best hike black forest germany

Black Forest Trail (most popular)

This hike is postcard perfect and immerses you in the many things that make The Black Forest enchanting. You will hike through heavily forested mountains and open meadows, with steep ravines leading down to farms in the valleys. We added some local experiences and special side-trails, including a portion of the famous Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Way.

Location

Black Forest

Start / End

Offenburg

Activity

hiking

Distance

12-18 km daily

Difficulty

moderate

Duration

2-4 days of hiking

Tour format

self-guided, with hotel

Black Forest Trail (most popular)

spring, summer, fall
2-4 days of hiking

The Black Forest Trail is a selection of the best trails the Central Black Forest has to offer in 2-4 day hiking package. 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.

  • We Handle All The Detail
  • Luggage Transfer Included
  • Hotels included, Upgrades possible
  • 2-4 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’:

Focus of Trail: German Culture, 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.

The first hikers of the 2022 season have shared their feedback with us. Here is what they are saying:

  • ‘I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. This was perfect for my husband and I. Thank you for everything’.
  • ‘I could not have dreamed up a more perfect adventure. I felt so immersed in the German culture and nature’
  • ‘I was so impressed with these four days. the use of both GPS and paper descriptions were very helpful. I would highly recommend this if you are an experienced hiker and can do back to back long days’
  • ‘This was a very special and rememberable adventure.’
  • ‘We had a great time, the hike was awesome and we really enjoyed every second of it. This has been a bucket list item for a long time and you made it effortless to tick off’
  • ‘We loved all the highlights you have added along the route, chatting to local farmers, enjoying beer and schnapps along the way really made it felt like a true Black Forest experience’

We recommend: add-on a rest day

The Black Forest Trail covers quite a bit of distance. Many hikers add-on a rest day in the middle of their hike: 2 days of hiking – rest day – 2 days of hiking. Many hikers also say that they wish they had added on another day in the last town to enjoy the town and just relax after the hike.

Good to know: if you are too tired to hike one day, or the weather is not cooperating, there is always the option to get to the next hotel by train or cab.

Testimonial

It’s often difficult to decide whether this hike is the right hike for you. To make your decision easier we want to show you what a recent hiker said about their hiking experience in August 2022:

General feedback:

What a great experience! We really appreciated the seamless tour you gave us. The directions and the apps worked together to make sure we found the right paths that we needed. LOVED the hotels and the small towns. Thank you for all the quick communication and all the work to ensure that we had a great vacation!

Arrival Day:

Great instructions for our arrival! The car at the train station wasn’t marked and it took some guessing on our part to figure out that the man waiting in front of the train station was there for us. But we got there! The hotel was an awesome first stop! The staff were soooo friendly and helpful. The room was spacious. The hotel was amazing! The staff were all friendly. We would have enjoyed two nights there if we had thought about it! Maybe next time. 🙂

Day 1 hike:

The first day hiking was a little confusing just because I wasn’t used to “pacing” myself in kilometers instead of miles. We also hadn’t expected quite so many logging roads. Without the 2Go Tours app that day we might have taken a wrong turn in spite of the good trail markings. However, it was a lovely hike, beautiful, not too strenuous. The next hotel was easy to find. The hotel owners were very friendly and helpful. Awesome food there! They helped us with our room keys and they were readily available. I’m glad the first day was a shorter distance to allow us to get acclimated and accustomed to it all!

Day 2 hike

This was a tough hike even though we didn’t do the bonus hike that day. We really appreciated having the option! It was also our favorite hiking day because of all there was to see and do. The naturkuhlschrank stops, the musical diversion in the middle of the woods, the views, the tower, the chapels…. We were happy we had time to stop and enjoy all the moments! The third hotel was amazing. I don’t know if the air was officially air conditioned, but it felt like it. We loved the lights, the location, the room. All very comfortable!

Day 3 hike:

This hike felt harder than Day 2, even though the elevation change was a little gentler. I think the heat was getting to us by this day. It was still beautiful, and we loved the hike itself. We were fascinated by the wolf traps. Great diversion! When we got into view of the town, we were ready to walk down to it and through it. We stuck to the trail, however. By the time we arrived at the hotel we were too tired to explore further. The fourth hotel far exceeded our expectations!

Day 4 hike

We were really glad to have options the last day. I think we would have felt more energetic if it hadn’t been so hot. We opted for the valley trail, knowing that we could get off the trail if we got too hot for the day. We enjoyed the first half of the hike, enjoyed the forest. Once we left the forest and were in the sun, we decided that shortening the hike was worth it. We were happy to get to the last hotel, which we loved, and rest for a bit. THe hotel had wonderful staff and a beautiful room. That was another one we felt we could have stayed in a couple of nights. Well, really, they all were that nice! The last town was the perfect size for wandering and enjoying window-shopping. We loved our time there.

