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Hike and bike the Black Forest with a Cicerone guidebook - Sample Route

Cover of Hiking and Biking in the Black Forest
20 Jan 2014
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.9cm
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Hiking and Biking in the Black Forest

by Kat Morgenstern
Book published by Cicerone Press

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.

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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
  • Activities
    walking, trekking, biking, cycle touring
  • Seasons
    The 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.
  • Centres
    Northern 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
  • Difficulty
    Ideal 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 See
    Schluchtensteig, 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

Oct 2017

Page 87

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.


Plants and wildlife
Getting there
Getting around
Food and drink
When to go
What to take
Dangers and annoyances
Navigation and signage
Using this guide
Southern Black Forest
The walks
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
The ride
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
The walks
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
The rides
Ride 2 Kaiserstuhl Radweg
Ride 3 Kinzigtal Radweg – Alpirsbach to Offenburg
Northern Black Forest
The walks
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
The rides
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

Sample Route

Feldbergsteig – Black Forest’s highest peak
Start/finishHaus der Natur, Feldberger Hof
Height gain/loss570m
MapsSchwarzwaldverein Wanderkarte Hochschwarzwald 1:35,000; Kompass Feldberg–Todtnau 1:25,000
RefreshmentsSt Wilhelmer Hütte, Zastler Hütte www.zastler-hü, Baldenweger Hütte, Raimartihof, Seebuck Hütte; numerous snack places at Feldberger Hof
Public transportBus to Feldberg (Schwarzw)/Feldberger Hof
AccessBy car, B317 via Todtnau or Titisee, turn off at Feldbergerhof. Haus der Natur is the big building right in front of the car park, opposite Feldbergerhof Hotel.
ParkingHaus der Natur
Trail markingsFeldbergsteig symbol (pictured)
NoteFirm footwear is essential and walkers must be surefooted and vertigo-free. In parts the trail is very narrow and may be rather slippery. It is not a good choice in bad weather or snow/icy conditions. Beware of Capercaillie on the northern slopes, especially during mating season, as males can be a bit forward and intimidating.

At 1493m Feldberg is the highest peak of the Black Forest. On a clear, crisp day the views from the top are simply wonderful: the southern hills of the Black Forest roll into the distance towards the Rhine, the jagged snow-capped peaks of the Alps paint a craggy line into the southern sky and the blue ridge of the Vosges defines the western horizon. Beyond the touristy bustle at the top a delightful trail awaits those that venture further.

The Feldbergsteig trail is well marked and easy to follow. It starts at Feldberger Hof, by the Stonehenge-like gateway to the left of Haus der Natur (Nature Interpretation Centre) on the paved path marked towards Feldberg-Gipfel and Bismarckdenkmal. You can also access the trail through the back exit of Haus der Natur: cross the alpine garden and re-join the paved trail via a small path at the top right corner. After about 900m, at Hans-Klarmeyerweg, the trail abruptly heads off through the bushes to the right on a small, steep footpath and about 10min later emerges just below the hill station of the cable car.

Stone pyramid of the Bismarck monument

Passing underneath the cable car trusses head for the stone pyramid, the Bismarckdenkmal. Feldberg peak is further over to the left, near the weather station. Cross this open expanse on any trail you like. Feldbergsteig continues left of the Bismarck monument, just below the ridge, while the upper trail passes by Feldberg Turm, the observation tower that marks the top of Seebuck, Feldberg’s twin peak.

By the first buildings, you reach Feldberg Gipfel. For the actual summit continue straight on, to the viewing platform opposite the weather station. Return to signpost Feldberg Gipfel to continue on Feldbergsteig and follow the broad path towards St Wilhelmer Hütte. At a sharp bend ignore a steep, serpentine path that leads down to Todtnauer Hütte and continue on the broad main trail to St Wilhelmer Hütte. On a clear day the views from the terrace of the hut are gorgeous. The trail continues just below the terrace to the right, towards Zastler Hütte.

After about 400m (Weide) cross the field and follow the narrow path through the trees and blueberry bushes. At a trail junction continue straight on, down along the edge of the hill, crossing a highland watershed meadow.

Pass Zastler Hütte and continue on the gravel road to the right towards Naturfreundehaus Feldberg and Baldenweger Hütte. The dirt road gradually turns into a forest trail, which soon reaches the playground of Naturfreundehaus Feldberg. Continue on the paved road to the right. Just a few metres past Baldenweger Hütte (Abzw.Sägebachschlag-Steig), the trail heads off into the woods to the right. The next section ambles through the forest on a ‘sticks and stones’ trail, passing several streams and ravines. This is a lovely passage, but can be slippery as this area forms part of the Feldberg watershed.

The path eventually joins a forest road to the right, towards Raimartihof. Ignore the first fork (which is a mountain-bike trail), but at the second fork take the right-hand track. A little further on ignore the West Way (red marker), but a few metres further on follow the right fork of a trail that starts off quite broad, but soon narrows to a skinny path leading down the hill through the woods. This trail is badly marked, but if you miss it the forest road will also lead to Raimartihof.

Feldsee was formed by glaciers during the last ice age

At Raimartihof/Koppel follow the dirt road to the right and at the bend continue straight on the forest path towards Feldsee, a tarn formed by the glaciers that once covered Feldberg during the last ice age. Swimming is prohibited to protect a rare water fern, which is only found here and at Titisee, the largest natural lake in the Black Forest, just a little bit to the east.

You can circle around the lake, but Feldbergsteig continues to the left across a little bridge and quickly starts to climb back up the hill via a steep and narrow path towards Seebuck and Feldberger Hof. After about 1km turn left on the gravel path and continue uphill. Soon Seebuck Hütte and the ski-lift base station come into view. Pass the restaurants and shops and you are back at Feldberger Hof bus stop and car park.

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