Hiking in the Black Forest
There are two types of holidaymakers with two radically different philosophies: on the one hand, you have the nomads who are for ever driven by their curiosity for the new and would not dream of visiting the same place twice, and on the other hand, you have the settlers who, once they have found their favourite spot in the world, always return, year after year. I, myself, am a nomad and it takes something pretty special for me to want to return anywhere.
The Black Forest Hiking Season
We have been there once, a couple of years ago, and as soon as we sat in the train back home, I knew I wanted to go back someday, if perhaps not to hike the very same part of the trail.
The Westweg, the trail along the entire length of the Black Forest, is, after all, 285 km long and offers quite a lot of variety to boot – the North and the South are apparently two fairly different areas, almost like two separate mountain ranges, guaranteeing that there is always something new even for people who think that they are quite familiar with the region.
The Black Forest can reach nearly alpine heights – the Feldberg, at 1473 metres, is the tallest peak in the Northwest of continental Europe – so the “official” hiking season starts relatively late in the spring.
This year, for the first time ever, the different parts of the Black Forest have synchronized their calendars and begin the season with a joint splash on 6 May. There will be a big party at each of the 12 information portals of the Westweg and at a few popular beauty spots along the way, featuring music, entertainment, food and drink, guided tours and games for the kids.
Each of these spots – 15 altogether – has its own programme, and you can find all of these together with a map provided by the Schwarzwald Tourismus here.
Click on Flyer Wanderopening near the bottom of the page for a PDF file with the map and some information. This info is in German only, but you will get the drift even if you understand not a single word of German. (Bewirtung means that there will be something to eat and drink, Wanderung indicates that there will be a guided tour, and wherever you see the word Kinder, you can be sure that will be something to entertain the kids.)
So, whichever of the portals or beauty spots you choose: give the Black Forest my regards – and tell him he still has a place in my heart.