Šumava National Park is located in the South-Western part of the Czech Republic, along the border to Germany and, for a short section, to Austria. Together with the neighbouring Bayerischer Wald National Park they cover the largest part of the Bohemian Forest, a unique large semi-natural forest area in the middle of Europe.
Both Šumava National Park and its adjacent UNESCO-protected biosphere reserves are proof of the restored environment in the region. This is visible by the various rare wild animals re-appearing in their original habitats.
Most of the woods and forests covering almost 40 percent of the region’s area are freely accessible to both tourists and the mushrooming and forest-fruit-picking public. Most of the woods are spruce or pine mono-cultures.
Protection of nature
Some parts of the Šumava Mountains have been protected for some 150 years.
The Šumava Mountains were declared as a large size protected area in 1963 with 167.000 ha PLA (Protected Landscape Area); it was at that time the largest protected area in the former Czechoslovakia and it encompasses the current Šumava National Park.
In 1978 the Šumava PLA was designated as “Water Natural Accumulation Protected Area", while in 1990 the Šumava Biosphere Reserve was recognized by UNESCO. The Šumava National Park was established in 1991 by the Government of the Czech Republic.
Currently Šumava National park covers an area of 68.064 ha and the protected zone around the park is an additional 99.624 ha.
80% of the park is forest. Only 0.1% of the park is urban area and the rest is non-forest or agricultural land.
The highest point in the park is 1378m (Plechý) above sea level and the lowest point is near Rejštejn 570m.
The park is very attractive for outdoor activities and hosts largely over 2 million of visitors per year. A large majority come from Czech Republic while a growing number of German visitors is recorded.
Trails are well marked and several information centers are operational; however very little
information is available in foreign languages, though efforts are currently made to introduce English and German languages on information boards.
You can find the information centers on the map of Šumava