Endless forests, lush meadow valleys and peaks that rise out of the greenery. Refreshing springs, cosy cabins and magnificent views: The Black Forest is Germany's highest low mountain range and one of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the country. It's a place of diversity, intrigue and a whole lot of cake (Black Forest gateau, anyone?)—and that's not to mention the beer. To enjoy it all, there's no better means of transportation than the humble bicycle; just be prepared to conquer 440 kilometers (273 miles) over 8 days on a ride that'll take you over 16,000 meters (52,000 feet) of elevation. We never said it was going to be easy.
The official route of the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) Cross starts in Pforzheim and takes you south to the Swiss border in Bad Säckingen. To help you make the most of the ride, we've planned eight individual stages that—while are sure to test your fitness—are feasible for the average rider. If it gets too much, we've also included two calmer alternatives. To get you to the starting point and home again once you're done, both ends of the adventure are well-connected to the train network. We also planned the route with accommodation in mind, so you can ride into each day's final destination safe in the knowledge that there are ample places to get a good night's sleep.
All you need is your bike, a little planning and some time. The track is beautiful and will never present you with any technical challenges. On this ride, the focus is on enjoyment and the challenge of mastering an entire region from north to south using nothing but your own leg power.
Let's go: The Black Forest Cross starts in Pforzheim at the station. Lots of singletrails are waiting for you on this long tour, which leads directly into the middle of the beautiful Black Forest without much ado. You ride on fun trails, through beautiful river meadows, dense forests and unique bog areas.On such a long tour you should strengthen yourself in between. After a little more than 20 kilometers, we have built a really nice stop in the small Mühlelädle, where you can recommend a healthy snack.Strengthened it goes on to a place of worship of biking: the Bike Park Bad Wildbad. Here you have the choice. You can build a small extra round to start the bike park tracks and sniff a bit of downhill air. The trails of the park (driving down costs nothing) but have it in itself and we would only recommend this little extra, if you are technically quite fit. Or you can skip this loop and save about five kilometers in this way.The destination of the stage is Enzklösterle, a small health resort in the middle of the Black Forest. Nestled in the beautiful landscape of the Enz valley, you are guaranteed to be able to enjoy a perfect night's sleep here.Tip: If the tour is too long for you, you can clearly defuse it by changing to the Enztalradweg in Bad Wildbad, which takes you directly to Enzklösterle without a great slope and also very idyllic, but without trails.
From Enzklösterle this tour starts through the Black Forest National Park, which today shows its particularly beautiful side. Freshly tapped spring water, idyllic lakes and of course not to forget a lot of singletrack - the Black Forest Cross is picking up speed.Today's route profile is quite memorable: It goes up two times and twice down. Twice sweat but twice pure pleasure in the midst of beautiful nature.Today you drive a long way "off the beaten track". This is of course to enjoy, but that also means that you rarely get past restaurants, snack bars or even supermarkets. It's best to prepare some snacks. Or you plan a stop in Huzenbach. This is about halfway up and there are a few ways to stop off.The destination of the stage is Baiersbronn, where you are prepared for bikers and where you will definitely find the right accommodation for you.
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From one bike mecca to the next. This is easily possible in the Black Forest. This tour starts on the flowigen Baiersbronner singletrack and ends on the trail network of Wolfach. Wolfach has a very special specialty for bikers in store: Wolfach is well-known for its fourcross track, which has already been used for many races. In the Fourcross, four riders compete against each other on a short, action-packed circuit with many jumps - a spectacle that is also extremely attractive to spectators. Anyway, it's worth taking a look at the track and maybe you'll meet a few fourcross bikers during training.On this tour, the action is not too short, even if you are less raging here on big jumps, than on great trails in beautiful surroundings. High wooden huts invite you to stay for a hearty snack. Or do you rather take that into the hand at the lone hearth?At the end you will arrive happy, satisfied and exhausted in Wolfach. There you can relax in biker friendly accommodation or enjoy some culture in the beautiful city center.
If there is nothing around you except wonderful nature and beautiful trails, then you know that you are just right. In this case, you are in the middle of the Black Forest Nature Park and enjoy the tranquility far away from the hectic cities. If anything, your journey on this tour crosses small villages that offer one or the other opportunity to strengthen you. But then it goes on. A soothing measure of solitude mixed with a good dose of sweat and a lot of idyll. Black Forest Cross at its finest.It really does not need much more and therefore there is not much to tell about this tour. Just enjoy it and look forward to your goal in Hornberg. Although it is tranquil in this small town, but you can still spend a nice evening here in one of the cozy inns. If you are interested in beer, there is even a real highlight waiting for you here. In Hornberg, the family brewery Ketterer is located. On selected dates you can visit the brewery. But at least you should try one or the other Ketterer specialty for dinner: For example, the "Schwarzwald Cross" would fit well with the "Black Forest Stout" or quite classically with the "Schwarzwald Radler".Tip:
After three exhausting days of Black Forest Cross, it may well be that you long for a little break. For this case, we have created a much disarmed version of this tour: "Black Forest Cross E4 light" leads you without further ado and large increases directly from Wolfach to Hornberg.
