The Lange Rhön is a stronghold for many species specializing on meadows which have disappeared in the most parts of the country. Notable breeders include Black Grouse, Great Grey Shrike, Common Rosefinch, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Snipe, Grasshopper Warbler, Corn Crake and Woodcock. Other more common species like Red Kite (in the surrounding area), Skylark and Meadow Pipit reach high densities.
Due to its importance it is crucial to remain on the marked paths. The recommended tour is a well known hiking circuit trail easily recognisable by a red "H" on white ground. With a length of about 14 km it offers birding potential for a full day. When your time budget is low focus on the southern half and particularly on the area "Heidelstein-Schwabenhimmel".
There are multiple car parks on the plateau (note that you have to park your car on a signed out car park), the most suitable one is called "Schornhecke" and situated a short distance west of the crossing on the plateau.
By public transport access is very limited and can't be recommended. The so called „Hochrhönbus“ (line 8305) is the only bus line that connects the plateau with the villages in the valley around, but note that it only stops a couple of times per day and that it is necessary to call the operators at ﬁrst on working days.
Terrain and HabitatForest, Wetland, Scattered trees and bushes, Grassland, Plateau, Moors/heathland, Agriculture
ConditionsDry, Open landscape, Hilly
Is a telescope useful?No
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring, Summer
RouteNarrow trail, Wide path
Difficulty walking trailAverage walk
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
A hiking map can be very useful, as there are a lot of small trails. Forbidden paths are normally marked with the following reference "Hier kein Wanderweg". Should you have decided to make the whole tour you can take a rest on the "Thüringer Hütte", which offers also rooms.
If you'd like to expand your trip you can furthermore visit the Schwarzes Moor (similar selection as on the circuit trail) and the Rotes Moor (mainly woodland species) in the surrounding area.