Touring with your app

We used the trail description every day, and we really appreciated it! The details and photos with arrows were extremely helpful. We didn’t refer to the paper maps much because we had the 2GoTours app. That app was extremely helpful in keeping us on the right path. We loved that the 2GoTours App worked even without internet connection. (We were on airplane mode on our phones and only used wifi at the hotels. We would bring up the app before we left the hotel, and it would track us accurately all day. There were a couple of times it booted one of us out of the app, and without wifi we couldn’t get back in. But interestingly it all worked out.) I think the description and the app together were perfect.

Communication and overall experience:

Your communication was awesome! I felt like you always had my back when I needed to reach out. Thank you so much for making this a great experience! I apologize that I complained about the heat in this review. Nothing on you! Black Forest Tours and you, Simone, have been great! I think we would love to do this trip again some day, or another one. We really appreciate your hard work in making our trip a wonderful experience.

Is it for me?

The Black Forest Trail is a good choice if you are looking for intermediate level hikes. And if you like a combination of nature and towns. You will be ending each day in a small town.

Please note that there is quite a bit of elevation to the Black Forest Trail. The hike is not a problem for a fit person, but there are a few mountains to cross over. 

The Black Forest Trail is recommended if you are an experienced hiker and can do back to back long days

We are now offering our standard 4 day-hike with a rest day in between (making it a 5 day stay). You can certainly opt-out and just do a 4-day hike without any rest day.

 

Itinerary

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.

Accommodation

  • 4 star hotel with standard rooms or  upgraded rooms 

This beautiful 4 star wellness 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)

 

Description of your day

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. If you are too tired already, you have the option to skip the remaining hike and head straight to to your hotel. Real hikers continue on of course. 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. 

Bonus Hike: Add-on more distance

  • The regular train is 14.4  km in length (9 miles).
  • There is the option to shortcut the trail by 2 km (1.2 miles)

Accommodation

  • Simple family hotel in the town centre of a small town. Standard rooms
  • Superior hotel with premium rooms and wellness area 2 km outside of town centre

We have 2 hotels to choose from.  Both hotels have restaurants where we recommend eating in the evening.

Our standard 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.

Hotel_Blackforesttrail3

Back-up hotel outsisde of town

Our back-up hotel is a superior hotel and located 2 km (1,2 miles) outside of town centre with wellness facilities on site. Good to know: choosing the superior hotel means you add 2 km (1.2 miles) to your hike hike on day 1 and day 2.

Hotel_Blackforesttrail2black forest accommodation

optional add-on:

Description of your day

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. 

Shortcuts

no shortcuts today

Trail Options: Extend your hike

For the very fit we can add a bonus hike to make it 23 km (14 miles) total. 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.

Accommodation

Our 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.

 

Backup hotel outside of town

Our backup hotel is outside of town centre in a small suburb.

  • Friendly family-run hotel with wellness area offering standard rooms or new upgraded rooms. 

typical black forest hotelcozy hotel black forest

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.

black forest hotel with pool

 

We highly recommend to plan on a rest day today. The hikes are moderate, but you have to climb several mountains. Feedback from many hikers is that they should have planned on a rest day in the middle of the hike. Therefore a rest day is now included in our standard package. You can certainly opt-out and continue your hike today.

If you decide on a rest day there are several options on how to spend your day.

-rent a e-bike from your hotel (20 Euro/day).

-do some sightseeing (Triberg clock area and Vogtsbauernhof farmhouse museum are close-by)

-enjoy life in town and watch the locals.

-relax at the public swimming pool

-take a train ride on the famous Black Forest Railway 

Description of your day

There is a constant (but easy) climb at the beginning of your hike. Once you are on the summit you can enjoy views over the valley (and take a drink out of a farmer’s refrigerator).

Now you are in for a special treat – because the trail taking you into town takes you by 2 historic wolf traps – a rare sight, even for locals

New in 2023! Starting in 2023 we offer you to a choice of trails on day 3. 

  1. Hike the official Black Forest Trail or
  2. Hop on the train to get to your next town. Then do a round-trip of 16 km taking you by 3 original local places to have a snack or drink. But be aware – this is a very popular trail which means you might run into lots of people.

Shortcuts

no shortcuts today

Accommodation.

Today you have 2 hotels to choose from. But no option to upgrade! There are 2 standard hotels.

  1. Standard Hotel located in a residential part of a small town, standard rooms, no upgrades.
  2. Standard hotel located in a farming village, 3 km outside of town, standard rooms, no upgrades.  A very small friendly family hotel (5 rooms only) in the heart of a village. The restaurant is a local’s favorite! 

