Spring and summer in Germany is an avidly welcomed and celebrated time of year. With festivals on top of festivals, the opening of dormant parks, pools, rodelbahns, and ropes courses, there is absolutely no shortage of outdoor activities to be enjoyed.
Immersing yourself in the great outdoors can improve your mood and increase energy levels that may have been in a slump over the long winter. Many of the people in this country are supportive of holistic healing and getting into nature as much as possible. Even if you haven’t quite embraced the clothing free culture of mineral baths and saunas, you can shed your socks and shoes and bare your feet at one of the country’s many popular Barfuss parks. These are gaining popularity all over the world and are said to improve overall well being and allow one to connect with nature in a unique way.
What is a Barefoot Park?
A barefoot park is an outdoor recreational park designed to be experienced completely barefoot. Some offer trails are several miles long with varying routes and paths while others offer a short, straightforward stroll. These parks put your feet through a variety of textures such as natural ground, water, mud, glass, sand, nails, and much more. Some parks offer playgrounds, climbing walls, obstacle courses, hiking trails, and therapeutic baths that are designed to be experienced barefoot. The parks welcome participants of all ages and encourage fun and exploration!
What are the believed benefits of going barefoot?
Besides the fun of mucking through these environments with your friends and family barefoot, many believe that there are also numerous health benefits. Regarding children, it’s believed that starting regular barefoot excursions while young can help them form proper arches, balance, and muscle definition thus preventing future injuries to knees, back, and the hips. Other theories include:
- Prevention of varicose veins
- Prevention of illness due to improved immune systems
- Elevation of mood and overall wellbeing
- Better posture and increased athletic performance
What to know
- Most parks are free to enter with a suggested donation for upkeep of the grounds and for conservation.
- Check ahead for accessibility, some may not offer paths for strollers/wheelchairs.
- Dogs are typically not allowed.
- Lockers and/or storage shelves are typically supplied, but bring your own towel, coins for locker usage, and a change of clothes…just in case!
- Wear sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellant! Since many areas are around water, mosquitos can be quite prevalent.
Where can I find them?
Barfuss parks can be found all over Germany, in surrounding European countries, and worldwide. To discover which ones are closest to you, explore with this link: www.barfusspark.info
Most parks are available by car and can be accessed at your own time and pace. The opening hours are usually from sun up to sun down to allow for a relaxed, stress free timetable to complete. Check the park you decide to go to for confirmation of opening/closing times. This is definitely something to experience during your time in Germany. Pack up your loved ones or head out solo to check this one off the list!
Have any barefoot parks you can personally recommend, or stories you can share? Post your experience in the comments below!