Hike the Black Forest
In the Footsteps of Mark Twain
Independent & Escorted 7-day hiking tour
May to October
Land only, per person, based on double occupancy
(Escorted tours available on request!)
The Black Forest covers an area of over 400 sq. miles. Its name conveys an image of dense tangled forest, but nothing could be further from reality. The area is wooded but there are also vast open tracts of undulating hills peppered with attractive traditional villages and half-timbered houses. There are many fine open ridge walks that afford grand views over forest, pasture and mountain lakes.
The trails that Mark Twain described in such glowing terms in "A Tramp Abroad" are now meticulously way marked and lead the walker from one attractive village to another even more attractive village. We have developed a route through the Black Forest that takes in such highlights as Felberg (1493m), the highest peak, Belchen the most impressive peak and the lake at Schlusee from where the views extend as far as the Alps. We will also stay in Menzenschwand one of the most beautiful of the Schwarzwald villages.
The mountains of the Black Forest are fairly modest and the walking here is relatively gentle. The way marking system is superb and has been adopted now in many other areas. At the heart of the valleys are welcoming traditional family-run hotels, architecturally reminiscent of cuckoo clocks, where you can enjoy every comfort (many have a swimming pool and sauna). The local gastronomy, which extends well beyond the famous gateau, is regarded as the best in all Germany. This tour represents excellent value in all respects.
On this tour you will stay in three different hotels. Each day your luggage will be transported for you from one hotel to the next. This walk is graded 'Moderate' and should present no difficulties for anyone in reasonable physical condition and accustomed to mountain walking on varied gradients and surfaces. The route is well marked and well defined, mainly following good forest footpaths.
Day 1: Arrive towards early evening at Baerental. Settle into a typical Black Forest hotel, which at 950m is situated near the edge of the forest.
Day 2: Walk from Baerental to Feldberg-Ort (17km/5hours, height gain 710m). On the first day's walk in the heart of the Black forest you will pass through Mathilsweiher (1000m) and ascend the peak of Seebuck 1448m. The main feature of this stretch will be to enjoy the wonderful view of Feldsee Lake. From Feldberg you take a short bus ride back to the hotel in Baerental.
Day 3: Morning return by bus to Feldberg-Ort and then walk to Wiedenereck, St Wilhelmer Hutte, Stubenwasen, and Notschrei. (18 kms / 5/6 hours, height gain 510m).
The vantage points on this walk are splendid and one can also attempt the ascent of the highest summit of the Black Forest, the Feldberg that towers to 1493m. At the summit one has almost an entire panorama of the mountains and hills of the forest.
Day 4: Circular walk from Wiedenereck via Nonnenmattweiher, with possible swim (22km /6-7 hours, height gain 750m).
You can familiarize yourself with the mountain environment and the often flower bedecked wooden houses. The traverse of Neuenweg village is very pretty, a very typical Black Forest setting which leaves you at Lake Nonnenmattweiher, where you can rest or take a dip. You then follow the ascent of Belchen, the third highest peak of the Black Forest at 1414m. Now and again you take small footpaths, otherwise small trails wind up through the rocks to the top, for the view before descending back to Wiedenereck. You can also choose to have a shorter day (14km/4 hours, height gain 650m).
Day 5: Weidenereck to Menzenschwand, via Knopfles Brunnen, Todnau, and Herzogenhorn (18km / 7hours, height gain 1180m).
Today there is the ascent of the second highest summit, 1417m, of the area, the Herzogenhorn from where a view of the most picturesque village of the forest: Menzenschwand can be spied. The village is made solely of large wooden houses, one of which will be our residence in the heart of the village this evening.
Day 6: Menzenschwand to Baerental, via Aulemer Kreuz, Rosshutte and Schluchsee (17km / 4-5 hours, height gain 250m).
The main point of interest today is the approach to the magnificent Schluchsee Lake; where we can bath before ending in Baerental.
Day 7: End of tour after breakfast.
Nights 1, 2 & 6: Baerental: The hotel is situated at the edge of the forest. It is a lovely, small, typical hotel where you will enjoy the sauna and swimming pool. We spend our first, second and last night here.
Nights 3 & 4: Wiedener-Eck: We stay two nights at a elegant mountain hotel, which is situated in one of the most scenic areas of the Black Forest on the 1050m Munstertal Schonau Pass. The hotel also has a sauna & swimming pool.
Night 5: Menzenschwand: Your hotel tonight is a delightful Black Forest hotel located in a farming village. The hotel has its own sauna, solarium and terrace.
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