Since its inception in 1990, the Thuringian Forest Nature Park has been one of the largest nature parks in Germany, covering an area of 2,082 square kilometres. It includes the area of the Thuringian Forest, the western Thuringian Slate Mountains and parts of the mountainous foothills. In the northwest, the park extends to Eisenach, in the southeast to Sonneberg. The 340-square-kilometer UNESCO biosphere reserve Thuringian Forest is surrounded by the nature park. The highest elevations of the nature park are in the middle Thuringian Forest, the Great Beerberg near Suhl, with a height 982.9 m above sea level and the Schneekopf with 978 m above sea level. Near Eisenach, the mountains sink below 500 m above sea level. The Rennsteig, as a well-known high altitude hiking trail of the Thuringian Forest, crosses the nature park from west to southeast.
One of a total of 13 nature park information centers in the Thuringian Forest, can be found in Ruhla. Each center houses an exhibition on different topics concerning the nature park. The main focus of the nature park exhibition in Ruhla is geology, old mining, and the associated way of life in Ruhla and its surroundings. Further information is available at the Ruhla Tourist Information.