In the south westernmost part of Germany, cornered by France and Switzerland, is the Schwartzwäld — the Black Forest — land of fairies, gnomes, and cake! As a kid, the only Black Forest I knew was Black Forest ham, so I knew we were going into good territory. The Black Forest hassome of the longest hiking and cycling trails in Europe. We knew no matter which one we chose, we’d be in for a pleasant wander through a magical forest. We chose the Feldberg Steig, a hike around the Feldberg, the tallest point in the Black Forest. We woke up at a decent time, ate some delicious cured Black Forest ham for breakfast, and were off!
We arrived at Feldberger Hof, at the base of the gondola whisking people to the top but instead of forking out the cash for the easy way up, we walked. The Black Forest really is magical, especially in autumn. All the changing leaves adds a level of beauty you might not see in the summer. From the hikes we have done in Europe (You can read about them here, here, and here), we’ve learned that you don’t really need to pack trail snacks because there are hüttes all along the way, serving hot meals and beer. We, total cheapskates, brought sandwiches and oranges from home.
We continued the walk along more beautiful forest trails, beside babbling brooks, and mossy greens. I saw so many mushrooms, and wished I knew how to tell the poisonous ones from the edible ones (note to self, there’s gotta be an app for that!). We walked along the Feldsee, a beautiful, clear lake in the shadow of the Feldberg, surrounded by green, orange, and red trees.
Our 14km hike finally came to an end with a steady climb uphill for the last 2km. When we arrived back at Feldberger Hof, we were a bit sweaty, walking on legs made of jelly. Walking back to the van, we passed a cafe advertizing Black Forest cake! How could we not? Black Forest ham for breakfast, a walk around the Black Forest all day, and a slice of Black Forest cake for dessert. Like I said, it’s pretty magical here.