facts about what this natural conservation area was previously used for.
The Taubenwiesbach stream flows into the Schwarzach river below the Eixendorf reservoir. This heralds the start of a nature trail which provides you with information about the tree species that occur here and about other topics relating to the forest. On the guided tour, the special features of this habitat and the exceptional collaboration between a range of different parties involved in implementing a natural conservation project are explained in detail.
In the nature park of the foothills of the Bavarian Forest, the Jugenberg is at 610 metres high a striking landmark near Nittenau. From the meeting point at Hof am Regen the walk initially takes you via Gunt to Eckartsreuth. Stone sculptures then line the route to the summit. Clearings repeatedly offer you a splendid view out over the valley of the River Regen and towards the town of Nittenau. After a walk of around two hours, you can if you wish stop for a snack or visit the distillery of the Jugenberg farmers.