The Fuerstenlager State Park was the former summer residence of the grand dukes of Hessen-Darmstadt. It is located in an idyllic side valley on the foothills of Odenwald forest.
It is a beautiful park for picnic with children in summer. Also, there are several hiking paths with an amazing view of the valley. Around an hour’s walk away from the park is the ruins of Auerbach Castle.
You can plan it for a day trip from Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Mainz or Heidelberg. Just grab some picnic or gear up for hiking to discover the hidden gem with exotic plants and trees!
About State Park Bensheim
The park’s origin is the Gesundbrunnen (mineral well) discovered at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1790, Landgrave Ludwig X decided to build his summer residence here away from the strict court etiquette of the royal city of Darmstadt.
In order to recreate the country life, summer residence was kept simple and provided with rural elements such as a swan pond, stables, a dairy and a health fountain. The court gardener Carl Ludwig Geiger designed the residence.
The village-like buildings in the middle of park such as Fremdenbau and Kavaliersbau, the Prinzenbau and Damenbau, the guards’ quarters were built around the mineral well.
The gazebos, pavilions and decorative memorial stones were connected by a network of avenues. It invited the visitors to take long walks.
One of the oldest sequoia trees in Europe could be found here alongside other botanical exotics such as bald cypresses, sickle firs, dark flowering magnolias and bush chestnuts.
In the summer, it is possible to participate in special guided tours including bread baking in the historic stone oven and tasting.
How to get to Fuerstenlager Park
You can reach the park by train or by car. If you are close-by to locations such as Felsenmeer, then you can also hike to the park.
By public transport:
You can reach the park by taking the DB train to Bensheim-Auerbach. From the train station walk about approximately 30 minutes to reach the park.
By car, you can take A5 from Darmstadt and exit Zwingenberg or from Heidelberg take the Bensheim exit or take A67 to Lorsch exit.
Parking is only possible outside the park. A brown arrow “Fürstenlager” points in Bensheim-Auerbach to the parking lots along the the Bachgasse.
Know before you go
The state park Bensheim is open daily and freely accessible for hiking and picnic. Dogs are allowed in the park.