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Kalkalpen National Park - Wild Ditch - Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe

Reichraming, Austria

Nationalpark Kalkalpen - Wilder Graben is a stunning nature reserve located in the town of Reichraming, Austria. Established in 1997, it is one of the largest national parks in Austria, covering an area of over 21,000 hectares. The park is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and rich cultural history.

The name "Wilder Graben" translates to "Wild Ravine," and it perfectly captures the rugged and untouched beauty of this park. The landscape of the park is characterized by steep mountains, dense forests, and deep gorges, carved out by glaciers and rivers over thousands of years. The park is also home to the highest mountain in the northern limestone Alps, the Grosser Priel, standing at an impressive 2,514 meters.

Nature lovers will be delighted by the diverse range of flora and fauna found in the park. The forests are home to over 70 species of trees, including rare and protected species such as the European yew and the Swiss stone pine. The park is also a haven for wildlife, with over 40 different mammal species, including the rare lynx, European brown bear, and golden eagle.

In addition to its natural beauty, Nationalpark Kalkalpen - Wilder Graben also has a rich cultural history. The area has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, and there are traces of ancient settlements and traditional farming practices scattered throughout the park. Visitors can also learn about the region's past through the various exhibitions and guided tours offered by the park.

The park offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, such as hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife watching. There are over 200 km of well-maintained hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to more challenging routes for experienced hikers. The park also has several designated cycling routes, which allow visitors to explore the park on two wheels.

Nationalpark Kalkalpen - Wilder Graben is not only a beautiful natural landscape, but it is also a place of conservation and education. The park has a strong commitment to protecting its unique ecosystem and educating visitors about the importance of preserving nature.

In conclusion, Nationalpark Kalkalpen - Wilder Graben is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, hikers, and anyone looking to experience the beauty and diversity of Austria's natural landscape. With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural history, this park offers a truly unforgettable experience for all who visit.

This transnational property includes 93 component parts in 18 countries. Since the end of the last Ice Age, European Beech spread from a few isolated refuge areas in the Alps, Carpathians, Dinarides, Mediterranean and Pyrenees over a short period of a few thousand years in a process that is still ongoing. The successful expansion across a whole continent is related to the tree’s adaptability and tolerance of different climatic, geographical and physical conditions.

Kalkalpen National Park (in English literally Limestone Alps National Park) is a national park within the Northern Limestone Alps mountain range, located in the state of Upper Austria, Austria. The park was established in 1997. The ancient beech forests within the national park were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe, because of their undisturbed nature and testimony to the ecological history of Europe since the Last Glacial Period.

Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe is a transnational serial nature UNESCO World Heritage Site, encompassing 93 component parts (forests of European beech, Fagus sylvatica) in 18 European countries. Together, the sites protect the largest and least disturbed forests dominated by the beech tree. In many of these stands, especially those in the Carpathians, beech forests have persisted without interruption or interference since the last ice age. These sites document the undisturbed postglacial repopulation of the species.