Overview for The Black Forest Traverse: Westweg Trail
The Westweg (“West Way” or “West Trail”) is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Germany, traversing the entire Black Forest range north to south from Pforzheim to Basel in Switzerland. The trail is 285 km long; it is the first of all German long-distance hiking trails, becoming a designated path back in 1900. On this moderate to strenuous itinerary, you will walk the complete trail in 12 walking stages.
Itinerary for The Black Forest Traverse: Westweg TrailGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival Pforzheim
Pforzheim is a city in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, known for its jewellery and watch-making industry, and as such has gained the nickname “Goldstadt” (“Golden City”).
- Overnight in Pforzheim
Day 2: Pforzheim to Dobel
The first stage of the Westweg leads you from Pforzheim on the northern edge of the Black Forest steadily up to spa resort Dobel. The starting point of your hike is the Golden Gate in Pforzheim at the confluence of Würm and Nagold. From here, the western trail leads you past a wooded, gentle ridge to the ruins of Hoheneck. You reach the banks of the Enz, a tributary of the Nagold. The Westweg then runs directly along the wooded shore and follows the river valley to the Neuenbürger Castle and through dense forest steadily uphill to Dobel.
- Overnight in Dobel
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 24 km, ↑490 m
Day 3: Dobel to Forbach
From Dobel the trail goes gently uphill on forest roads along the mountain ridge. On the way, you will pass several huts and rest areas, which offer fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Then you will walk on boardwalks through a vast moor before you reach Hohloh, the highest point of today’s walk. The summit itself is densely forested, but you can still enjoy the panoramic views from the 30-m high watchtower. From Hohloh, you hike downhill until you reach Forbach.
- Overnight in Forbach
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 26 km, ↑320 m
Day 4: Forbach to Mummelsee
The third leg of the Westweg runs over a long chain of peaks and leads you up to the pass Unterstmatt. It is located on the famous Schwarzwaldhochstraße, the oldest scenic holiday road in Germany. On the way there you walk through dense forests and past idyllic lakes.
- Overnight in Mummelsee
- Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 24 km, ↑970 m
Day 5: Mummelsee to Alexanderschanze
The fourth stage takes in Hornisgrinde; with its 1,163 meters being the highest peak in the northern Black Forest. From the summit, you then hike along rough forest roads, roughly parallel to the Schwarzwaldhochstraße until you reach Alexanderschanze Pass. Here used to be an important fortification, after which the pass is still named today.
- Overnight in Alexanderschanze
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 21 km, ↑140 m
Day 6: Alexanderschanze to Hausach
Over a long ridge, the trail meanders gently downhill to Hausach. Your stage destination is located in the wide Kinzigtal valley, which is considered the border between the northern and the southern Black Forest. Most of the time you walk on comfortable forest trails and on quiet forest roads through dense fir and spruce forest. Especially on warm summer days, the shady forest is a real treat. Then the forest becomes less thick, revealing great views, and the trail goes in a wide loop down to Hausach in Kinzigtal.
- Overnight in Hausach
- Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 27 km, ↑490 m
Day 7: Hausach to Wilhelmshöhe/Schonach
Today’s stage takes you up to the southern Black Forest, where the highest elevations of the entire Black Forest are located. You’ll notice that on today’s tour as well, because on your way to the stage destination Wilhelmshöhe there is a total of over 1,100 meters uphill. As a reward for this challenge, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of glacier-shaped mountains and valleys.
- Overnight in Schonach
- Walking for the day: 6-8 hours, 20 km, ↑990 m
Day 8: Rest Day Schonach
Take a well-deserved rest today. If you arrive on Wednesday, you will have the opportunity to visit the ski-jump facility of Langenwald, where ski jump cracks like Georg Hettich and Alexander Herr are at home. Or you can visit the local heritage museum and admire the beautiful traditional costumes, furniture and many memories of the good old times. Here you will also find the famous Christmas crib built by Meinrad Spät.
- Overnight in Schonach
Day 9: Wilhelmshöhe/Schonach to Kalte Herberge
Today the Westweg winds its way up and down the mountains of the southern Black Forest. The highest point of today’s stage is at 1,150 meters, the bare summit of the Brends. From up here, you have a fantastic view of the highest peaks of the Black Forest: Feldberg, Belchen, Hochfirst and Kandel.
- Overnight in Kalte Herberge
- Walking for the day: 6 hours, 21 km, ↑230 m
Day 10: Kalte Herberge to Titisee
Today you will be spoiled with comfortable hiking trails on almost endless mountain pastures. While you stroll along here, you will be accompanied by a fantastic view of the mountains of the southern Black Forest. Via alpine meadows, you then hike downhill to the picturesque Titisee and the eponymous village on its shores. Here you have several refreshments to choose from and in good weather, of course, you can take a dip in the lake.
