"Schwarzwald - Forêt Noire - Black Forest" Top 5 Page for this destination Black Forest by Loeffle

Black Forest Travel Guide: 96 reviews and 303 photos

Introduction to Black Forest

Black Forest - Forêt Noire - Schwarzwald or as Romans called it "Silva nigra" respectfully was for a long time a mountainous area covered with deep, dark forests (name!), robbers and thieves and wild animals. Today it might be hard to imagine these things, but still up to 90 % (in some regions) of Black Forest are covered by trees. Those parts which are tree-less were cleared by humans after the 10th century, when regions better suited for settlement became overcrowded (like the Rhine Valley, the Baar or the Gäu regions in the North).

Black Forest is located in SW Germany in the RegioTriRhena close to NW Switzerland and Alsace. The mountain range is about 170 km N to S, and between 30 and 50 km E to W.

A little bit of Geology

Black Forest started to "rise" about 70 million years ago together with its sister mountain range the Vosges mountains West of the Rhine Valley. The original layers from Trias were almost completely eroded (but they can be seen again East of Black Forest on the Baar).

The main rocks consisting of Granite and Gneiss are still very well visible, especially in the higher Southern Black Forest.

Todays Black Forest landcape was formed by rivers and glaciers. During the iceages the whole Southern Black Forest was covered by might glaciers. On the picture to the right you can see a relict of the Feldberg Glacies (Titisee). Other Glacier valleys are Zastlertal and Upper Wiesental (worth visiting if you are into geology).

Places of Interest, Hiking, Towns, Nature

Black Forest is one of the most popular tourist region in Germany, but there are very few places (Titisee, Mummelsee, Baden-Baden) that are overcrowded. Often you can find very nice and quiet places only a few km's away. Schluchsee is for example much nicer than Titisee, but it has no name.

Black Forest is a paradise for hiking. If you like to walk on marked paths. Don't expect "Northern wilderness" where you navigate with compass and map. It's actually forbidden to leave the paths to protect nature. Whole Black Forest is a kind of national park.

If you are really into hiking I recommend one of the marked paths of Schwarzwaldverein
especially the the "Querweg", connecting Freiburg with Konstanz (177,5 km, 7 to 10 days)

Primarily you will visit Black Forest because of its nature. But there are also other places of interest: old medival towns (like L?ffingen on the right), small villages, traditional Black Forest farms, old silver or iron mines, museums showing the past or specialties (cukkoo clocks or ski) and much more.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:landscape, hiking, skiing, great cuisine, good infrastructure, intact nature
  • Cons:some places are too crowded (Titisee e.g.) and lost much due to that
  • In a nutshell:One of the nicest areas in Germany
  • Last visit to Black Forest: Jun 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (20)

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2005 at 12:19 AM

    a lovely page-the cake & restaurant tips were excellent!!

  • lotharlerch's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2005 at 10:30 PM

    A nice area indeed, I passed it several times but without longer stops . But it was always nice to be above the winter fog of the Lake Constance and the Rhine valley on the way to/from Freiburg

  • Anjutka's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2004 at 2:58 AM

    Hello!It looks a nice and beautiful place...

  • Astralka's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2004 at 5:07 AM

    such a magic place must have an effect on the mind! so get up and make your Home Page cheerful! U know the saying:Everything happens for a reason..

  • JourneyOf1's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2004 at 9:32 AM

    Your tips are excellent, and great pics also>>>>Really good page. Yvette

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2004 at 8:52 AM

    Excellent info about the Black Forest, Well Done! Great Photos too. Happy travels (~_~)

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2004 at 6:02 AM

    Wow this took me right back to visiting my friends outside Freiburg...:-) Great tips for next time too!

  • MURRA's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2004 at 6:54 AM

    black forst horse day good to hear of rural charms

  • ettenaj's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2003 at 2:29 PM

    Brilliant tips here the black forest looks very tempting

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2003 at 1:39 PM

    Great pics of a lovely landscape ! One of my aunts lives in Hinterzarten so I have been there quite often. My favorite place there is the famous restoration-garage for vintage cars in Glottertal :-)


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