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5 stages hiking the ZweiTälerSteig – discover Germany’s Black Forest

Hiking Collection by Schwarzwald Tourismus

The ZweiTälerSteig hiking trail takes you just over 60 miles (100 km) through the magical Black Forest in south-west Germany. You will discover pristine corners of the Elz and Simonswald valleys, wild gorges, thundering waterfalls and rugged rocks. It will come as no surprise to you that the ZweiTälerSteig hiking trail was named Germany’s most beautiful hiking trail 2019 by Wandermagazin, a hiking magazine.

collect a few vertical meters. Until you cross a landscape border at the Landwasser corner and immerse yourself in a gentle landscape with easy climbs, relaxed paths, and fantastic views. It was not for nothing that the ZweiTälerSteig was named „Germany's most beautiful hiking trail 2019“ by the hiking magazine.

The circular walk starts in Waldkirch in the Elztal, a small town whose name means ‘Forests Church’. You can reach this historic town, known for its mechanical organs, with public transport or by car.

From the town, you have a fair few vertical metres to climb. Ahead, lie over 13,100 feet (4,000 meters) of elevation gain so be prepared for some sweaty climbs. You will get a taste of what's to come on the first stage on the Kandel summit. However, your effort is rewarded with beautiful views over the Black Forest peaks from the Hornisgrinde to Belchen. After the Landwassereck, the route heads through more gentle landscapes with easy climbs, well-maintained paths, and wonderful panoramas.

At every stage destination, you will find accommodation to rest your legs for the night. You will also find plenty of opportunities to stop for regional cuisine en route. As the region has good public transport links, you can choose to only complete a few stages of this Collection – you can get to the start and endpoints by bus or train.

Let yourself be surprised by the varied landscape in the Black Forest on these five stages. The ZweiTälerSteig offers you an intensive insight into the region with its typical Black Forest courtyards, cozy inns, and views over the Rhine valley to the Vosges.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Difficult
    03:45
    6.26 mi
    1.7 mph
    3,200 ft
    125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The first stage on the ZweiTälerSteig goes straight to the top: you only run ten kilometers uphill. From the medieval town of Waldkirch in the Elztal it goes up to the Kandel. So you already reach the highest point of the Two Valleys Trail today - and you will be rewarded with a magnificent view.You start at the train station in Waldkirch and hike through the city, which is known for organ building. You already have your milestone in mind, the candelabra. You leave Waldkirch and walk uphill past the treetop path. If you look back you can see how the houses in Waldkirch are getting smaller.You will soon reach the long ridge between Elztal and Glottertal. The path winds further and further up through beautiful paths through the forest. Do you need a break? Then you can take a breather at the Thomashütte, a refuge with a magnificent view. You can look out over the Glottertal, the Rhine valley and, if the visibility is good, to the Vosges.Final spurt, the last kilometers uphill are in front of you. You will soon be standing in front of the striking pyramid of the Kandel summit at an altitude of 1,241 meters and can look forward to a wonderful view of the mountains of the Black Forest. You more than deserve a stop at the Kandel mountain inn or the cozy Gummenhütte.

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    Difficult
    07:57
    15.8 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,775 ft
    4,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The second stage on the ZweiTälerSteig begins at the highest point of the long-distance hiking trail. That's why it's going down a lot today. From the Kandel you walk down this 25 kilometer long route into the valley of the Wilden Gutach.Let the wonderful panorama of the Kandel work on you again before you start the day. Then you leave the summit area over the eastern ridge. The path leads you a little way through the forest until the trees clear up and you look at the deeply cut Simonswald valley. The wildest part of ZweiTälerLand is in front of you. You will soon hear the Zweribach waterfalls rushing. The water falls down into the valley over two steps. You follow the watercourse and hike further down to the Wilden Gutach.Now, for a change, it goes uphill again: The path leads you through the ever narrowing pond gorge. You walk along the bank of the pond brook, which makes its way to the Wilder Gutach. Then you leave the stream and climb a little further up to the Hintereck hut.Now it goes down again, partly on quite steep paths, until you stand on the banks of the famous Wilden Gutach. At the Gasthaus Engel in Obersimonswald you can recharge your batteries for the last few kilometers. Along the banks of the Wilder Gutach, you then cover it back to your destination in Simonswald.

