best hike black forest

Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way

If you like the sound of the Black Forest Trail but prefer shorter distances this hike is for you. Each day you hike for 6-10 km - a distance most people can cover, even if they have no experience hiking. With shorter distances you have more time to take in the surroundings. Or explore the town you are staying in.


Black Forest

Start / End





6-11 km daily




2 days, 3 days, 4 days, 5 days

Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way

spring, summer, fall
2 days, 3 days, 4 days, 5 days

Our Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way gives you the best of both worlds; you get to hike our popular Black Forest Trail, with short and easy-going distances. And if you don’t feel like hiking at all, you can skip the hike altogether.

  • We Handle All The Detail
  • Luggage Transfer Included
  • Hotels included, Upgrades possible
  • 2-6 days of hiking
  • Detailed Route Descriptions & Maps
  • We are only a phone call away

Lonely Planet’s calls our Black Forest Trail one of ’52 Best Weekends Away’:

Do you still want to experience the Black Forest Trail but can’t handle long distances?

Our regular Black Forest Trail (find all info on the original Black Forest Trail here) has been one of our most popular hikes. With daily distances of 12-19 km, it is a trail for more experienced and fit hikers.

But we have been told that those distances are too much for many people. If you still want to experience the Black Forest Trail, but prefer shorter daily distances, our new Black Forest Trail The Laidback Way, might be for you. We have cut the daily distances in half, ranging from 6 to 11 km, distances most people can hike even if they have no hiking experience. With shorter distances you have more time to take in the surroundings or explore the towns.

The Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way even gives you the option to skip a hike altogether if something comes up. In that case you can simply hop on the train to your next hotel.

As with all our hiking tours we take care of your luggage transfer and hotel reservations.

Is it for me?

The Black Forest Trail- The Laidback Version is a good choice if you are looking for easy hikes. And if you like a combination of nature and towns. You will be ending each night in a small town.

There is still a bit of elevation to cover. But you can take your time doing it.

The Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Version is recommended for beginner hikers. And fit people who have never hiked before. 

The daily distances are half of what the regular Black Forest Trail covers – which means you will need more time to cover the entire Black Forest Trail.



Arrival Info

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 at your last hotel in Offenburg area, then taking the train to your first hotel.

We recommend to arrive at lunch time. Early check-in on your arrival day at 12.30 PM possible (your room is available at 3 PM).  On your arrival day a complimentary lunch buffet is included. Therefore you can check in at lunch time, enjoy lunch and the wellness area at the hotel before getting your room at 3 PM.


Wellness hotel in the mountains with standard rooms or  upgraded rooms 

This beautiful hotel happens to be located in a remote mountain town. There is a complimentary lunch buffet waiting for you on your arrival day. There is also a complimentary coffee/cake buffet in the afternoon.  The hotel has extensive wellness facilities with several pools & saunas. No cell phone reception at the hotel.

Black Forest Trail Hike Germany (2)

Elevation Profile Day 1: 

Description of Day 1:

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 9 km – but in absolutely beautiful terrain. 

Accommodation (2 nights)

Simple family hotel in the town centre of a small town. Standard rooms

Our  hotel is a small family-owned hotel located in a timber-framed building in the heart of the old centre of a medieval Black Forest town.


This hotel is often booked, we have a several back-up hotels to choose from.


Elevation Profile Day 2 (6.2 km): 

alternative (7.9 km)

Descripition Day 2: 

Starting from your hotel in the old town centre you will be hiking up the mountain behind your hotel.  You will be rewarded with a beautiful trail, a chapel and several great vista points before descending back into town.

Our alternative trail is a bit longer and takes you to a local cabin for lunch. 


same as last night









Elevation Profile Day 3: 

Descripition Day 3: 

Today it is a longer hike of 11 km. But no worries_ If this is too much to handle for you, we do have an alternative hike of 7 km

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. 

Accommodation (2 nights)

This hotel is newly opened and in the heart of the old town. You are in walking distance to everything – perfect location. All rooms are modern and have A/C. The hotel does not have its own restaurant. But there are plenty of places to eat less than a 10 minute walk away.

Elevation Profile Day 4: 

Descripition Day 4:

Starting out from your hotel in the old town centre you are climbing up to the sightseeing tower on the mountain top above town. Its a popular hike with the locals, and a must-do for visitors. The hike itself is not very long, but it can take a while to hike up the steep mountain, where you will be rewarded with fantastic vistas over the entire valley.


same as last night

Elevation Profile Day 5: 

Descripition Day 5:

In the morning you are hopping on the train to get to the final town. 