The Black Forest Cross can be quite exhausting. If you want to take it a bit easier, we have debarked this defused version of the fourth stage here for you. It does not work out by itself, but is much more relaxed - "active regeneration", so to speak. For example, you can fill the time gained with a visit to the open-air museum.
Today is climbed. After all, you definitely want to take advantage of the fact that you are currently traveling in Germany's highest low mountain range. That's why the tour leads you twice over 1,000 meters, where every time a little refreshment awaits you.After the first rise of the day, you will reach a lab site that offers you drinks and snacks - all based on trust. That means you take something out and throw the required amount into the cash register. Cool, right? So you are ready for the thousands that you now climb.About beautiful trails and a few really crisp climbs, it goes up to 1,078 meters to the Martinskapelle, where the Danube springs. It's kind of impressive to see Europe's second longest river, which is 2,857 kilometers long and known to most as just a raging torrent, bubbling out of a crevice as a small trickle. Take a sip, fresh Danube tastes great.It follows an incredible ten kilometers long downhill. It ends in the contemplative community of Simonswald, where you best again strengthen briefly and rest a little, because the following uphill on the Kandel has it again in itself. 1,180 meters - the highest point of today's tour. The rest is pure enjoyment, before you reach the idyllic community of St. Peter exhausted after about 68 kilometers.
This tour is in the true sense of the word the highlight of the Black Forest Cross. Today you will learn what it means to cross the highest German Mittelgebirge. Because today it goes up to the highest mountain in the Black Forest, the Feldberg.You leave Kirchzarten to the right and maybe you are thinking of the good old mountain bike times, when there were still top-class World Cup events. They are not here today, but you can still biking here outstanding.Before the Feldberg calls for the final, a real treat awaits you. The tour settles at about 1,000 meters altitude and leads you through beautiful countryside in a slight up and down by Hinterzarten to the famous Titisee, who again invites you to take a break before it goes uphill again.Now it goes up to the top of the Feldberg at 1493 meters and you will immediately rewarded with the best view. After a steep descent, you can reward yourself with a little refreshment at the Todtnauer Hütte. Incidentally, you could also set up your camp here. Or you still enjoy a nice descent and arrive in the small village Todtnauberg.
If you are interested in downhills, the day's highlight of this tour through the Black Forest is clear: Todtnau is one of the cult sites of the German mountain bike sport. Countless European Cups and German Championships have been held here, and the Hasenhorn route is one of the most demanding in the country. After a flowigen descent from Todtnauberg down into the valley here offers a first stopover. Maybe you would like to watch the hustle and bustle of the downhiller or strengthen yourself in the iconic restaurant next door.Then it goes on. High on the back of the Hasenhorn and further on the Brenntkopf, about 600 vertical meters are waiting to be mastered by you. Once at the top you can be proud of yourself and enjoy the wonderful nature, in the midst of the Black Forest, which today leads you up to 1,250 meters altitude. A bike tour can hardly be more peaceful and natural.The goal of the tour is the "climatic health resort Todtmoos", which you reach via the local mountain "Hochkopf", from which you can enjoy the very best view including the alpine panorama - accompanied on request by a small snack in the guesthouse. Todtmoos itself is tranquil. Many come here for a cure. So enjoy the silence and closeness to nature, a good night's sleep is safe here.Tip:
If you want to save strength and a few altitude meters, you can take the Hasenhornbahn from Todtnau, which spits you out again at an altitude of around 1,000 meters and takes you down about 500 vertical meters.
The stage seven of the Black Forest Cross has it all in itself. Here we have a more relaxed option for you, if you want to take it easy. Granted, the original route is definitely more traillastiger. But even a rural road or a beautiful farm road through the Black Forest have their charm and in this way you save almost 30 kilometers and about 1,000 meters in altitude.
What is more suitable for a challenge like the Black Forest Cross as a destination than the birthplace of a mountain bike Olympic champion? Sabine Spitz took gold in Beijing in 2008, and since then a whole region has been celebrating her victory. You can celebrate another notable achievement today. Because today you master the eighth and last stage of the Black Forest Cross. 450 kilometers and 16,000 vertical meters are behind you. And so a lot of sweat but also great trails, breathtaking views and pure nature. You can be really proud of yourself!The last stage you can fully enjoy again. Today there are no long climbs. You ride in a flowing up and down at about 1,000 meters altitude and can always enjoy great views. At the end it goes downhill again. A long descent takes you down to Bad Säckingen, the spa town on the Rhine, right on the border with Switzerland. From here you can easily return by train to the starting point of the stage trip to Pforzheim and look back in peace on about one week's most ingenious bike adventure.Tip:
From Bad Säckingen leads a historic wooden bridge over the Rhine in the Swiss community of stone. At 203.7 meters, it is the longest covered wooden bridge in Europe and is a listed building. Go over once and already at the end of the tour you have experienced a significant piece of cultural heritage.