The FrankfurtRheinMain region is defined by its diversity: 5.5 million people living in 460 different communities spread out over three states. While each of these cities and towns has its own cultural heritage, there have been numerous regional projects over the past years to instill a sense of cohesion. One excellent example of this cooperative spirit is the Regional Park RheinMain. The initial concept was to create a sustainable greenbelt within the RheinMain region to enhance the overall quality of life. Now 15 years after it was first launched, the Regional Park RheinMain has developed into a comprehensive network of parks, gardens, artistic installations, lakes, picnic areas, castles and much more. The park stretches out along 190 kilometers of well-marked routes and incorporates both new and existing attractions. Two of the many highlights include a former Army airfield in Bonames that was converted into an environmental park, and a winding bike path along the historic High Road (Hohe Strasse). The newly launched website www.regionalpark-rheinmain.de offers a wealth of tips and maps (as well as GPS routes).
Founded in 1868, the Frankfurt Palmengarten is the region's premier botanical garden with a wide selection of tropical plants, greenhouses and other exhibitions. The large complex allows one to stroll through the tropical regions of our world at one's leisure. The plants are arranged largely according to their natural habitats, such as rain forest, mangrove, monsoon and savannah. Guided tours and lectures are held regularly and exhibitions on botanical matters are arranged in the galleries throughout the year. For the kids, there are several playgrounds and a functioning miniature train. The garden is open daily.
Siesmayerstraße 61, 60323 Frankfurt
Tel: 069-212 339 39
Located on a former military airfield, the Aboretum is one of the most successful post-Cold War conversion projects in the region. The airfield was originally built by the German air force, but the US Army used the facility after World War II and then eventually returned it to the German government. The 76-hectare plot nestled between the towns of Schwalbach, Sulzbach and Eschborn was then converted into an arboretum to ecologically compensate for the Frankfurt Airport expansion plans. What resulted is an expansive nature park with a collection of over 600 trees, bushes and plants from Europe, Asia and North America. The Arboretum also features horseback riding trails and ecological nature walks.
Am Weißen Stein, 65824 Schwalbach
The Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald has joined the global network of 23 UNESCO European Geoparks in 2002, in an effort to preserve Europe's geological heritage and to promote sustainable development. The park stretches over 3,200 sqm in three different states, bordered by the Rhein, Main and Neckar valleys. The rich presence of rocks, geological formations and landscapes offer a unique insight into 500 million years of the Earth's history. The park is a haven for outdoor and educational activities, while bio- and geo-scientists offer guided landscape adventure tours as well as numerous other activities.
Tel: 06251-70 79 90
The Taunus is a low mountain range that is often considered Frankfurt's playground. At its highest elevation of 878 meters to the Feldberg, the Taunus offers a wide range of recreational activities year round - hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, walking and mountain climbing. The Taunus is also a treasure-trove of history, including the Saalburg Roman fort, castles and quaint villages with half-timbered houses. The quiet vistas of the Taunus, with its geological formations and diverse wildlife, can make the hustle and bustle of Frankfurt seem very distant. A great place to start is the Taunus Information Center, Hohemarkstraße 192, Oberursel, which is also reachable by public transportation from Frankfurt (U3). www.taunus.info
The Wetterpark in Offenbach is an 20,000 square meter park, which also offers interactive experiments to help explain complex scientific topics. The park features 12 stations which emphasize different weather phenomena and is free of charge. For more details visit www.offenbach.de/wetterpark/
For more information on Parks and Gardens in the area, please visit: