The Black Forest Trail is a selection of the best trails the Black Forest has to offer in 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 day packages. We have carefully woven together the prettiest trails…
…with the most dramatic surroundings and interesting sights. We added some special side-trails and local experiences. You will traverse many different select trails, including a portion of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage way.
This hike is postcard perfect and immerses you in the many things that make The Black Forest enchanting. You will hike though heavily forested mountains and open meadows, with steep ravines leading down to farms in the valleys, which are further surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Your hotels are located in medieval Black Forest towns, ideal if you are looking for quiet time in nature while also imbibing local life in the evenings.
- We Handle All The Detail
- Luggage Transfer Included
- Choice between Standard or Premium Accommodations
- Detailed Route Descriptions & Maps
- Well Marked & Easy to Navigate Tracks
- Daily Distances 13-22 Km (8-14 miles), shortcuts possible on most days.
- 1 to 5 Days of Hiking
- Add-on Rest Days or Sightseeing
We are excited that our Black Forest Trail has been featured in Lonely Planets 2018 Edition as one of ’52 Best Weekends Away’
The Romans built roads skirting what they named The Black Forest, because the people they encountered here, living in their dense forest just across the formidable Rhine River, were impossible to conquer. This is the location and people Caesar called “Germania”.
2000 years later, The Black Forest defines the mountainous region in the southwestern corner of Germany. Today about 60% of the land is densely forested mountains hiding castle ruins on many of the peaks, with waterfalls in the steep ravines that run down to the valley below – the type of dark forest most often imagined in the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. But its not all dark. There is also a lot of open country, with sunny meadows, orchards and farms, with medieval towns in the valleys below, giving the terrain a postcard perfect character. Depending on the time of year, you’ll find blueberry covered forest floors, or raspberries and wild strawberries along the trail or cherry trees, apples and pears in the orchards you cross, and grapes on the vine in the vineyards. We custom designed this trail so you can get a taste of it all.
Is this an easy hike?
This trail is a good choice if you are looking for intermediate level hikes. Please note that there is quite a bit of elevation to the Black Forest Trail (elevation profiles below). The hike is not a problem for a fit person, but there are a few mountains to cross over.
Focus of Trail: Nature & Towns
Our hotels are located in small Black Forest towns. Therefore this is a great tour if you are looking for the best balance of quiet time in nature, while also having time to explore beautiful medieval towns in the evening.
Not sure which hiking tour is a good fit for you? Contact us!
The Black Forest Trail takes you off-the-beaten-path where you might hike for some time without encountering other people. If you are looking more for culture and less strenuous hiking, have a look at our Premium Trail instead – where you stay closer to towns and have less elevation to ascend.
How much time do you have? 1 to 5 days of hiking
The Black Forest Trail is available as a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 day hiking package. Most people hike the entire Black Forest Trail in 4 days. If you have more time, we recommend adding one more day – either to do an additional hike, or to do some sightseeing. If you just want to get a taste, then the 1 or 2 day Black Forest Trail is ideal.
A Taste of the
Black Forest Trail
- 1 day hiking / 2 nights hotel
- 16 km total
Black Forest Trail
- 5 days hiking / 6 nights hotel
- 80 km total
Black Forest Trail
- 2 days hiking / 3 nights hotel
- 30 km total
Black Forest Trail
- add on days to relax or for sightseeing
Black Forest Trail
- 3 days hiking / 4 nights hotel
- 52 km total
Black Forest Trail
- 4 days hiking / 5 nights hotel
- 67 km total
Outline of the Complete Black Forest Trail
Arrive in the Black Forest by train (destination train station is Offenburg, from you switch to an hourly train which takes you to the hotel in 45 minutes). Included with your stay is a transfer by private car from the train station to the hotel. If you are arriving in the Black Forest by car, we recommend parking the car at your last hotel (outside of Offenburg), then taking the train (hourly, 45 minute train ride) to your first hotel.
Standard and upgraded rooms are available in our hotel. Our wellness hotel happens to be located in a remote mountain town. There is a complimentary lunch buffet waiting for you on your arrival day. As well as a complimentary coffee/cake buffet in the afternoon. Early check-in on your arrival day 12.30 PM possible (room available at 3 PM). The hotel has extensive wellness facilities with several pools & saunas. No cell phone reception at the hotel.