The last portion of the Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way which is a short 7 km hike. You will start by walking a river. Then the trail quickly takes you up into the mountain. From there you enjoy beautiful views onto the valley. Visit two chapels and  a pavilion with a vista over the valley. Then the trail descends  into the old town centre where your hotel is located at.


We work with several small hotels, all located in the heart of the old town.

  • Standard hotel in town
  • Upgraded hotel in town

Standard hotel

Great family-run place in the heart of town with remodeled rooms.

romantic hotel black forest

Superior Hotel

Why not treat yourself  to a 4 star boutique hotel located in a restored historical building with sauna and wellness facility? Great way to end your hiking holiday!

wellness hotel black forest




Departure Info

If you are departing by train it is a short train ride to Offenburg. From here you catch a train to your next destination

If you are departing with your own car you just get in your car and go!

Good to Know

  • Accommodation in double room with private bathroom
  • Breakfast 
  • Free public transportation pass while staying in the Black Forest
  • Detailed route descriptions & maps, tour route available in our own hiking app also
  • Luggage transfer between hotels. Your luggage transfer is organized by us, Black Forest Tours. 
  • Welcome Bag with useful items for your tour
  • Travel to and from start/end of the Black Forest Trail  hike
  • Lunches and dinners need to be purchased separately
  • Travel insurance. Make sure you have travel insurance covering you against illness, injury, loss or damage to property and cancellations.
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tips, telephone calls, extra transfers (such as by taxi or when not included in pblic transport pass).


  • Season. The Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way is available from mid-April to mid-October.
  • Starting day. Our hotels are often not available on the weekends. When booking the tour please indicate all possible starting dates. The more flexible you are, the easier it is to find a date which works for you

Duration. The complete Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way is a 5 day hike. But you can choose to only hike 2 or 3 days for example. Let us know what your preferrred duration is and we make it happen.

Please contact us with your desire length of hiking and we can email you an exact quote

Hotel Location

Most of our hotels on the Black Forest Trail – The Laidback Way are small family-owned hotels. They are not fancy hotels, but clean and friendly. Most often you will meet the owners during your stay. 3 out of 5 hotels are in the middle of a cute Black Forest town. We have several back-up hotels (in case your standard hotels are booked). 

Hotel Category

Most our hotels are smaller family-run hotels.

Hotel Rooms

  • Double Rooms. If you are booking a double room there is one double bed with 2 individual mattresses (not 2 twin beds). If you require separate beds we recommend booking 2 separate rooms. In rare cases twin beds are available, please inquire.
  • Single Rooms. If you are traveling by yourself we charge a single room supplement. You will either be provided with a single room. Or with a double room for single use – based on availability.
  • Bathrooms. All rooms have private en-suite bathrooms.
  • No Air-Conditioning. Summers can be very warm. Most hotels in Germany do not have air-conditioning. Sometimes hotels can provide a fan for your room. Usually the hotel owners will tell you to sleep with the window open during the night – this is very common in Germany.
  • Elevators. Please note that our hotels most often do not have elevators – you will have to walk a flight of stairs to get to your room. 
  • Spotty Wi-Fi. All hotel are wi-fi. But it can be spotty in your room.
  • Breakfast included.
  • Lunch.Purchae a lunch package at the hotel, or grab a sandwich on your way out of town at the local bakery (we recommend where)
  • Dinner. All hotels but one have a restaurant on site also (not all are open every day). If there is no restaurant on site there are restaurants within walking distance of your hotel.
  • sturdy walking boots and socks
  • swim suits (some hotels have a pool)
  • warm and waterproof clothes
  • a day pack
  • water bottle
  • insect repellent (ticks!)
  • sun glasses, sun hat, sun block
  • first-aid kit

You will receive detailed route notes and maps from us upon check-in at your first hotel. GPS data is also available if you are hiking with a GPS device.

You have a choice between hiking with a paper map & route description. Or using our app to navigate on the trail (mobile device required, no data plan needed)

Our Route Description is highly detailed and customized, and we update it each season – not what you find online from other sources.

Have a look at the elevation profile images for each day – there is quite a bit of elevation to cover. There are some significant ascents and descents. Sometimes you have the option to shorten the route.

