Ever thought of visiting a park that requires you to only walk barefoot? Well if you love walking barefoot or if you want to know what it’s like then you need to visit Barefoot Park.
What is Barefoot Park (Barfußpark in German)?
I hadn’t heard of it until I spotted it on my attractions in the Black Forest map. It is primarily geared toward families. I was curious to know what the park is like. I knew I had to go and see for myself just exactly it was all about.
We choose to go to the Barefoot Park in Dornstetten-Hallwangen, located near Freudenstadt in the Black Forest. It consists of a 2.5km walking path through forest and meadows, to be walked in barefoot. There is a water adventure park area and walking paths consisting of a variety of materials including sand, mulch, rocks, and even glass.
There would also be balancing challenges along the way. Surprisingly admission was free!
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The water adventure park was first on the list. This did not consist of rides, but different activities, including jumping on this thing to make water come out. The water adventure park concluded with this:
Barefoot parks have been popping up all over Europe in the last 20 years or so. There are already more than 100 of them and they are especially popular in Germany and Austria.
The idea of the park is to be a kid again. Children love to run around barefoot and feel the different textures under their feet and it’s one way that adults can recapture the feeling of being a kid again. I don’t know about you but I love walking barefoot when I get the chance.
Thankfully there were only one of these paths:
Why Is Walking Barefoot Good For You?
Walking barefoot is very healthy. It trains the muscles in your feet to work properly so that you don’t end up with flat feet or other deformities. Walking barefoot also protects your back, knees, and hips since it restores your natural gait, which may be interrupted with footwear.
It can even help prevent varicose veins and stimulates the body to stay warm. I may just start walking barefoot everywhere I go!
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There are health risks to walking barefoot though, including the most obvious one of cutting yourself on something or stepping on a poisonous plant or insect. There are also the more grotesque risks of being infected by a parasite or a hookworm. (Glad I didn’t know that as I walked through the muddy water pictured above.)
There were also many balancing challenges along the way. The one pictured above was an easy one, but the one below – not so much:
Wading through the mud was kind of icky at first, but it did feel oddly soothing after a couple of minutes. There were two girls having a “who can stand in the mud the longest” competition. I wasn’t sticking around to see who the winner would be.
I really enjoyed my first time in Barefoot Park and I did feel like a kid again. It was silly, quirky and we had a lot of laughs. All of the kids we saw were having a great time and seemed to really excited there. I would also highly recommend this for children – really the intended audience. But aren’t we all kids at heart?
Know Before You Go To Barefoot Park
- Wear shorts or pants that you can roll up to the knee
- There is a cleaning station where you can wash your feet when you are finished. Bring a towel to dry them.
- Wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty, in case you fall
- Don’t wear really nice shoes, as your feet will still not be 100% clean, even after washing them
- You can find more information at Barfußpark inDornstetten-Hallwangen (German language only)
- Hallwangen is ~1 hour away from Stuttgart