Hidden, right at the very back of Muotathal (Muota Valley), lies one of the most ancient surviving Alpine forests – the Bödmerenwald. The forest is around 550 ha in size, with some parts of it still untouched today. You can discover it for yourself, with the the themed trails “Urwaldspur” and the hiking trail “Urwaldweg” (approx. 3 hrs hiking time, 10km long, 469m in height).
The ancient mountain forest grows on a karst landscape, furrowed by ditches and fractures. The many obvious pillar-like crown shape spruces is an adaptation to the large quantities of snowfall. Here lie the oldest spruces in Europe.
Particularly impressive is the Bödmerenwald during the mountain spring between June – July and the autumn time, when the whistling-grass turns orange and the bilberry leaves are red. There is approximately 156 h of primary forest within the core area of the Bödmeren forest reserve. This is a subalpine spruce forest and cannot be found anywhere else in Switzerland.
Since 1984, 70 ha have been secluded as a reserve and is under constant observation by experts. The reserve status has allowed experts to conduct a number of scientific investigations, with it’s unique animal and plant community validating the reserve’s uniqueness.
Our route leads through the primeval Bödmer reserve, situated between Mittenwald and Bödmeren. Initially through a small coniferous forest and then a birch grove with shrubby vegetation, as well as spruce and Scotch pine. The flora is very sensitive to the soil conditions and microtopography, which is evident in a vast diversity. The mountain pasture marks the end of the virgin forest.
The mosaic of forest and pastureland accompanies us along the entire route. Forest areas have been cleared to gain land for grazing where the soil was suitable. Fascinating small biotopes can be seen along the way. The high rate of precipitation – approximately 2500mm per year – drains away quickly, except where layers of clay seal the ground. These natural watering holes enable livestock to graze in this area which has no watercourses. After hiking past impressive panoramic views of the Muota Valley, we return to the starting point.
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Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Its cities contain landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge.
The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world renowned.