  • Mobile Phone Coverage. Please note that the Black Forest is a mountainous area. Often there is no mobile phone coverage when touring the Black Forest. 
  • Wi-Fi in hotels. All of our hotels have wi-fi but sometimes it can be spotty in your room – depending on the location of your room.
  • If you require constant online access we do NOT recommend touring the Black Forest. Consider staying in a large town like Baden-Baden or Freiburg instead.

Day 1:

Day 2:



Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:


Where you will be touring

map black forest trail_marked

See what some of our customers say who have done this tour before:

Average rating:  
 71 reviews
 by Brett K on Black Forest Tours

Ever since I saw pictures of the Black Forest in high school German class, I wanted to hike the trails in the mountains. The scenery and thought of visiting the villages between. No car, no train just a backpack, some hiking shoes, and a destination. However, I also
wanted to rest every night in a comfortable hotel.

Luckily, The Black Forest Tours offered a 5-day hiking only excursion that was exactly what I was looking for. Not only do they handle the accommodations they give you very detailed printed instructions and GPS helper app to make sure you stay on trail. In addition to the hotels they set up luggage delivery service so you can have your comforts at every stop without lugging it on the trails. You will be staying in small villages along the Black Forest hiking trails and if you’re in determined no trains/busses required!

It is hard to qualify hiking difficulty generally, but these are not easy trails. The full hikes will be pulling up to 20KM (12 mi) per day! The good news is that the trails will hit up various points of interest along the way to make it more rewarding and giving you some resting spots. You’re traversing a lot of elevation changes. If the weather doesn’t cooperate or if you’re not feeling it the tours also give various opt-out points where you can take a train or shortcut trail more directly to your hotel.

Even with some colder weather (which was no one’s fault) I did the full hike and it was one of the best experiences of my life and highly recommend using The Black Forest Tours to plan your hiking trip in the area.

 by rosaleen50 on Black Forest Tours

Three experienced and older hikers (aged from 69 to 82) walked The Black Forest Trail arranged by Black Forest Tours. From the moment we stepped from walking through grassy meadows into the deep, dark forest it was simply wonderful. Our hike was self-guided and we were provided with excellent trip notes and maps. While there were some challenging sections due to elevation changes, all the days were between 15 and 20 kms, allowing for time to explore the villages where we were staying along the way. There were options to shortcut and optional extra walks. We did all extra walks as we did not want to miss the scenery and the surprises such as a farmer's schnapps cupboard! For the first 2 days we did not see another person on the hike. We crisscrossed a number of famous hikes, such as Jakobusweg (St James Way) and the Westweg and got to experience the Black Forest in perfect harmony with the tress, the hills, the small chapels and the little farmers' cupboards with schnapps or water that could be bought on an honesty system. Our accommodation was excellent in each village. We added a rest day in the middle of our hike and also an extra day at the start. These were great for exploring the areas, trying local food and getting over long flights (from Australia). The walk was exceptionally well-organised. We travelled to the Black Forest area by train from Frankfurt. The whole trip was a perfect mixture of train travel (getting on small and smaller trains), hiking, exploring fairytale villages and enjoying food and drink with friends in wonderful settings!

 by mark f on Black Forest Tours

I had an amazing hiking trip with Black Forest Tours. Simone was brilliant to work with and created a wonderful route for us. She certainly cared and helped ensure that we had a brilliant holiday.

The routes were lovely and spectacular, we were given all the information we needed for a successful hike and all logistics were catered for. Fully recommend booking a holiday with Black Forest Tours.

 by Mark on Black Forest Tours

I had an amazing hiking trip with Black Forest Tours. Simone was brilliant to work with and created a wonderful route for us. She certainly cared and helped ensure that we had a brilliant holiday.

The routes were lovely and spectacular, we were given all the information we needed for a successful hike and all logistics were catered for. Fully recommend booking a holiday with Black Forest Tours.

 by Diane L on Black Forest Tours

Simone at Black Forest Tours put together an amazing walking holiday for us. From our first contact requesting information on the tours, Simone was so helpful. Her knowledge of the area and attention to detail was truly an asset.

The hotels, luggage transfers and travel options went all as planned. We initially were a bit "nervous" not knowing any German, but that was never an issue. The very detailed walking notes with pictures were perfect. We got turned around a few times but were always able to get back on track by reviewing the notes or using the GPS APP.

If your looking for a stress free, beautiful walking holiday I highly recommend booking with Simone and Black Forest Tours.

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