Please sign in to post.

Black forest hiking trip questions

Hello all!
I've been dreaming about spending a week or so hiking through the Black Forest, but am beginning to wonder if it's possible, or the best idea for hiking. What I have in mind is bringing a very small backpack, and taking day hikes from guest house to guest house, stopping at pubs for food along the way. Are there any resources for a trip like that? I'd like to make at least some reservations for accommodation, but am fairly flexible as to the rest of it. I'm hoping for beautiful views and super dense forest hiking. Anyone have any thoughts?

Posted by
18373 posts

Search for companies that cater to this kind of hiking. In the Harz Mountains, farther north, you can arrange for a one week circular tour, where they book you into a different town each night. They transport your luggage to the next stop while you hike. There must be something similar in the Black Forest, or go to the Harz. The Harz would meet your hopes.

Posted by
12040 posts

There's a series of hiking guides called the Rother Wanderführer (literally, "Red Hiking Guide", because the books are all red). I have used them in other areas of Germany (haven't hiked the Black Forest, however). Each book in the series usually illustrates 50 recommended hiking routes in a particular geographic area. The length of the hikes varies from a few hours to a few days. Many (but not all) of the suggested routes begin at a rail stop. Here's a link to the listing of the southern Black Forest edition.

The text is in German, but the books usually have ample illustrations and maps. For the other books in the series I have used, I have found the hikes to be uniformily excellent. However, although I use the book to pick an overall route, I find that the books' maps aren't sufficiently detailed for actually guiding you on the ground. So, if you purchase this book for ideas, here's what I would do. Look through the book and find a hike (or hikes) that interest you. For the multi-day hikes, note the names of the towns where the guide recommends stopping, and look up the town online to find lodgings. When you get on the ground in the region, find a book or sporting goods store and look for more detailed topographic maps of the specific territory you plan to hike. If you base your start point out of Freiburg, I would imagine you could easily find everything you need there.

Posted by
24 posts

Yes, by all means it is possible and yes it is the best area for hiking by far. Doing the Black Forest as you described is very possible since guest houses and villages with guest houses and hostels are liberally sprinkled on the many trails themselves. I've taken many trips to Germany and I always include a hike similar to what you want to do. My first trip and hike was in 1982 and I went with just a faint idea that I wanted to hike the Black Forest and just following my instincts worked fine for me. As far as getting maps for German hiking trails goes I've always run into roadblocks in ordering from a German supplier and finding an American source is just as impossible. Therefore I've always bought my maps on the fly when I get there. I would suggest that on your way to the BF that you stop in a large city such as Stuttgart or Freiburg which are gateway cities to the BF and visit some bookshops there where you can shop for whatever map fits your need. I myself, will buy a detailed folding map rather than a book type map which will be too heavy and burdensome. You can get the book later after your trip to take home and plan your next trip because you certainly will want to go back. The BF has three major trails that run north and south through the entire forest region. The Westweg which is by far the most remote in that it takes you to the highest peaks and where the villages are farther apart. The Ostweg which is probably the easiest with lots of villages closer together. And then the Mittelweg which takes you through the heart of the region and has a combination of the other trails features. The mittelweg was the first trail I hiked and liked it so much that I did it again on another trip. It is the trail that is the most deeply forested. The Ostweg I liked very much also that I did that one twice. I would be more than happy to give you any additional advice.

Posted by
1793 posts

Look for 'wandern ohne gepäck' for services that will transport your luggage and book places to stay.

Check out Bavaria Ben's website - for good Black Forest info. Since the buses and trains are free in the Black Forest, you can take a bus to/from the hike area.