Day 1: from the mountain top into the valley (7 – 15 km)
Description of Day 1. Read More
Your hike starts in front of your hotel. From here, you will be hiking down from the top of the mountain into the valley – a bit steep 7 km – but in absolutely beautiful terrain. Now if you time it right, you can get to refresh at the beergarden in the valley. And if you are too tired or relaxed after your respite, you have the option to skip the remaining hike and jump on the train to your hotel. Real hikers continue on of course – crossing over another mountain. You will be rewarded with a beautiful chapel and the best vistas of the day as you descend the hillside into town to your hotel.
- Distance: 15 km (9.5 miles)
- Shortcut: yes, hike 7 km (4 miles), then take 5 minute train ride
Hotel: We have 2 hotels to choose from.
Choose between standard or premium accommodation. Our standard hotel is a small family-owned hotel located in a timber-framed building in the heart of the old town. We highly recommend the restaurant at the hotel. Our upgraded hotel is a modern boutique-style hotel located 2 km (1,2 miles) outside of town with an excellent restaurant & wellness facilities on site (choosing this hotel means your hike on day 1 and day 2 will be 2 km (1,2 miles) longer each day.
Day 2: cross over 2 mountains (16 – 22 km)
Description of Day 2. Read More
Today’s hike has two parts. If you are not up for a steep climb in the morning, take a 5 minute train ride and start with Part 2 – which is callenging enough for the average hiker. Part 1 (6 km) This is a short, but a steep climb up and over a mountain, mostly on small trails. On top of the mountain you stop at a cabin with fantastic vistas overlooking the valley. This is a steep rocky path and we advise using hiking poles when heading down the mountain. Part 2 (16 km) of today’s hike starts off with a castle ruin. You can enjoy several self-serve fridges at farmhouses before climbing up a sightseeing tower. The hike down the mountain will cross through another town before ending at your hotel.
- Distance: 22 km (14 miles)
- Shortcut: yes, take 5 minute train ride, then hike 16 km (10 miles)
This popular family-run hotel just added a brandnew section. Choose the upgrade and stay in the new building. Or choose the standard rooms and stay in the main building. The hotel also has a brandnew wellness section with pool and sauna. We highly recommend having dinner at the hotel restaurant – locals come from all over to eat at this place.
Day 3: short but steady climb (13 km)
Description of Day 3. Read More
Today’s hike is short and easy (13 km). There is a constant climb at the beginning. Once you are on the summit you can enjoy views over the valley. From there the trails take you down into the town you are staying at. On a clear day this hike provides you with plenty of panoramic views. On weekends there is also an option to stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
- Distance: 13 km (8 miles)
- Shortcut: no shortcut
Hotel: no choice for hotels This is not a touristy town and therefore there is only one family-owned hotel – there is no option to upgrade. It is a simple and clean hotel spread out over several houses in a residential neighborhood. The hotel has an indoor pool & sauna. We recommend one of the local restaurants in town.
Day 4: one steep climb and downwards from there (11-17 km)
Description of Day 4. Read More
We saved the best for last. This trail has it all with scenic spots, a cabin, a schnapps fountain, vineyards, 2 restaurants, 1 café, and a possible shortcut which saves 6 km ( if you must ).
- Distance: 17 km (10.5 miles)
- Shortcut: yes, 11 km (7 miles)
Hotel: Several hotels to choose from. In the last town we work with several family-owned hotels, all located in the heart of the medieval old town. Or decided to upgrade to a 4 star boutique hotel located in a restored historical building with sauna and wellness facility. Great way to end your hiking holiday!
People often add on an additional day in this last town to do some sightseeing – the cuckoo clock area is nearby and many other Black Forest sights.
Not sure if this is a good hike for you? See what some of our customers say who have hiked the Black Forest Trail:
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Great trip. We never would have been able to put it all together without Simone's help. Her trail notes were extremely detailed and helpful and it was so nice to have the lodging and luggage transfer taken care of. We loved the trails and never got lost. Beautiful scenery and towns!