- Overnight in Titisee
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 20 km, ↑220 m
Day 11: Titisee to Notschrei via Mt Feldberg
Today you climb the highest mountain in the Black Forest. The famous Feldberg with its 1,493 meters is not only the king of the Black Forest but also the highest German mountain outside the Alps. After Feldberg, the Westweg leads you through dense forests and beautiful viewpoints over to the stage destination Notschrei.
- Overnight in Notschrei
- Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 24 km, ↑830 m
Day 12: Notschrei to Haldenhof
Today you start your gradual descent from the highest parts of the Black Forest and reach the village of Haldenhof. The Westweg then follows the course of a ridge. You will walk through coniferous forests most of the time, but in different places, the forest opens up and opens up the view to the Alps or the Vosges in France.
- Overnight in Haldenhof
- Walking for the day: 6 hours, 18 km, ↑620 m
Day 13: Haldenhof – Kandern
From the small refuge of Egertenhütte begins one of the last climbs of the trail. Here you hike up to the observation deck, offering great views over the southern Black Forest. Over a long ridge, the Westweg finally runs down the valley. Once at the bottom, your stage destination Kandern welcomes you.
- Overnight in Kandern
- Walking for the day: 6 hours, 20 km, ↑320 m
Day 14: Kandern to Basel/Weil am Rhein
The final stage takes you through the last foothills of the southern Black Forest. In many places, fantastic views open up to the Rhine plain, as far as France and, of course, Switzerland. At the end of your tour, you cross the German-Swiss border and finish your hike in Basel. From the Bahnhof, take the local bus (5 km, 10 min) back to Weil am Rhein for your last overnight on the Westweg.
- Overnight in Weil am Rhein
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 26 km, ↑230 m
Day 15: Departure
Return home or individual stay extension.
Hotels for The Black Forest Traverse: Westweg TrailGo to top of page
Accommodation is in a mix of 3 and 4-star hotels and welcoming country inns and B&Bs, all rooms are private en-suite. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
- Parkhotel Pforzheim http://www.parkhotel-pforzheim.de
- Kaltenbronn http://www.hotel-sarbacher.de
- Mummelsee http://www.mummelsee.de
- Alexanderschanze http://www.schwarzwald-kniebis.de
- Schonach (Wilhelmshöhe) http://www.gasthaus-wilhelmshoehe.de
- Titisee http://www.maritim.de/de/hotels/deutschland/titiseehotel-titisee-neustadt
- Feldberg http://www.adler-feldberg.de
- Notschrei http://www.gruener-baum-todtnau.de
- Wiedener Eck http://www.wiedener-eck.de
- Badenweiler http://www.morgensonne.de
- Weil am Rhein http://www.kroneweil.de
Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel from the ones listed above is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Picnic lunches are optional at an additional charge and can be pre-ordered locally. You can have dinner at your hotel or at the restaurants in the villages/towns you visit.
Travel for The Black Forest Traverse: Westweg TrailGo to top of page
Our recommended airports for this holiday are Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Basel Airport.
Up-to-date train schedules are available here: www.bahn.de
If you need to collect your car from the starting point, return journey by train or bus.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers (up to 20 kg per person) on walking days are included in your package.
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
- In bigger towns, you will have no problems finding English speaking service in hotels or restaurants. However, we suggest carrying a dictionary or a phrasebook with you. Please be aware that only a few restaurants offer multi-lingual menus.
- The currency in Germany is the Euro (€).
- 112 enables anyone to call emergency services from anywhere in the European Union.
- Up-to-date travel advice on Germany is available here. Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the June-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain.
Trip Info for The Black Forest Traverse: Westweg TrailGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
The walking stages require an excellent fitness level; the trail is undulating, with many sections of continuous ascent and descent (read more about difficulty grades).
The trail is very well way-marked. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available on any date between early May and late October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots with ankle support
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket / Goretex jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat for sun protection
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for The Black Forest Traverse: Westweg TrailGo to top of page
- 14 overnight stays in private en-suite rooms with breakfast included as described in the itinerary
- Luggage transfer on all walking days (one piece of luggage per person, max 20 kg)
- Local bus fare from Basel to Weil am Rhein on Day 14
- Certificate of completion and Westweg pin
- Detailed route notes (1 set per room)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative in Dillenburg
Supplements and Upgrades
- Single room supplement
- Solo traveller supplement
- Extra nights
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Chairlift fares if needed
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme