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 13-20 Km (8-12 miles), shortcuts possible on most days. Extension also possible on one day
- 1 to 5 Days of Hiking
- Add-on Rest Days or Sightseeing Days
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.
The Black Forest Trail takes you off-the-beaten-path where you might hike for some time without encountering other people.
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.
- 1 day hiking / 2 nights hotel – A Taste of the Black Forest Trail
- 2 days hiking / 3 nights hotel – The Short Black Forest Trail
- 3 days hiking / 4 nights hotel – The Best of the Black Foret Trail
- 4 days hiking / 5 nights hotel – The Complete Black Forest Trail
- 5 days hiking / 6 nights hotel – The Extended Black Forest Trail (additional day can also be a rest or sightseeing day)
Outline of the Complete Black Forest Trail
Description of Arrival Day. Read More
Arrive in the Black Forest by train (destination train station is Offenburg, from here you switch to a regional train which takes you to the hotel in about 60 minutes). A private car will pick you up from the train station and transfer you to the hotel. If you are arriving in the Black Forest by car, we recommend parking the car in Offenburg area, then taking the train to your first hotel.
First hotel. Standard and upgraded rooms are available in our first 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 – we recommend to arrive at the hotel by lunch time. There is also 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 (15 km)
Description of Day 1. Read More
- Distance: 15 km (9.5 miles)
- Shortcut: possible, hike 7 km (4 miles), then take 5 minute train ride
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.
Hotel Night 2. We have 2 hotels to choose from. Choose between standard or premium accommodation. Our standard hotel is asmall family-owned hotel located in a timber-framed building in the heart of an old town. Our superior hotel is a boutique-hotel located 2 km (1,2 miles) outside of town with wellness facilities on site (choosing the superior hotel means you add 2 km (1.2 miles) to your hike hike on day 1 and day 2.
Day 2: cross over 2 mountains (16 km) & bonus hike (6 km)
Description of Day 2. Read More
- Distance: 16 km (10 miles)
- Bonus hike: for the very fit we can extend the hike to make it 22 km (14 miles) total.
To start today’s hike you will walk to the train station and take a 5 minute train ride to the neighboring town (free travel on trains included). Explore a castle ruin before you hike into the forest. Bonus today: you can enjoy a self-serve fridge at a farmhouse which a farmer has put up for hikers. Enjoy scenic views and a wine bench before climbing up a sightseeing tower. The hike down the mountain will cross through an old town before you reach your hotel. Want to add on a few km? For the very fit we can add a bonus hike – instead of taking the train in the morning you can also hike the distance to the next town – this is a short (6 km), but very steep climb over a mountain.
Hotel Night 3. This family-run hotel offers different rooms – standard rooms or new upgraded rooms. The hotel has a 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. Ready for a day to relax? This hotel is ideal to add a second night in. Perfect location to do a rest day and explore the nearby clock area on your day off.
Day 3: short but steady climb (15 km)
Description of Day 3. Read More
- Distance: 15 km (9 miles)
- Shortcut: no shortcut
Today’s hike is short and easy. Enough time to explore the nearby medieval town before starting your hike mid-day. There is a constant (but easy) climb at the beginning. Once you are on the summit you can enjoy views over the valley (and take a drink out of a farmer’s refrigerator). On the summit our trail splits – depending on which hotel you arestaying at tonight – you will either walk into town from here. Or pass by a former wolf trap. Both very enjoyable trails! On a clear day this hike provides you with plenty of panoramic views.
Hotel Night 4. We work with 2 hotels in this area – your choice! Our first hotel is located inside town, the second hotel is located outside of town, The first hotel is simple and clean but spread out over several neighboring buildings. This hotel often caters to larger groups so it can be busy at times. The hotel has an indoor pool & sauna. In the evening we highly recommend to take a short 10-minute walk into the centre of town for a local dinner. Our second hotel is located 3 km outside of town in a small farming village. It is a very cozy, quiet and small place -with modern rooms and an excellent German restaurant. If you choose our second hotel you are in for a special treat – because the trail taking you to this hotel takes you by 2 historic wolf traps – a rare sight, even for locals.
