In cooperation with the tourism association Mecklenburg-Schwerin e.V.

Parchim is surrounded by beautiful and varied forests. It is even the most wooded town in the region. And thus offers the best conditions for a discipline that is currently attracting more and more attention: Forest bathing. The practice originates from Japan, where it is called "Shinrin Yoku," which means "immersion in the atmosphere of the forest. We introduce you to three places where you can feel the magic of the forest for yourself.

Arrive, feel, relax

You've probably experienced this too: a walk in the forest is simply good for you. The forest surrounds us with dancing rays of light, soft moss underfoot, a pleasant scent and fresh air. Anyone who takes a moment to consciously perceive all of this, far away from the urban hustle and bustle, is actually already in the middle of their first forest bath! For forest bathing means first of all consciously engaging in the forest experience with all your senses and without a goal - unlike jogging or cycling, for example, where you are usually also focused on training. While bathing in the forest, you discover the beneficial power of the trees, which can strengthen your well-being and health. This has even been scientifically studied.

Located in the middle of dense forests, the Parchim region is a perfect destination for those who want to experience the magic of the forest up close. We present you three places that are particularly suitable for a day in the forest!

The sun mountain

The region around the Sonnenberg southwest of Parchim is also called the Parchim Alps. The nature reserve covers an area of 116 hectares and its forest holds many a surprise.

Particularly impressive: the tallest and perhaps oldest Douglas firs in Central Europe. You can marvel at them here and feel a bit like a dwarf among gentle giants. The old trees tower impressively and majestically into the sky; the strongest of the Douglas firs has a height of 58 meters! You can explore the surroundings on numerous hiking trails.

Anyone at home? In the Middle Ages, the robber chief Vieting is said to have wreaked havoc here © Stadt Parchim
Anyone at home? In the Middle Ages, the robber chief Vieting is said to have wreaked havoc here © Stadt Parchim

According to legend, in the Middle Ages this area was a perfect hiding place for the robber chief Vieting and his band, who are said to have been up to mischief here. But don't worry - you don't have to be afraid on your exploration tours. But maybe you will discover the legendary treasure that has been searched for here for a long time (in vain) ...

You can even end the day in nature with "forest in a glass": Vietings Gin is distilled locally with the needles of the Parchim Douglas firs.

Wockersee and Wockertal

Lake Wockersee in the north of Parchim is a popular destination. Parchimers like to come here for a picnic or a hike around the lake. There is also a bathing area and a nature reserve adjoins to the north. Forest and nature fans are fascinated above all by the rare flora and fauna, which can be experienced particularly well during a decelerated swim in the forest.

For your forest exploration, you can, for example, use the beautiful circular trail that leads around the lake and through the valley of the small river Wocker. It runs for 14 kilometers, sometimes directly on the shore, sometimes through the sparse forest with its tall trees. If you shorten the route and just walk around the lake, it will take you about 90 minutes.

A detour to the Voigtsdorf carp pond is worthwhile: there, on the initiative of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State Forestry, a kingfisher nature trail has been created, which explains the habitats of the rare bird at nine stations. With its colorful shimmering plumage, it is a special inhabitant of this area. With a little luck and patience, you can spot it here in its natural habitat. An experience you will not soon forget!

After so much nature you are ready for a refreshment? No problem, the Café am Wockersee awaits you, and the many restaurants in Parchim's old town are not far away.

The Parchim city forest

One of the great advantages of having discovered the forest as a place to relax and recharge: You don't need much! In Parchim, you don't even have to leave the city limits behind to immerse yourself in the healing greenery. You can also enjoy beautiful hours in the forest with the whole family.

Maybe you are traveling with children? Then we recommend you the Parchim city forest, which covers an impressive 3030 hectares and is divided into several districts. There are more than 30 tree species there. This is a challenge for forest friends of all ages: How many can you tell apart and name? Exploring together is a great exercise in mindfulness and respect for nature.

A special tip for families is the Forsthof in Kiekindemark, which focuses on environmental education for young and old. There is a forest school and a show garden here - during a visit you can refresh your knowledge about the many tree species and life in the forest in an entertaining way. Or you can take part in a guided tour and learn even more about the urban forest habitat.

Absolute highlight for children is the beautiful playground at the Forsthof!

By the way: If you would like to stop for a leisurely meal after your swim in the woods or spend the night in a beautiful atmosphere, the city of Parchim is the perfect destination! It is one of the oldest cities in Mecklenburg, from its eventful history numerous buildings worth seeing have been preserved, for example the two large churches St. Georgen and St. Marien or the historic town hall. The Elde meanders picturesquely through the city center, which has been lovingly restored. Parchim's inhabitants affectionately call the town "uns Pütt" and welcome guests with typical Mecklenburg hospitality.

Cover photo: View of the Sonnenberge nature reserve © Olaf Märtin

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