An autumnal hike through the HealthyLand Vulkaneifel
Waldinsel BuchenGlück, Waldinsel Waldduft, Waldinsel Traumtal: These are the names of the three special resting places where I can rest and relax on my tour through the Lutzerather Forest in mid-September. At only five kilometers, the Wald-Wohlfühl-Weg is not all that long, and the flat terrain does not require any special physical fitness. But I can relax and unwind here in a special way.
The three forest islands that invite me to linger, to rest and to enjoy have a natural calming effect on me. The fascinating, impressive forest lined with ancient beech and oak trees near the Lutzerather Drei-Eichen-Hütte is tailor-made to take me away from everyday life.
I enjoy the colorfulness of the autumnal forest and ask myself, why do the leaves actually change color in autumn? How does Mother Nature manage to perform this colorful natural spectacle in the autumn forest? It has something to do with the change of seasons. When our deciduous trees shed their leaves, they extract as many nutrients from the leaves as possible. These are stored in the trunk and root. The pigment responsible for the green of the leaves is called chlorophyll. It contains a lot of nitrogen, which is one of the most important nutrient elements of the plant. In autumn, the tree begins to prepare for the winter season, breaking down and storing the chlorophyll. Now other colors appear - the yellowish and reddish carotenes. Our forest trees are changing color. The time of the "Indian Summer" has come. As I rest on the hammock of the forest island BuchenGlück, I enjoy this spectacle of color and reflect on the passing of the seasons and how nature is preparing for winter. It is beautiful to experience nature as the seasons change: Hedges when they bloom and when they have fruit; discovering meadow faces in spring, summer and fall; listening to the forest in May, feeling it in summer, smelling it in fall and enjoying silence in winter-at each season, nature shows itself in a different dress. In our hectic and technical times, we must take the time to open our eyes, prick up our ears and smell the special aromas of the forests with our noses.
The Forest Wellbeing Trail conveys this in a special way. On the Traumtal forest island, I simply close my eyes for several minutes while swaying in the hammock and experience a special concert of the most diverse bird voices. "Feel the original life force of the earth," is a motto in the GesundLand Vulkaneifel. And I notice here quickly and immediately how good this does me.
My tip: Take your time on the Wald-Wohlfühl-Weg. Walk slowly and deliberately, look up into the forest of leaves, to the left and right, in front of you on the ground. Enjoy the forest islands as real places of rest and nature as a companion that grounds us again and conveys what is really good for us. Peace and mindfulness!
Author: GesundLand scout Rainer Schmitz