The Zweitälersteig Trail near Freiburg combines the Elz and Simonswald Valleys, hence its name (two valleys trail). We also get to climb one of the most beautiful mountains in the Black Forest on this route.
The 106 kilometre circular hiking trail is certainly an athletic challenge. Hikers climb a total of 4,120 metres, so an excellent fitness level is required for this tour. The Zweitälersteig Trail is the only route in Germany to have a minimum age restriction: under 16s are not allowed! Narrow paths often zig and zag at lofty heights. Hikers are rewarded with sensational 360° panoramic views, spectacular waterfalls, gorges, rock formations and dense forests. Some people say that this hiking path changed them. The pilgrimage chapel on the Hörnleberg mountain and the jovial, open and welcoming people of the region offer a well-deserved escape from the daily grind. So it should come as no surprise that the route is signposted with a decorative heart in a green diamond. As the day draws to a close, a generous slice of Black Forest gateau is a must. Delicious!
Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"I recommend hiking the first stage from the town of Waldkirch up the Kandel mountain. It is around 1,000 metres high and has alpine paths as well as the idyllic Thomashütte cabin. Stay in the mountain inn overnight."
At a glance: Zweitälersteig
Length: 108 km
Number of stages: 5
Altitude variation: lowest point 259 m, highest point 1,232 m
Terrain: 51% unmade, 1% asphalt, 48% other, e.g. farm tracks