Day 4: one steep climb and downwards from there (20 km)
Description of Day 4. Read More
- Distance: 20 km (12 miles)
- Shortcut: yes, 13 km (8 miles)
We saved the best for last. This trail has it all with scenic spots, a cabin, a schnapps fountain, vineyards, an old mill, 2 lunch places (only open on Saturdays) and a possible shortcut which saves 7 km ( if you must ).
Hotel Night 5. Several hotels to choose from. We work with several small hotels, all located in the heart of the old town. Treat yourself and 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!
Description of Departure Day. Read More
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:
Submit your review
We had a wonderful time doing the Black Forest!!
We didn't have much of a sense of what the Black Forest was and how it would be. Some parts of it were definitely more logged/less picturesque than others. We really appreciated that you tried to keep us off the logging roads as much as possible, but we weren't expecting to cross so many! We saw hardly any people the entire time on the trails, and just a few mountain bikes. The solitude was something I wasn't expecting but liked. It was a bit rainy on day 2, but mostly when we were in the forest under cover so it didn't really impact our hike negatively, and the temperature was lovely the whole time!
This was such a relaxing way to explore the area. And it was great to have the option of the train if we wanted to go somewhere else after arriving at our hotel, or take a shortcut. All of our days were ~10 to 16 miles of hiking I think. We could start when we wanted, take breaks as needed, etc. If we had been with other people I think it would have been harder.
We have told our friends about our trip and that we highly recommend your trip. Germany was really fun and I had a blast trying to communicate. Everyone was super gracious in allowing me to try my limited German. We would definitely consider coming back in a few years and trying your other loop.
Thank you again Simone!
Excellent hike in beautiful countryside in the Black Forest. Organisation was very good, luggage transfer went without a hitch, hotels were of a high standard. Trail maps mostly easy to follow. Would recommend this hike.
Thanks for everything. I had a great time. Totally liberated! Day 1 was full of cool discoveries, day 2 was euphoric in places, and day 3 had so much beauty.
Best of luck - this is a terrific thing you're doing.
My fiancee and I were planning on visiting Germany and were looking for something unique to end our trip with when after some research I found Black Forest Tours. Touring the Black Forest has long been a bucket list item for me and with my 50th birthday happening my fiancee decided that this was her gift. After working with Simone on what we wanted to visit and do, she came up with a plan tailored for us. We opted for a 4 day hike/5 nights trip plan which would include hiking, visiting towns we were interested in, and schnapps fountains that I heard so much about.
When we arrived in our first town at the train station, we were immediately met by a driver who took us to the first hotel: a lovely spa hotel in the mountains where the next morning we'd start our adventure. The room was relaxing with a balcony view of the small town church and village below. In our room, we found a bag filled with maps, goodies, and information from Simone Brixel detailing our next 5 days hiking.
After breakfast the next morning, we started our hike through the Black Forest which was amazing. We couldn't believe the views and sights that we saw on just the first day. After a hard hike (we had small day packs and hiking poles which really helped), we arrived at the next town and the next hotel with our suitcases waiting for us in our room. The hiking was challenging but extremely fun even in the rain. The directions provided by Simone were detailed and extremely accurate and easy to follow.
Each hotel was fantastic and we enjoyed them all. Each town had charm and was off the beaten path which was exactly what we were looking for. The food was excellent, the people were nice, and the experience is not to be missed.
I cannot recommend Black Forest Tours enough and can't wait to head back for another experience with them. THANK YOU!!
We really enjoyed our hiking in The Black Forest. The trails and maps were easy to follow. We did not download the GPX data. All of the hotels were great! And the luggage transfers were perfect. It was always nice to see our bags when we reached the hotel. It was a great trip. Thank you!