1. Standard hotel in town

Our regular hotel is spread out over several buildings in a residential neighborhood of town. Please note -this hotel often caters to larger groups so it can be busy at times. The hotel has an indoor pool & sauna. The hotel has its own restaurant. But we highly recommend to take the 10-minute walk into town for a local dinner (we have a recommendation). Great about the hotel: within a few minutes you are in the centre of a beautiful old town. 

hotel black forest

Back-up hotel outside of town

Our back-up hotel hotel is located 3 km outside of town in a small farming village. It is a very cozy, quiet and small place with just a handful (5 only) modern rooms. There is an good restaurant on-site serving local food. If you don’t don’t care about access to a small town, this is a nice quiet place to stay at. (if you are staying here, then your hiking distance gets reduced by 3 km/2 miles today making it 15 km/9 miles total)

bed and breakfast blackforest

or take the train and shortcut:

Description of your day

We saved the best for last. This trail has it all, with scenic spots, a cabin with a view, and 2 beautiful chapels overlooking town. The first part is a bit challenging, taking you up onto the mountain ridge. From here it is an enjoyable walk into your last town with lots of scenery.

Shortcuts

if this day hike is too long for you we recommend hopping on the train to get to the next town. Then hike the last portion of the official Black Forest Trail which is a short 6 km hike.

Accommodation

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

Have an extra day?

This town is ideal to add-on an additional night. Perfect location for a rest day to explore town and meet some locals.

 

 

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 is available from mid-May 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
  • Hike Length. The complete Black Forest Trail is a 4 day hike plus 1.day rest adventure. But we also offer a shorter/longer version. Let us know what your preferrred length is and we make it happen.
  • Good to know: Most people hike the entire Black Forest Trail in 4 days. Most hikers add-on a rest day after day 2 – so they hike 2 days, one rest day, hike another 2 days. This is recommended as the elevation and distances can be quite challenging for many
  • Please contact us with your desire length of hiking and we can email you an exact quote

Hotel Location

  • All our hotels on the Black Forest Trail are small family-owned hotels. They are not fancy hotels, but clean and friendly. Most often you will meet the owners during your stay. Most hotels are in the middle of a cute Black Forest town. We have several back-up hotels (in case your standard hotels are booked). which are within easy walking distance to the town. Find out more about each hotel under the itinerary details

Hotel Category

  • All our hotels are 3 star hotels.
  • For a small upgrade fee we offer an upgrade in some (not all) 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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 have a restaurant on site also (not all are open every day). Most often there are other 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.

Starting 2022 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:

optional add-on:

Day 3:

Day 4:

 

or shortcut:

Where you will be touring

map black forest trail_marked

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

Black Forest Tours
Average rating:  
 60 reviews
 by sgarciamaggio

A group of friends headed to Munich for Oktoberfest but wanted to enjoy some hiking time outside to the fest for the rest of our trip to Germany. We booked black forest tours based on the reviews and the ability to have our extra luggage schlepped without us having to carry all our stuff all day. ZERO REGRETS. Simone is amazing - she answered all our questions. The towns were simply magical and the trails were like walking through a fairy tale. I say all that knowing we had terrible weather. On the last day the wind and rain were so mighty there was some question about getting blown off the trail - it still didn't hamper how fantastic our trip was and how much fun we had. Everything from train directions, to trail directions (down to the "take 90 steps and turn left" detail) to details of who you are likely to meet along the trail and restaurant recommendations is written up for you. I cannot more highly recommend the Black Forest trek and this company - if you're on the fence, just go for it!

 by Jeanine B

The Black Forest is as beautiful as you imagine it to be! The hikes and small towns are interesting and the people are friendly. Simone does an excellent job of laying out exactly what to expect so you'll definitely be well-prepared.

 by AllisonA

Fantastic time, thank you so much.
This was our first time to the Black Forest and we were so impressed. Simone's detailed handouts allowed us to follow routes that we previously wouldnt have been able to find and explore. Being met with a goodie bag and generous hotel staff made all the difference. Simone organised the trip very quickly for us and plenty of communication at all hours of the day- I will certainly be recommending this trip to others

 by Extraordinary715485
Black Forest Tours

Fantastic trip and Simone's directions made walking beyond our dreams possible. Good hikes between towns with reasonable and high quality hotels

 by SandervHamburg
4-day hike — great experience as a solo hiker

Had a great experience via the Black Forest Tours as a solo hiker. Would recommend to anyone who's looking for trails that test your stamina but butter you up with the prospect of great views and beautiful forests.

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