Welcome to this blog about the Black Forest in Germany. If you are an expat in Germany, you may have noticed that Germans love spending time outdoors and hiking in nature. The Black Forest is a beautiful region in southwest Germany that offers many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and walking. In this blog we will explore some of the best hiking and walking trails in the Black Forest. Stepping out into nature provide ample space, fresh air and vitamin D; a great way to get out of the confines of the cities and our houses.
Depending on your level of experience and confidence, there are many outdoor activities that will appeal to all, beginner to expert. The broad differences in landscapes found throughout Germany are astonishing, from the Baltic coastline in the North, the enchanting Black Forest, to the base of the Allgäu Alps. Each region offers its own unique topography, and with that comes a wide range of possibilities to keep you entertained. With Germany offering over 7000 trails to choose from – hiking, walking and trail running are great ways to indulge in nature all year round.
Exploring the vast Black Forest
The Black Forest is a region that has captured the imagination of many people over the years, especially through the famous fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. This vast forest area stretches over 6000 square kilometres and offers a wealth of hiking opportunities. As you hike through the Black Forest, you will come across charming and historic villages that date back to the Gothic tribes who sought refuge here to escape the rule of the Roman Empire. These villages are full of character and charm and offer a glimpse into the rich history of the region. The forest is a combination of rolling grassy hills, dense woodland and meandering streams, all providing an idyllic setting for walks and hikes.
Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, there is something for everyone in the Black Forest. The beauty of the forest is truly awe-inspiring and there are few better places to explore Germany’s natural beauty than in this stunning region.
1. Seeblick – Mummelsee Loop from Achert
For novice hikers or those looking for a leisurely adventure in the stunning Black Forest, Seeblick is the perfect hiking trail. With a round-trip distance of 5.3 kilometers, this hike is ideal for a half-day excursion, providing hikers plenty of time to enjoy the stunning vistas along the way. The trail, which begins as a short single-track path and is well-marked, takes walkers through a deep forest while occasionally allowing shafts of sunlight to shine through the trees.
Hikers will come upon ancient rock slabs carrying historical marks about 1.5 kilometers into their journey. These markings provide a window into the earlier residents who once called this area home. Additionally, the trail’s height gradually rises in this area, creating a moderate climb that is doable for most hikers.
Hikers will eventually arrive at the Hornisgrindeturm und Aussichtsplateau, a 360-degree observation tower located at Hornisgrinde’s (1,164 m) peak. Hikers can enjoy the sweeping views of the Black Forest and the nearby peaks from the tower’s summit. The breath-taking view is the ideal place to stop, take a deep breath, and take in the surrounding natural beauty.
The Mummelsee, a tiny but charming lake tucked between the hills, is where the hike’s last descent takes place. Hikers can stop here for a well-earned rest and pick up a quick bite at one of the stores close by. We suggest stopping by the neighbourhood baker, who sells a variety of delectable sweets in the parking lot, to refuel for the remainder of the journey. The peaceful forest setting of the return leg, which takes hikers back to their starting location, is the ideal way to cap off the excursion. Overall, Seeblick is a fantastic starting point for exploring the Black Forest and a wonderful place to unwind after a long day of exploring.
2. Schluchseer Jägersteig – Bildstein Loop from Schluchsee
The Schluchsee Trail is the ideal option if you’re searching for a hike that is both pleasant and long enough to feel like an adventure. A big amount of the 13.8 km trail is on a broad gravel road, so you won’t have to worry about tripping over tree roots or crossing rugged terrain. It’s a wonderful length for a day hike. Before arriving at the trailhead, you must first stroll along the picturesque Schluchsee Lake for about a kilometer from the Schluchsee Train Station. For around 7 kilometers, the footpath meanders peacefully through a pine forest with towering trees on either side and the aroma of pine permeating the air.
You’ll abruptly come out of the trees and arrive at a vantage point with a stunning view over the Schluchsee. The beauty will leave you speechless regardless of whether the lake is perfectly clear or shrouded in mist due to the weather. As you continue along the hiking trail, you’ll reach the lake’s side, where you’ll discover inviting beaches and rocks to sit on, ideal for a picnic or a cool dip on a hot day. As you walk back to the train station along the final section of the trail, you will be accompanied by the peaceful sound of waves lapping at the shore.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the Schluchsee Trail is an unforgettable experience that showcases the natural beauty of the Black Forest.
3. Edelfrauengrab-Wasserfälle – Deglerbad (Noble Woman’s Grave waterfalls)
The trek to Nobel Woman’s Grave is a wonderful choice if you’re an experienced hiker seeking for a challenge. The first waterfall on this difficult trip is the trail’s high point. The hike features several more stunning waterfalls as well. You’ll come upon a white signboard explaining the meaning of the waterfall’s name, Nobel Woman’s Grave, after hiking for around 3.8 kilometers.
This is the ideal place to stop and take in the breath-taking view because it is next to an elevated footbridge. After a few hundred meters, make sure to pause and take in the Roman-era stone bridge before moving on to the next waterfall. This one offers a pleasant place to cool off on a hot summer day thanks to a tiny pool that is located halfway down the cliff.
There are two Schnappsbrunnen, or liquor fountains, on the route, and you’ll come across one as you continue on. It’s the perfect place to stop, stretch your legs, and indulge in a well-earned schnapps, beer, or soft drink. The abundance of benches and seating spots provides the ideal location for a peaceful picnic with a view. Just keep in mind to stock up on refreshments at the Ottenhöfen grocery store and bakery before beginning the hike. Don’t forget to bring change; you must put your cash in a box at the fountain to pay for the drinks.
The trail leads to the beautiful viewing point at Herrenschrofen, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surroundings once you’ve rested and refueled. The next 4 kilometers of the track are spent in the forest before it emerges onto rolling fields with views of the settlement. After a reasonably long section, hikers are rewarded with the second Schnappsbrunnen, which is the ideal place to rest up before the last part of the journey. The final two kilometers of the route, which takes you back to Ottenhöfen along farm roads, give you one more opportunity to take in the surroundings.
It is advised with these hikes to consider the weather conditions (some trails could have snow or ice hazards), transportation, and the level of difficulty. Hiking with at least one other person is safest and advised. Overnighting in one of the small villages is always a tranquil getaway, but day trips are very easy. Public and private transport are both available to reach the destinations.
There are still tons of these exciting trails to be discovered. Even if you haven’t always been enthusiastic about getting active outside, it is always a good time to find ways you can enjoy it and increase your general health while doing so!
In conclusion, the Black Forest in Germany is a beautiful region that offers a plethora of hiking and walking trails for all levels of experience. The trails take you through lush forests, past majestic waterfalls, and offer panoramic views of the stunning landscape. In addition, hiking in the Black Forest provides a fantastic opportunity to connect with the locals and their love for nature and the outdoors. So, grab your hiking boots and explore the beauty of the Black Forest on foot.
We are always available to speak about any of your questions regarding finances, health- and general insurance in Germany.