Winding paths, dense forests, and cascading waterfalls await you on the Gorge Trail in the south of Germany’s Black Forest. Over six stages, you will explore rocky canyons and hike to scenic heights that will whisk you away from the stresses of everyday life. After a long day of hiking, you can rest in scenic villages and peaceful towns or in one of the adventurous trekking camps and bases. Experience the Black Forest at its most idyllic.
The 74-mile (119-km) Gorge Trail runs through the southern Black Forest from the town of Stühlingen to Wehr. Along with the beautiful nature in this protected forest, you will also visit many cultural highlights. On the first stage, you follow the well-known tracks of the Sauschwaenzlebahn steam engine training. Stage 2 takes you between steep rock faces and through the jungle-like Wutach Gorge before stopping for the night in a traditional mill. On stage 3, you hike along a wonderful river valley, following the water through the Haslach Gorge. Your fourth day takes you up to 3,720 feet (1,134 m) as you climb the Bildstein, enjoying spectacular views from the top. You follow the River Wehra on stage 5 and finally, stage 6 takes you to the glistening Wehra Reservoir before arriving at the finish line in the town of Wehr.
You can reach the starting point in Stühlingen with bus 7338 from Waldesruh train station. There is also a large bus station in Wehr. Sure-footedness and a head for heights are required, especially on the first three stages through the Wutach Gorge. Each stage destination has a good range of accommodation, but it is a good idea to book in advance. If you don’t want to hike the entire trail in one go, you can just hike a part of it. The towns are well-connected by buses. For bus timetables, visit: wtv-online.de/fahrplaene/nach-linie.
The official starting point of the Schluchtensteig is at the Catholic Church in Stühlingen - if you arrive by train, you simply start from the train station. You cross the train tracks and follow the course of the deep blue Wutach. At the wheat station, the terminus of the historic Sauschwänzlebahn, you turn into the forest and continue to the Lausheim station.
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At the beginning of the fifth stage, you hike from St. Blasien to the Luisenruhe viewpoint. You enjoy an impressive view back over St. Blasien and follow the path through the fairytale forest to the summit of the Lehenkopf. From the wooden lookout tower, which marks the highest point of the 1,039 meter high mountain, you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama.