Naturpark Nagelfluhkette

Sunday, 25 April 2010
  • Country Austria, Germany
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 Established in 2008, the Nagelfluhkette Nature Park brings together communities in the southern Allgäu and the Vorderer Bregenzerwald. It is the first nature park to span the border between Germany and Austria. The communities contained in the protected area are all located in the renowned Nagelfluhkette range. The massif is mainly composed of Nagelfluh, a conglomerate made from innumerable riverbed pebbles of varying sizes which have been compacted to form the rock. The most famous peak is the Hochgrat (1,834 m) which rears up more than 1,000 m above the surrounding valleys. The Nagelfluhkette Nature Park is home to many valuable species, including capercaillie, black grouse, golden eagles, white-backed woodpeckers and mountain apollos.

Because of the area's geological diversity, the deep soil layers can be both chalky and sandy. Consequently, the plant life is incredibly rich and varied. As well as Alchemilla cleistophylla (Allgäu lady's mantle), a plant endemic to the protected area, plant-lovers will find purple gentian, wood pinks and noble silver firs.
The Nagelfluhkette is an area of established, mature farmland which is surprisingly well preserved given its location on the edge of the northern Alps. This reflects the importance of agriculture, with around 400 farmers, many of whom use Alpine farming practices which have shaped the landscape. There is an unusually high proportion of grazing meadows on both sides of the border. 

 Alongside agriculture and forestry, tourism has been a mainstay of the area covered by the natural park for the last century. The 14 communities within the protected area have an impressive 20,000 beds on offer in hotels, guesthouses and holiday homes in order to cater for around 2.5 million overnight stays each year.

The new management body has a lot on its plate. The currently priorities are developing sustainable tourism products (top quality walking paths and networks of paths); setting up environmental education activities (programme of walks and field trips, information points); promoting sales of regional products (partnership scheme), and providing practical support for sustainable regional development. The management body is based in Oberstaufen, Germany, and is responsible for the whole nature park, including the parts in Austria. The management board and committees all contain representatives from both sides of the border which is beneficial for joint development projects.

Rolf Eberhard, director


Contact details:

  Naturpark Nagelfluhkette e.V.
Schloßstraße 8
D-87534 Oberstaufen
Tel. 0049 8386 9300 -328 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0049 8386 9300 -328 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax. 0049 8386 9300 -339




Park's identity card

Name of the protected area

Naturpark Nagelfluhkette (nature park)


Managing organisation (if different)

Naturpark Nagelfluhkette e.V.


Germany / Austria

Area (ha)


Year of creation

German part on the 1st of january 2008, Austrian part on the 27th of may 2008

UICN category


Legal basis

In Germany: Natural park (reconnu)
In Austria: Agreement between municipalities and state government, but without an official act

Included regions

Germany: Allgäu, in the state of Bavaria
Austria: District of Vorderwald, in the state of Vorarlberg

Number of municipalities


Highest point (m)


Lowest point (m)



around 13 000 residents

Forest surface

around 20900 ha

Glacier surface


Pasture surface

around 8140 ha

Prevailing landscape types

Mixed mountain forest, subalpine spruce forest, alpine pastures, high and low marshes, forest gorges, natural ground running water

Emblematic fauna

Western Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Hazel Grouse, Golden Eagle, Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker, Apollo (butterfly), Red Deer, Chamois

Emblematic flora

Alchemilla, Dianthus sylvestris, Gentiana, Silver Fir

Major touristic attractions

Mountain chain Nagelfluhkette, lake Alpsee, cave Sturmannshöhle, ecomuseums Frauenmuseum and Juppenwerkstatt

Information center(s) (quanitity, name, topics)

From the end of next year, information center Lake house (AlpSeeHaus) will be opened in Immenstadt, other information points are in construction on the top stations of the cable cars.



Number of employees



Nearest train stations : Bregenz, Oberstaufen, Immenstadt, Blaichach ou Fischen, and bus 

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ALPARC - The Alpine Network of Protected Areas

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