Hike along the River Alb through the Black Forest in Germany

Hiking Collection by Schwarzwald Tourismus

Leading over 50 miles ( 80 km) and almost 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) of elevation gain, the Albsteig takes you through the Black Forest in Germany from the High Rhine River to Feldberg, a popular winter resort. Along the way, you will discover wild gorges, dense fir forests, panoramic views and unrivalled tranquility as you hike the narrow paths and dirt roads through the forest. You will walk along the banks of the River Alb and up to vantage points overlooking the magnificent Black Forest. The Albsteig is a wonderful hiking destination in southwest Germany that will take you away from any crowds.

Your adventure begins in the village of Albbruck on the Upper Rhine which lies directly on the Swiss border. Allbruck is easy to reach by train. Following pretty hiking trails, the first three stages take you to the small town of St. Blasien past roaring waterfalls and panormas of the Swiss Alps Shortly after St. Blasien, the Alb splits into two arms: the Menzenschwand Alb and the Bernau Alb. It’s up to you to decide which arm of the river you follow; both routes rejoin each other in Feldberg in five days time. If you can’t make up your mind, you can also hike both routes: one to Feldberg and the other back to St. Bastian. This lets you enjoy all of the hiking trails, adding two days to your trip. On the east route, you will visit picturesque waterfalls whilst the west route reveals great views over the Herzogenhorn, the highest point of the Albsteig.

At the end of every stage, you will find comfortable accommodation and there are also plenty of places to stop for refreshments en route. If you don’t want to hike the entire trail in one go, you can walk individual stages. The start and finish pints are well-connected to public transport. Many towns en route also have a tourist information office. All that is left is to set foot in this picturesque landscape, follow the meandering Alb and enjoy the stunning nature in the Black Forest.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    7.50 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,650 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your hiking adventure starts in the Black Forest in Albbruck on the Upper Rhine. On the twelve-kilometer tour, you hike up to Görwihl on the edge of the deep Albschlucht.The starting point of the 80 kilometer Albsteig is at the train station in Albbruck. The path climbs gently and will soon offer you a great view of the Rhine Valley. On narrow paths you cross the Albschlucht on the Studinger Steg and then hike up the slope. On the way you always enjoy wonderful views.In Tiefenstein you cross the 40 km Alb again one more time. Then it goes on shady forest paths past the Kaibenfelsen viewpoint, from which you have a great view of the dense Black Forest. How about a refreshing break on the water? At the mouth of the Höllbach in the Alb you will find a nice place for it.With new energy you master the last, crisp climb up to Görwihl. The path leads you past the two Höllbach waterfalls - an impressive natural spectacle. The water plunges from the highest heel to eight and a half meters. Now it is not far to your today's destination Görwihl.

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    9.32 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,850 ft
    975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    On the second stage on the Albsteig, great views up to the Swiss Alps and natural hiking trails await you. The 15-kilometer tour to Wittenschwand starts in Görwihl. At the beginning of the Höllbach it is a bit back to the Alb.You hike on a flat route through the forest and soon reach the branch to the devil's kitchen. The little detour is worth it: the melt water from the Feldberg and the rainwater running off make the Alb swell so much at this point that some whirlpools are created. A nice place for a short rest.Then you cross the Alb and hike along a narrow path along the slope to Niedermühle. In Immeneich it is worth taking a break to recharge your batteries. Because now the steep climb to Wolpadingen begins. Once you have mastered the sweaty climb, you will be rewarded with a wonderful view over the Black Forest and up to the Swiss Alps.The last part of the tour takes you across blooming meadows and through shady forests to your final destination in Wittenschwand. In the center of town you can stay in one of the inns for the night.

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  • Intermediate
    10.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 3 of the Albsteig through the Black Forest takes you along the 16 km route from Wittenschwand to St. Blasien. Exciting hiking trails, great views and idyllic resting places await you.You leave Wittenschwand and dive into the forest. You hike to Höll on an old smuggler path. The path then leads you up to the picture stone rock. From there you have a great view over the southern Alb valley. Then it goes steeply down to the bank of the reservoir. After a break at the water, you walk on a footbridge around half the lake.Now it's steep uphill again: A narrow, idyllic path leads you past small streams and rocks up to houses. The climb is pretty tough, but the fresh water of the Wolfsbrunn awaits you for refreshment.You have mastered the challenging part of the stage: You hike downhill along beautiful paths, past the Windberg waterfall. You will soon see the striking dome of the cathedral in St. Blasien in front of you - you have reached your milestone. At the end of the tour, it is worth visiting the imposing dome, the largest of its kind north of the Alps.

