Have you always wanted to cycle across the Black Forest on your bike taking it easy without slogging up strenuous climbs? Following the Three Valleys Cycle Path (Drei-Täler-Radweg), you can do just that!
Your journey begins in the town of Villingen near the Swabian Jura mountains. From here, you ride through Germany’s highest and largest continuous low mountain range to the town of Kehl on the French border. Over seven stages, you cover 194 kilometres (120 miles) and 1,490 metres of altitude gain (4,888 feet), averaging just over 200 metres (650 feet) per day. As the name of the route suggests, you cycle through three valleys, making use of the deep corridors dug into the mountains by rivers over millions of years.
From the spring of the River Neckar to the waters of the Glatt and from the spring of the River Kinzig to the Rhine – cycling doesn’t get more comfortable than this. At the halfway point, you face the only real challenge on your journey, a 770-metre (2,526-feet) high hill where the rivers of the Black Forest split the west and east. In the heart of the forest, you ride through the trees, where blueberries grow on the mossy ground. Occasionally, the forest thins out revealing sun-drenched meadows where it almost always seems to be summer.
The Three Valleys Cycle Path is a great route for ambitious cycle tourers and families to enjoy and discover the unique nature in the southwest of Baden-Württemberg. I’ve divided the entire route into seven easy stages which can be ridden in one day, even if you are not in your best shape. If you like to ride longer distances, you can cycle the route in two days and try out freshly brewed beer in the town of Alpirsbach, which is an ideal overnight spot for a two-day Tour.
With the exception of a few forest roads, the route mostly follows well-developed cycle paths. However, the ground can be a bit rough through the woods. You’ll easily manage these stretches on a normal touring bike – and that’s part of the fun after all. The route is well-connected to public transport and overnight accommodation is easy to find.
Almost every stage stop has plenty of accommodation and where there is an exception, I let you know. You can travel to and from the start and end of the Tour by train. The train often even runs through the valleys so you can easily shorten individual stages if you like. When you finish your journey in Kehl, you can catch a train to the starting point in Villingen.
From Offenburg, the train route takes you through part of the Kinzig Valley so you can look back on your journey as the foothills of the Black Forest pass by.
You can also ride the route in the easterly direction from Kehl to Villingen. Check the weather forecast before deciding, as strong winds can blow up the valley, especially in the Kinzig valley. Of course, a tailwind is much more fun than a headwind!
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Last updated: December 15, 2021
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
You start your three valleys cycle tour through the Black Forest in Villingen in the south of Baden-Württemberg. The tour starts right at the train station, which you can easily reach with the regional trains from Stuttgart and from Rottweil with the Hohenzollerische Landesbahn.
From the train station…
As you have already noticed, the test tower is just as present in downtown Rottweiler as it is in the surrounding area. So you will still be able to catch a glimpse of it during your onward journey, especially if you turn around from time to time. One of the last great views of the tower is available…
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From Sulz am Neckar, the cycle path leads you under a great bridge with a high, modern round arch. The first locks that the Neckar has to pass through on its way into the Rhine are also located here in Sulz am Neckar. From Fischingen the Neckar increases in size again before you leave it, here it unites…
Today it goes deep into the Black Forest, but the stage with the highest incline on the Drei-Täler-Radweg only beats to book an altitude of 440 meters - a perfectly feasible undertaking. Since the tour today takes you out of the valleys, you can be sure of phenomenal views and drives through wonderfully…
After a restful night in the dreamy village of Alpirsbach, you make your way down the Kinzig. She will also accompany you to your goal the following days. First you keep to the railway line, which also runs along the valley here. You cross it a few times, drive under it and then turn into a short, steep…
The cycle path is now becoming increasingly flatter, the Kinzig wider and the recreational athletes more frequent. Inline skaters, walkers, cyclists - almost everyone benefits from the well-developed bike paths here. If the weather has blessed your bike tour with a vehement headwind in the Kinzigtal…
Take your time today and enjoy the very last foothills of the Black Forest until you go to the Rhine plain near Offenburg. The mineral fountain near Ohlsbach and Ortenberg Castle are two great stops where you can spend a little more time. A detour to the vineyards near the castle is also worthwhile…
Bike Touring Collection by Schwarzwald Tourismus
Bike Touring Collection by NORTH STAR PEDALING
Hiking Collection by OSTSEEfjordSCHLEI
Bike Touring Collection by Chiemsee-Chiemgau