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.Then you dive deep into the beautiful nature of the Wutach Valley: pristine paths lead along massive rock walls and the rippling of the water accompanies you. It goes under the well-known Sauschwänzle Bridge and on to the waterfall in the fall doble. The Schluchtensteig runs through the natural Wutachschlucht and takes you from there up to various panoramic pulpits, from which you can enjoy wonderful views.You climb up the Buchberg via the Ottilienhöhe. From the 876 meter high mountain you have a wonderful panorama and a cozy resting place invites you to take a break. From here you march down an idyllic forest path into the village of Blumberg, your today's destination.
The second day starts with a highlight: on the western outskirts of Blumberg, the Schluchtensteig leads you to the picturesque Schleifenbach waterfalls. Surrounded by beautiful forest, the water rushes down in three steps and you can use a ladder to get directly to the banks of the Schleifenbach. From the waterfalls you hike steeply down a narrow path through the impressive Schleifenbachklamm.
You leave the gorge and cross the towns of Achdorf and Aselfingen before you reach the banks of the Wutach. It goes gently up and down along the river, which winds through the unique landscape. The path leads you deeper and deeper into the gorge and you can admire different layers of rock and rare plants. A nice place to rest is at the Bad Boll chapel, which is a listed building.
You walk over footbridges and past small and large waterfalls through the gorge. You cross the Dietfurtbrücke again to the other side of the river and after 20 kilometers you reach the cozy shadow mill, the destination of this stage. You can end the second day on the terrace or on the sundeck of the inn.
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The third stage also impresses with its wonderful nature and idyllic floodplains: you can rest and refresh yourself from the shadow mill from the course of the Wutach towards the west. From the remains of the Räberschlössle ruins, which lie on a rock 80 meters high, you can enjoy a great view of the Wutachschlucht.From there it goes on a forest path to the picturesque Rötenbach estuary. There are centuries-old trees on the banks of the stony river bed, under which you can take a break. Afterwards you walk through the natural forest and reach the Haslach estuary. From here the Haslach gives you the way and you walk through the rocky Haslachklamm. You climb over the imposing computing rock to Hölllochfelsen.The path continues upwards and ends at the Lochmühle, where you turn onto a road. You follow this and cross the town of Lenzkirch. South of Lenzkirch is the interesting Geopark, from which you have a great view. After an up and down through the forest you will reach your destination in the village of Fischbach.
From the enchanting Fischbach, the fourth stage of the Schluchtensteig leads you to the Bildstein, which is one of the best panoramic mountains in the Black Forest with a height of 1,134 meters. From there the Schluchtensteig runs down to the shimmering Schluchsee. Accompanied by sailing boats, you follow the sea route along the bank to the Unterkrummenhof. In the historic courtyard there is a snack bar, which is ideal for a cozy retreat.
Through the silent forest it goes past the rest area Krummenkreuz Hütte to the traditional Muchenlandhöfe, which are surrounded by vast meadows and fields. In Blasiwald-Althütte you come to the wood-paneled chapel St. Pantaleon - a nice place to stop and enjoy the landscape.
When you get to the Windberghütte you can already hear the rustling of the Windberg waterfall. You walk past the waterfall into the enchanted Windberg gorge. It goes over bridges and stairs along the stream until you reach your today's destination, St. Blasien, at the end of the gorge. Before you move into your accommodation, you can visit the impressive cathedral of the monastery.
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.From the Lehenkopf, you alternate through forests and meadows to the monastery pond: you can take a break on the shore or stop at the Klosterweiherhof inn. Strengthened you follow the path through the hilly landscape and come back again and again to beautiful viewpoints such as the Kreuzfelsen.At the Ibacher Kreuz the rows of trees clear and you cross a street. From here the route runs through the Wehratal valley and takes you down in a zigzag pattern to the impressive Hohwehraschlucht gorge. You walk over small wooden bridges and on winding paths along the natural course of the Wehra. At the end of the gorge you will reach the tranquil Todtmoos with its baroque pilgrimage church, today's destination.
The last stage of the Schluchtensteig starts in Todtmoos. Past the spa gardens, you head south into the shady forest. Soon you will reach the idyllic district of Schwarzenbach with its traditional courtyards - Black Forest idyll as it is in the book.Above the Wehra you hike through the beautiful nature and get to Todtmoos-Au. Passing a wildlife enclosure and a historic mill, the route continues along the Wehra. The water rushes and powerful trees line the path. Again and again you come to wonderful viewpoints until you descend into the romantic Wehraschlucht. It is about babbling brooks, wooden walkways and mossy stones.After 20 kilometers you will reach the Wehra reservoir and from the dam you can enjoy wide views of the water. Afterwards, the Schluchtensteig always runs along the Wehra to Wehr. You have reached your destination at the bus station and can start your journey home relaxed.