The 285 kilometre long-distance hiking path from Pforzheim to Basel is one of Germany's top hiking routes. We have the chance to appreciate the region's landscape and cuisine from the peaks of the Black Forest.
We start in Pforzheim, a city known for its jewellery industry, and head south towards three valleys in the Black Forest: the Enz, Murg and Kinzig Valleys. However, we spend most of our time on the western ridge of the Black Forest rather than in the valleys. There are so many views stretching out over the Rhine Valley towards the Vosges Mountains in France. We hike through vast spruce forests on narrow mountain paths and wide forest roads.
We cross historic wooden bridges built over fast-flowing streams. The Black Forest is the drainage divide between the Rhine and the Danube, so the water from one stream flows into the North Sea, while the water from the other stream ends up in the Black Sea. We pass many old boundary stones which once marked out the border between Baden and Württemberg, then we cross a moor and hike along Lake Titisee, a popular destination among tourists.
We experience excellent Black Forest hospitality in many places along the trail. We also try Black Forest ham and devour a slice of Black Forest gâteau in a typical Black Forest house. And then we continue along the Westweg Trail, the most beautiful hike in the Black Forest.
Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"I recommend visiting the highest summit in the Black Forest. The Feldberg offers glorious views stretching across to the Alps in Germany's oldest nature reserve. Children can go on a special adventure along the Wichtelpfad gnome path."
At a glance: Westweg
Length: 285 km
Number of stages: 12
Altitude variation: lowest point 236 m, highest point 1,488 m
Terrain: 40% unmade, 13% asphalt, 47% other, e.g. farm tracks
Certified quality hiking trail