I have completed all the hikes including bonus routes and it is not harder than moderate difficulty. There are a lot of places to stop by to get food or rest also wells along the path to refill with water.
Both the Red Deer and the Complete Black Forest hikes are highly recommended to do.
The routes that are provided provide a wonderful diversity, passing through dense and shady forests, across alpine meadows then through bucolic pasture lands, and finally (at the beginning and end of each day) providing views of quaint little Black Forest Villages, which all retain a central neighborhood in the high-medieval style of when the towns were first established (or at least rebuilt after being ravaged by one or another medieval wars). While the villages retain much of their old-fashioned style on the outside, they are truly modernized within and very comfortable places to inhabit.
But this tour is about the hikes. The hikes are moderate. We averaged about 10 miles (16 kilometers) per day over our five-day tour. The elevation gain is not bad, ranging between 800 feet (265 meters) and 1,400 feet (430 meters) per day. The trails are well-maintained and well-marked. This area has been harvested for lumber for centuries, so there are a lot of forest roads on the hike, but Black Forest Tours routes you onto narrow forest paths whenever possible. There are opportunities to take lunch in forest farm house along the way, but we chose to pack sandwiches and keep moving. I did partake in one of the forest’s “schnapps fountains,” which you may encounter, depending on the hiking tour you choose. The walk, the views, the forest environment, the whole experience was spectacular. Go in mid-August, and you have a chance to avoid weather, as we did (just a few sprinkles on one day). We offer our highest recommendation of Black Forest Tours.
We are writing to tell you how much we enjoyed our hiking tour through Black Forest, which you so expertly arranged, scheduled, and guided. We had so much fun! We enjoyed every moment of the experience (even those moments on the trail when we got a little confused). The accommodations were absolutely first rate and the staff at every hotel was so gracious and kind to accommodate our lack of German language speaking skills. The prices for meals were amazingly inexpensive and every meal we ate in Germany was delicious, fresh, beautifully presented, and kindly served. We were a bit confused about the proper tipping and our hosts seemed a bit embarrassed to discuss it, so we simply applied the U.S. custom, more or less. The public transportation options in the Black Forest are simply amazing in the their convenience, timeliness, frequency, and speed (we in the United States could learn a very valuable lesson from you Germans in that regard). Every German we encountered was friendly and helpful and we found the country as a whole to be beautiful, clean, and welcoming, and all its social and economic institutions efficiently managed.
Your day by day hiking guides are very well done. Every aspect of the guides are well-designed and the instructions very clear, precise, and accurate. The maps are important and served us well when we made a couple wrong turns. We became confused on three ocassions. However, when we looked back at the directions we realized that our confusion was entirely our fault for misreading the directions. Once we got back on track, we realized that we had not followed the very clear directions that you had provided. Once turned wrong however, the map and compass pointed us back onto the correct path, and once we crossed over the peak into the Valley side, all was well.
The map and a compass really saved us from ourselves, so having both instructions and a map was great.
We would highly recommend this tour to any avid hikers who want to experience the unique beauty and culture of the Black Forest. I cannot think of a single thing that you could have done better, unless you want to provide instructions as to how to find your way in Frankfurt Airport.
Once again, thank you so much for providing us with such a wonderful experience. We will never forget. We are no longer as young as we once were (I’m 65 and my wife is 59) but we found this hike to be well within our capabilities although a couple of the days took longer than indicated (were so entranced by the scenery that we dawdled a bit here and there). We don’t know for how much longer our bodies will allow us this level of exertion, but we are grateful to you for helping us have such wonderful, indeed, perfect holiday.
Terry & Janis
We loved our hike through the Black Forest. Simone arranged everything perfectly. The trail was scenic, the directions clear and the route exceeded our expectations. I could not recommend them more highly.
We went on a well organised self walking tour through the Black Forest. Well described, easy to follow walks with a love town to finish each day. Simone from Black Forest Tours was most helpful and very responsive to all questions.