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About Fursten Forest

Above the German village of Fürstenau, which lies close to the German-Dutch border, is the largest outdoor recreational area in Europe: Fursten Forest. This large, wooded area is a former training area of ​​the German army. Now you will find a unique theme park here, where action and nature come together in a spectacular mix!

The military history of Fursten Forest

The military history of Fürstenau dates back to around 1340. At that time, the castle Fürstenau was built to guard the western border. Halfway through the 16th century the castle was expanded into a fortress where 50 soldiers were permanently stationed.

During the Thirty Years’ War, the fortress was occupied by Danish and Swedish troops, among others, before the familiar garrison was restored in honor in 1651.

After the Second World War, Polish soldiers were stationed in Fürstenau, which remained until 1947. Only 12 years later, Fürstenau became a garrison town of the German army. The newly built barracks north of the town were occupied on 30 March 1959 by the tank soldiers of the German Panzergrenadierbataillon 332.

On June 14, 2007, the last army unit that was housed in the barracks, the Sanitätsregiment 12, was discontinued. This brought an end to almost seven centuries of military tradition.

The Fursten Forest site

Via the entrance on the southeast side of the park you first reach a building complex. The barracks, sheds, dining rooms, workshops and the power station of the former barracks are located here. You will also find the campsite here. Immediately to the north of these buildings is a somewhat passable area. This is particularly suitable for driving with SUVs. The buildings also have a fully equipped workshop, where you can tinker with your own vehicle! There is also a laundry room where you can rinse your vehicle after a day of adventure. The real challenge lies to the west of the buildings, in the form of medium to heavy terrain. Especially in the southern half of the area there are enough routes to get lost. That is why letter markers have been placed throughout the area that correspond to the letters on the park map.

An armored hill and other remaining training facilities of the army are located in the northern half of the area. There are also various new facilities for 4-wheel drivers and other off-road drivers, such as a bridge, a seesaw, cross-axels and a winch. At the top of the area is also an old sand excavation, where desert driving can be perfectly simulated.

The nature of Fursten Forest

During your day out in Fursten Forest, don’t be surprised when a deer or roe deer suddenly crosses your path. The park borders directly on the Teutoburg Forest: a gigantic forest area with a rich diversity of plants and animals.

In Fursten Forest, the aim is not to let leisure activities be at the expense of the flora and fauna. For example, parts of the park are defined as nature reserves and therefore not accessible to motorized traffic. In addition, a specially developed Green Code is used throughout the park. This has been drawn up on the basis of guidelines from the Federation of Dutch Terrain Vehicle Clubs (FNTC). The code is aimed at sparing nature as much as possible.

So you can go on an adventure in nature in a responsible way!