Hiking and Biking in the Black Forest
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Hiking and Biking in the Black Forest describes day walks, multi-stage treks and 5 cycle routes covering the north, central and southern regions of Germany's Black Forest. Easy routes for families and multi-day journeys to explore the many forests, villages, castles and hills near Strasbourg, Baden-Baden, Freiburg and Basle.
SeasonsThe best times to do these routes are spring, when the fruit trees and wildflowers are in bloom and autumn, when the hillsides are aglow with autumn colours (April/May through October). Vineyard trails or walks in the Kaiserstuhl can be done year round.
CentresNorthern Black Forest: Baiersbronn, Bad Wildbad, Enztal, Gernsbach, Baden-Baden; Central Black Forest: Ortenau, Ottenhöfen, Bühlertal, Kinzigtal, Elztal, Waldkirch, Schwarzwald-Baar, Kaiserstuhl; Southern Black Forest: Freiburg, Margkgräfler Land (Margraves' Land), Hochschwarzwald, Hinterzarten, Titisee, Schluchsee, Todtnau
DifficultyIdeal terrain for beginning and intermediate hill walkers. Some routes are long and require good stamina, but almost all trails can be shortened if need be, as buses and trains are never far away. No technical difficulties, although many sections are on narrow forest paths and some may slope steeply on one side. Walkers should be sure-footed and vertigo free.
Must SeeSchluchtensteig, Westway, Zweitälersteig, Murgleiter, Wutachschschlucht, Feldberg, Belchen, Mummelsee, Titsee, Schluchsee, Kaltenbronner Hochmoor, Triberg waterfalls, Zweribachfalls, Battert Felsen, Karlsruher Grat, Kaiserstuhl, Allerheiligen waterfalls and Abbey ruins, Staufen castle, Sauschwänzlebahn, source of the Danube
The Black Forest is a destination for romantics. Charming villages offer comfortable accommodation, exquisite local cuisine and excellent wines. For walkers and cyclists, it also boasts an extensive trail system, exploring not just the peaks but the rolling dales, deep gorges and rocky outcrops, easily accessed by an excellent public transport network.
This area of southern Germany is a perfect blend of rich cultural heritage and beautiful ancient landscapes. Days spent in these mountains, forests, gorges and dales offer fairy-tale adventures among castles and medieval villages. From the Panorama Path above Baden-Baden to the 240km Southern Black Forest Bicycle Trail, this guide explores the very best of this popular region.
The Black Forest is a hillwalker's dream. The terrain is so varied that walkers and hikers of all ages and abilities can find a suitable walk to enjoy. The walks described in this book range from easy to hard, some routes are quite long and require stamina, for others sure-footedness is required.
The sparsely populated southern region is often thought of as the most beautiful part of the Black Forest. It has the highest mountains, deepest gorges and biggest lakes. It is perfect hillwalking terrain, with trails varying from forestry roads to field tracks and little paths far off the beaten track. The geography of the central Black Forest is surprisingly diverse, the western edges are draped in vineyards and orchards, while the eastern plateau forms an expanse of rolling hills that makes for easy walking and thanks to its height, offers fabulous long-distance views. The northern Black Forest is dominated by narrow valleys and dark, tall firs. Yet even here there is surprising variation and many wonderful walks.
Germany has a huge cycle trail network that covers the entire country. The routes described in this book are suitable for regular touring bikes. Most cycle paths are paved and in good condition. If you don't want to bother taking your bike over to the Black Forest, there are many places where you can rent bikes for a day or more.
