Bildsteinfelsen above Lake Schluchsee
Bildsteinfelsen above Lake Schluchsee ©Schluchtensteig Schwarzwald (Thomas Bichler)

Schluchtensteig Trail Black Forest – challenging, deep and full of promise

The Schluchtensteig, or Gorges Trail, links the characteristic landscapes of the southern Black Forest: dizzying canyons, wide open plateaus, high mountain peaks, raised bogs and natural lakes.

Rushing water! Spray sprinkles through a wet shiny gorge, drawing sun glistened threads along green mossy rock faces, and jumps cheerfully from step to step down the valley. The Wutachflühen cliffs, Wutachschlucht gorge, Schleifenbachfälle falls, Haslachschlucht gorge, Windberg waterfall, Hohwehraschlucht gorge and Wehraschlucht gorge are all destinations for those who are drawn to water, love dramatic valleys, like to marvel at thundering waterfalls and wish to take a week out from everyday life.

One of the great things about the Schluchtensteig is its diversity. In just the three days of walking the Wutachflühen cliffs and Wutachschlucht gorge offer wildly varying scenery: First the dizzying cliffs, followed by lush ancient woodland in Germany's largest canyon and then waterfalls, wild ravines and rocky slopes that seem far removed from civilisation.

In between, there are fabulous view points with wide panoramas over the southern Black Forest, to the distant arch of the Alps or with fascinating views down below. Cows graze on barren high plateaus, with chirping sounds from the fields of flowers along the way, and cosy inns amongst the ancient Black Forest houses wait to welcome hungry Schluchtensteig hikers.

But the Schluchtensteig Trail is by no means just a valley route, but quite the contrary! Narrow paths, rugged steps and silent forest roads make up the Schluchtensteig Trail, but it also leads past rocky spurs and peaks. Again and again views are revealed of the gorges behind or the trail that lies ahead.

Tip:St. Blaise's Cathedral

At the end of the 4th stage there is a further surprise. The sight of the Black Forest's Cathedral in St. Blasien, surrounded by forests and mountains, is breathtaking. The massive dome, with its height of 62 m and span of 36 m, is amongst the four largest church domes in Europe.

At a glance:

Start and destination: Stühlingen – Wehr
Distance: 119 km
Number of stages: 5 or 6 stages
height: Ascent approx. 4806 m, descent approx. 4863 m
Trail surface: 45% unmade, 16% asphalt, 39% other e.g. gravel

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