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    5.99 mi
    2.2 mph
    625 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the fourth stage of the Albsteig you get to know the Menzenschwandertal. No steep climbs await you on the ten kilometer stage, so you can take a relaxed start to today's hiking day.You leave St. Blasien and walk along a wide forest path along the banks of the Alb to the Glashofsäge. Both the Alb and the Albsteig are divided on the saw. This stage, the eastern variant, follows the Menzenschwander Alb. You continue hiking through the forest and past a small reservoir to Hubertusplatz, a beautiful rest area with a barbecue area.You will soon reach an idyllic biotope with small ponds and a pavilion. On the last part of today's stage you will be accompanied by a great view of the valley to Menzenschwand-Vorderdorf, so your stage goal is already in front of you. In the spa you will find several accommodation options.

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    6.21 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,550 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 5 of the east route on the Albsteig leads you from Menzenschwand up to the Feldberg pass. The ten-kilometer hike rises continuously, on the way you can expect natural spectacles such as the Menzenschwander waterfalls or the Klusen moraine.You hike from Vorderdorf in Menzenschwand through Hinterdorf, past the game reserve and the ski jump. You will soon reach the impressive waterfalls: water floods coming from Feldberg shaped the gorge with its up to 30 meter high rock walls during and after the ice age.The path leads you along goat pastures along the slope. The animals are used for landscape maintenance and help to preserve the special vegetation of the high valley. You will soon reach the picturesque Klusenmoraine, a nice place for a rest.The last part of the stage really gets your circulation going again: the path up to the Feldberg pass rises steeply in places. Shortly before the end you more than deserve a stop at the Menzenschwander hut, your milestone is only a few meters ahead of you.Now you can decide: Either you end your hiking fun on the pass and take the bus to the nearest train station in Feldberg-Bärental or you hike back to St. Blasien on the western variant of the Albsteig.

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    6.49 mi
    2.3 mph
    525 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Section 4 of the western route on the Albsteig leads you along the banks of the Bernauer Alb and further through the Bernauer Hochtal. Only a few meters of altitude await you on the ten-kilometer hike, so you can start the day in a relaxed manner and take several breaks in the beautiful landscape.You leave St. Blasien and hike along the Alb to the glass yard saw. There, both Alb and Albsteig are divided into two arms. This stage - the western variant - takes you along the Bernauer Alb along shady forest paths, past imposing rocks to Bernau-Weierle.You continue walking on the banks of the river through a beautiful valley and soon reach the Tannengrund rest area. There you can take a long break and sizzle some sausages at the barbecue, for example.On the banks of the Alb, you continue walking until you reach today's destination Bernau-Innerlehen. On the way you will always pass some beautiful places right by the water. So why not refresh your tired hiking feet in the cool river water?

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    6.31 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,000 ft
    900 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage 5 of the western route of the Albsteig leads you on narrow paths to the highest point of the long-distance hiking trail, the Herzogenhorn. From the more than 1,400 meter high mountain in the southern Black Forest you have a wonderful view over the surrounding mountains and up to the Alps.You leave Bernau and hike along the banks of the Bernauer Alb to the sport center of Spitzenberg. The path leads you through Bernau-Dorf and on beautiful paths over the disk rocks up to the Krunkelbachhütte. Here you can fortify yourself with hearty, regional cuisine and enjoy the view.You continue to hike up to the Herzogenhorn, the highest point on the Albsteig. Let the fantastic panorama work for you, you are surrounded by the idyllic landscape of the southern Black Forest and, in good weather, you can even see the Swiss Alps.You walk the last part of the way downhill to the pass on the Feldberg, your destination and the end of the west route on the Albsteig. From here you can take the bus to the train station in Feldberg-Bärental. Do you want to hike further? Then you can hike back to St. Blasien on the eastern route of the Albsteig.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    52.0 mi
  • Duration
    25:16 h
  • Elevation
    9,625 ft

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Hike along the River Alb through the Black Forest in Germany
Hiking Collection by
Schwarzwald Tourismus