wooded upland region in Germany, about 50 mi (80 km) long and 25 mi wide, situated mainly in Hesse Land (state) with small portions extending into the states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg. A popular tourist area, it extends between the Neckar and the Main rivers and overlooks the Rhine Valley. The highest points are Katzenbuckel (2,054 ft [626 m]), Neunkircher Hohe (1,985 ft), and Krahberg (1,821 ft). The range is bounded against the Rhine by a rich and densely settled ancient migration route called the Bergstrasse (literally "mountain street"), along which Bensheim, Heppenheim, and Weinheim are the major towns. The wooded heights overlooking the Bergstrasse are studded with castles and medieval ruins. Orchards and vineyards lie along the western slope, and much of the range is contained within the Bergstrasse-Odenwald Naturpark.
Learn more about Odenwald with a free trial on Britannica.com.