As the sun breaks through the lush green canopy, the young longhorn beetles swarm around, and the sound of the surf crashing on the shore in the distance is the perfect experience of nature on the Darß. Welcome to the ancient Darß forest. 36 trails are marked to help you explore this unspoilt bit of nature whilst breathing in both sea and forest air at the same time and observing numerous species in their natural habitat.
Ancient Forest. What might sound like long-lost paradise is actually right outside your front door here in Prerow. Such primordial forests are ecosystems that have seen minimal human impact over the millennia. In the Darß forest, the pines grow as shaped and sculpted by the coastal winds. Bracken covers the ground like a green carpet. And the ancient, gnarled beech trees have put artists like Paul Flickel, Paul Müller-Kaempff and Louis Douzette under their spell. This is a landscape just begging to be painted.
The lush greenery and the fragrant wood and wild flowers are beneficial for both body and soul. A 50 km network of hiking, biking, riding and carriage trails runs through the 4,700 hectare forest in the immediate vicinity of Prerow. There’s even a loop trail that passes through a swampy area, although your feet stay dry on the wooden planks. The forest also has two oak towers that reward the climb with extensive views into the distance. This is the perfect spot to let the wind blow in your face, enjoy the silent expanse, and observe the migratory birds.
The park’s motto “Let nature be” also applies to the animal world. Squirrels and woodpeckers love the old pine, spruce and beech trees. Small vipers, red deer and wild boars all make their way across the leaf- and fern-covered forest floor.
Deep inside the forest, you can even go on a little journey back in time. 3,000 years ago, the sea levels had risen so much that what were once coastal cliffs on the old sea shore are right in the middle of the forest.