- includes 15 day walks, 3 multi-stage treks, 4 day-long cycle routes and the Southern Black Forest Cycle Route
- illustrated with original, detailed, contour mapping
packed with practical information on local facilities and transport options
Plants and wildlife
Food and drink
When to go
What to take
Dangers and annoyances
Navigation and signage
Using this guide
Southern Black Forest
Walk 1 Feldbergsteig – Black Forest’s highest peak
Walk 2 Belchen – Sacred mountain of the Celts
Walk 3 High above Münstertal
Walk 4 Panorama trail around Schönberg
Walk 5 In the heart of Margrave’s Land – Wiiwegli and Bettlerpfad
Walk 6 Schluchtensteig
Stage 1 Stühlingen to Blumberg
Stage 2 Blumberg to Schattenmühle
Stage 3 Schattenmühle to Aha
Stage 4 Aha to St Blasien
Stage 5 St Blasien to Todtmoos
Stage 6 Todtmoos to Wehr
Ride 1 Southern Black Forest Cycle Trail
Stage 1 Hinterzarten to Bonndorf
Stage 2 Bonndorf to Waldshut
Stage 3 Waldshut to Rheinfelden
Stage 4A Rheinfelden to Bad Bellingen via Basle
Stage 4B Rheinfelden to Bad Bellingen via Kandern
Stage 5 Bad Bellingen to Hinterzarten
Central Black Forest
Walk 7 Kaiserstuhl rim route
Walk 8 Edelfrauengrab and Karlsruher Grat
Walk 9 Above Renchtal
Walk 10 To the source of the Danube
Walk 11 Zweribachfalls and Vosges chapel
Walk 12 Zweitälersteig
Stage 1 Waldkirch to Kandel (or St Peter)
Stage 2 Kandel to Simonswald
Stage 3 Simonswald to Oberprechtal
Stage 4 Oberprechtal to Höhenhäuser
Stage 5 Höhenhäuser to Waldkirch
Ride 2 Kaiserstuhl Radweg
Ride 3 Kinzigtal Radweg – Alpirsbach to Offenburg
Northern Black Forest
Walk 13 Romantic circuit above Baden-Baden
Walk 14 Sasbachwalden idyll
Walk 15 Upland moors (Hornisgrinde)
Walk 16 Kaltenbronn Moor
Walk 17 Großes Loch and Teufelsmühle
Walk 18 Seensteig
Stage 1 Baiersbronn to Mitteltal
Stage 2 Mitteltal to Schliffkopf
Stage 3 Schliffkopf to Mummelsee
Stage 4 Mummelsee to Schönmünzach
Ride 4 Enztal Radweg – Gompelscheuer to Pforzheim
Ride 5 Nagold Radweg – Nagold to Pforzheim
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Glossary of useful terms
Appendix C Further information
Many companies publish good maps of the region. Kompass maps are recommended. The latest trend is laminated maps that do not tear or disintegrate in bad weather. However, the Schwarzwaldverein maps are based on LGL (Ordnance Survey equivalent) data and are very good and less expensive. A very helpful feature of the Schwarzwaldverein/LGL maps is the fact that newer editions actually mark the names and positions of signposts (little yellow flags), making it easy to identify your location on a map. Many tourist offices publish their own maps, which are also based on the LGL data and show the location markers. These are not as sturdy, but should survive a few weeks of use. They are cheaper than other maps and in some cases cover the entire length of a particular route (such as Zweitälersteig), where otherwise several maps would be needed. They also provide useful information about other recommended routes, or accommodation and restaurants along the way.
LGL maps show walking and cycling routes in different colours, with their symbols if they are long-distance trails.
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There has been quite a big landslide last year, between Bad Boll and Dietfurt (stage 2), just after Tannegger Waterfall. Due to the fact that the hillside is still unstable it has been decided to re-route the trail to the other side of the river:
After passing Tannegger Waterfall cross the 'Fritz-Hockenjos bridge’ and continue to Schattenmühle on the other side of the river.
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As a herbalist and ethnobotanist Kat spends a lot of time walking and exploring, while smelling the herbs and flowers along the way. After spending many years living, studying and working abroad, Kat has found a special place in her heart for the Black Forest region in the southwestern corner of Germany. As a writer and nature mentor she never tires of sharing her knowledge and passion for this delightful and fascinating corner of our beautiful planet.View Articles and Books by Kat Morgenstern
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