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A bikepacking adventure for beginners – Black Forest Cycle Route in Germany

Diana Grodnick

A bikepacking adventure for beginners – Black Forest Cycle Route in Germany

Mountain Biking Collection by Diana Grodnick

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

263 mi

29,200 ft

28,600 ft

If you’ve always wanted to get a taste of bikepacking, but you’re not sure if sleeping outside is your thing, then this is the right Collection for you. At the end of each stage, you have the option of staying at a natural campsite or in simple accommodation or a hiker’s cabin nearby. It’s an ideal adventure for bikepacking beginners.

The Black Forest Cycle Route takes you from Karlsruhe, across Germany’s highest low mountain range, to Lörrach in Baden-Württemberg in five stages. You explore lush meadows, deep forests and crystal-clear lakes, getting to know the region and its mountains in depth. As there is a good amount of climbing, you should be in good shape for this Tour. However, you don’t need to worry about your riding technique as you mostly ride along lonely farm roads that are paved or covered in fine gravel. Very occasionally you may come across a rougher gravel section. A light mountain bike with some suspension or a gravel bike would be a perfect steed.

Although the long-distance cycle route is very well signposted with a red rhombus and black bicycle symbol, I recommend downloading the route onto your navigation device or mobile phone anyway. Some signs are hard to see, especially on fast descents.

As you may have noticed, this Collection has a few more kilometres and metres of altitude than the officially stated 375 kilometres (233 miles) and 7,500 metres (24,600 feet) of altitude. That's because I've included a few detours to highlights that are well worth seeing. These include the Feldberg summit with its magnificent 360° panorama as well as the deep green Feldbergsee lake or the enchanted Nonnenmattweiher pond, to name just a few epic Black Forest classics. You can recognise these detours by the short ‘out-and-back’ lines on the route. If you're not in the mood for extra kilometres, you can simply leave them out.

Both the start in Karlsruhe and the finish in Lörrach are located at Deutsche Bahn stations, which makes your arrival and departure easier. So now nothing stands in the way of your first bikepacking adventure.

So what are you waiting for?

On The Map

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Schwarzwald-Radweg

233 mi

25,225 ft

24,650 ft

Last updated: March 21, 2022

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    07:14
    52.5 mi
    7.3 mph
    5,375 ft
    3,950 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Black Forest Cycle Path starts right at the south exit of Karlsruhe Central Station. It is advisable to refill drinks and snacks here, as there are not so many places to stop for refreshments directly on the route in the northern Black Forest - especially in the off-season.

    

    You pedal on rather unspectacular

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    by Diana Grodnick

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  • Difficult
    08:31
    59.4 mi
    7.0 mph
    5,400 ft
    6,150 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    You start the second stage with a long and steep ascent along the picturesque Raumünzach river. Later you change to a little-traveled road until you come to the Schwarzwaldhochstraße after about 450 meters in altitude in Hundseck.

    

    From here it goes car-free again above the main road on a gravel path with

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  • Difficult
    06:25
    42.7 mi
    6.7 mph
    5,125 ft
    3,050 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On the third stage, too, the Black Forest shows itself from its most beautiful side. You start the day in the beautiful Kinzig valley and get to know the beautiful old town of Wolfach. Since the shortest stage is waiting for you today, you can linger here and have an extensive breakfast or - if you happen

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  • Difficult
    07:18
    49.5 mi
    6.8 mph
    6,250 ft
    5,950 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The fourth stage begins with a beautiful passage through the quiet Wolfslochtal, which spits you out right at the Gasthaus Kalte Herberge. Here you will be mostly alone, but loneliness will soon be over.

    

    The touristic part of the Black Forest follows, which also offers its advantages. In Titisee-Neustadt

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  • Difficult
    09:34
    59.3 mi
    6.2 mph
    7,050 ft
    9,475 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On the fifth and last stage, the elevation profile looks very friendly at first glance, but don't underestimate the last few meters. It is not worthwhile to blast all the grains right at the beginning, because today we are going to the most beautiful summit that the Black Forest has to offer.

    

    As always

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    263 mi
  • Duration
    39:02 h
  • Elevation
    29,200 ft28,600 ft

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A bikepacking adventure for beginners – Black Forest Cycle Route in Germany

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