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  • Difficult
    08:12
    16.1 mi
    2.0 mph
    3,425 ft
    2,975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 3 of the ZweiTälerSteig is 1,000 meters up and then down again. But on the way there are postcard-compatible Black Forest panoramas. Today's program: the Rohrhardsberg, over 1,150 meters high.The almost 26-kilometer hike starts in the center of Simonswald. It is best to start early today, then you can take a more relaxed approach to the route. The path rises sharply and leads you up to your first viewpoint on the Hörnleberg. There is the "Pilgrimage Church of Our Lady of Hörnleberg", a place to recharge your batteries. A sun temple is said to have stood here 2,000 years ago. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Elztal and let the special place work for you.It continues uphill over the ridge to the Rohrhardsberg. The landscape around you becomes rougher, the wind whistles stronger. From time to time you will find some overgrown boulders in the forest. There is divided opinion about their origin: Either they are witnesses of rituals of the Celts or they were thrown like this by erosions.Then you hike downhill through the forest and cross the former border between Baden and Württemberg. Every now and then the densely packed trees open up and you can see the Brandenkopf (easily recognizable by the transmission mast) and in the distance the Hornisgrinde, the highest mountain in the northern Black Forest.The path down is sometimes very steep, so take your time. You will soon have reached your stage destination Wittenbach in the Oberprechtal. Look forward to a hearty dinner at the Landgasthof Rössle on the banks of the Elz.

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    Difficult
    07:00
    14.7 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,400 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the fourth stage, the ZweiTälerSteig more than lives up to its name. On the almost 24 km long route you can clearly see the differences between the two valleys on the left and right of the Elz: rather wild and original in the eastern part, more gentle and lovely in the western part.Start is in Wittenbach in the Oberprechtal. Right at the start, the path climbs up to the Huber rock. Once you've made the climb, the challenging part of the day is already behind you. Once at the top you have a wonderful view over the Elztal and the dense forests of the Middle Black Forest. There is still a bit of a climb up to the Prechtaler Schanze at 836 meters. The facility used to serve as a defense against the French.You walk through a varied landscape to the Landwasser corner. From there you have a fantastic view in Elztal, there is hardly more Black Forest. You can replenish your energy reserves in the inn.From now on you will see the other face of the two-valley trail: lush mountain meadows, scattered farms and gentle hills determine the landscape. You hike across the broad ridge between the foothills of the Kinzig valley and the side valleys of the Elz. If you keep your eyes open, you can discover the ruins of the former Heidburg on a mountain cone. Now it is not far to your today's destination of Höhenhausen.

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    Difficult
    06:28
    14.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    2,375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fifth and last stage on the ZweiTälerSteig takes you from Höhenhäuser down to Waldkirch. On the 23-kilometer route, you can expect a lot of great views and the best Brägeli in the whole region.You will be spoiled for almost the entire route with fantastic views into the distance. Since you mainly hike downhill, you can take it easy and enjoy the great landscape again intensively. On the way you will always come across inviting rest areas.In the distance you can see the famous Black Forest giants Kandel, Feldberg, Schauinsland and Belchen. Do you recognize them all? After almost 14 kilometers, the path takes you past the "Zum Gscheid" inn. It is worth taking a break in the shady garden with the finest Baden cuisine.The path continues to lose height and brings you closer to the valley. Shortly before the end you will pass the ruins of the Kastelburg. From the historical walls you have a wonderful view of Waldkirch, your destination and the starting point of the more than 100 km long two-valley trail.Tip: After about five kilometers you will come to a crossroads. Here you can turn right to Hünersedel. On the top of the mountain, a lookout tower offers you a wonderful panoramic view.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    67.1 mi
  • Duration
    33:23 h
  • Elevation
    11,875 ft

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5 stages hiking the ZweiTälerSteig – discover Germany’s Black Forest
Hiking Collection by
Schwarzwald Tourismus