Black Forest Undergrowth

The Black Forest: Hikes, Drives and Adventure in Germany’s Nature Park

Widely hailed as Germany’s most beautiful region, the Black Forest’s landscape of deep river valleys, ancient woodlands and mountainous peaks makes it an enchanting place to escape. According to legend, the Brothers Grimm were inspired by the mysterious aura of this place to write their iconic fairy tales Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. Despite the forest’s shadowy reputation in these fables, this scenic landscape is actually one of the sunny corners of the country, tailor made for cycle rides, village explorations and thrilling road trips. To inspire your adventure, take a look at some of the most amazing things you can do in Germany’s biggest nature park.

Magical Road Trips

Black Forest House
Discover isolated villages and ruins

This green land is perfect for those looking to get away from it all on an unforgettable road trip. There are a number of routes that allow you to see jaw-dropping views, with the most popular being the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse, or Black Forest Highway. Considered one of the most incredible driving routes in the world, this winding road climbs up from the charming town of Baden-Baden into the northern Black Forest mountains, before finishing in the heights of Freudenstadt, home of the largest marketplace in Germany. Along the way, you’ll pass through dense pine trees, past hidden waterfalls and Gothic abbey ruins. Alternatively, the Badische Weinstrasse, or Badische Wine Road, sees you cut through picturesque vineyards and crumbling castles at the foothills of the Black Forest.

Exciting Cycles and Walks

Black Forest Stairway
Ancient steps and pathways of the Black Forest

If you’d prefer to hotfoot it through the woods, the Black Forest has an amazing 23,000 kilometres of well signposted hiking paths which have been well travelled over hundreds of years. These trails take you past idyllic vistas, magnificent rock formations and mythical fortresses hidden deep inside the forest. Make a pit stop at one of the peaceful snack spots, or Vesperstuben, which provide hearty dishes and treats to revive weary walkers. For a two-wheeled voyage through the jungle of trees, head out on the gentle Southern Black Forest Cycle Route, which is ideal for families. Make sure to pass the Wutach Gorge, an Ice Age canyon that cuts through the centre of the valley.

Charming Medieval Villages

Black Forest Hohenzollern Castle
The fairy tale Hohenzollern Castle

This area is full of untouched villages that date back hundreds of years, all surrounded by countless evergreen trees. Whether you want to base yourself in the spa town of Baden-Baden for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, or explore the university town of Freiburg, the entirety of this district’s gorgeous landscape is at your fingertips. Foodies will love the chance to indulge with a slice of the iconic black forest gateau, which is typically made with locally picked cherries. This natural expanse is also known for being the birthplace of the cuckoo clock, and Furtwangen has a fascinating museum dedicated to the region’s clock making heritage.

For more inspiration, check out our adventure page and start planning your own adventure.