My apologies for not getting tin touch earlier but we are only just back home after a fabulous holiday. Lots of highlights but our Black Forest hike was certainly one of the best.
From the minute we arrived at our first hotel, we were very impressed and felt very welcome. We could easily have made our base there! Your trail notes and signs were so detailed, making the hike stress free (in terms of directions)! What amazing scenery and atmosphere! We loved arriving in such special towns at the end of each walk and having time to explore.
We loved all the accommodation and restaurants you recommended. We were glad we took your dinner recommendation on the third night and had dinner in the town - the restaurant was fabulous!
Thank you for your fabulous organisation. We feel very privileged to have visited such a beautiful part of the world. We do hope to return!
Margaret (and Stephen)
We have been to Germany and Switzerland many times and have always made hiking tours when we could. It is one thing to pick a landing spot and make a route and another to have a route planned out where even locals might not choose to go. Simone's tour is incredible -- each leg is described in complete detail, and she provides GPS tracks as well so you are never in doubt as to where you are. The schwartzwald forest and farm countryside speaks for itself, hills, valleys, streams, forest roads, tiny tracks and then at the end of each day a 3 or 4 star hotel to unwind and refresh in. We went in late fall, with acorns and chestnuts under our feet - if you love to hike, and want to make a tour like a real german might do, then by all means take Simone's Black Forest Tour, you will not be disappointed!
Thank you for great organization — your tour is really great.
Just wanted to check in and tell you we’ve lucked out with the weather and we’ve been having a great time on our hike. We had a bit of difficulty last night finding the hotel b/c we forgot to look at the detailed map you had for getting across the river to the hotel, but we didn’t mind once we got to the hotel! Otherwise the directions have been great and the GPS track spot on. Anyway, the walking is so much fun and seeing places most tourists never will is really an extra bonus. Today we stopped at the vacation hof and had a beer at that vending machine you described. This really old dog came out and waited for us to finish and then lead us across the road and showed us the way up the meadow because the actual trail was closed for farmwork! Good dog!
All the luggage transfers have gone without a problem, so we are very happy and looking forward to our last hike tomorrow. It appears it will rain tonight and then clear up, but we are going rain or shine.
Thanks for all your assistance.
We absolutely loved the hiking tour you set up for us. What a fun adventure. Your instructions were great and all of the hotels worked out well. The bag transfers went off without a hitch.
In any case the Black Forrest hike was a highlight of our 3 week trip. The scenery was great and we
Loved walking near the farms and seeing the animals. We wished we had been a few weeks earlier to take advantage of the Kneipp water therapy stations.
Tanya and Mike Kern
Simone’s communication was excellent from our first email!From the minute we arrived at our first hotel, we were very impressed and felt very welcome. We could easily have made our base there! The trail notes and signs were so detailed, making the hike stress free (in terms of directions)! What amazing scenery and atmosphere! We loved arriving in such special towns at the end of each walk and having time to explore.We thoroughly enjoyed the accommodation and restaurants recommended.We do hope to return!
Simone put together an excellent trip. Everything was organized well, if we had any questions, we could call her, and she was always available with help. The places we stayed varied. We didn't do the deluxe trip, but a couple of the places were pretty deluxe. The others we nice. The towns are lovely and interesting, if you have any energy left to look at them. Overall, the hiking is pretty hard. I knew that I wasn't in as good of shape as I wanted to be or as my husband, but he said that there were train shortcuts, if I wanted. The second day I did cut some off at the beginning, but the rest of the day was pretty hard. I ended up not hiking the final two days, but my husband went ahead, and he enjoyed it. I was able to use the very nice pool at the one hotels both of those days getting there earlier than check-in the first day, and then using it after check-out the next day, and since I am more of a swimmer than a hiker, I was happy. We had good food at the hotels along the way also. In additioni don't just read about the average temperatures in Sept. like we did. The weather was much hotter. We were very prepared for rain and cold, but not so much for the heat.
We had a wonderful time and just got home yesterday. The trail directions were so incredibly useful. We never got lost!
I have arrived at the first hotel and I'm just about to start my first trek. I received your package, you are well organised! The trail marker is also a nice touch, thank you 🙂