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In Freiburg we are at the southern Black Forest. This area is heavily marketed for tourism. However, the tourists never stray from the main sight, so on Hikes like this one, you will be spared with meeting hoards of people trampling on the same path as you. The three of us went on a documented hike in late summer (August 2000). We caught the train from Freiburg Hbf (main train station) to Hinterzarten, a village, which lies at about 893m... 

 
  B l a c k  f o r e s t  - Hinterzarten to Himmelreich - 12km                             
House, Hinterzarten

In Freiburg we are at the southern Black Forest. This area is heavily marketed for tourism. However, the tourists never stray from the main sight, so on Hikes like this one, you will be spared with meeting hoards of people trampling on the same path as you. The three of us went on a documented hike in late summer (August 2000). We caught the train from Freiburg Hbf (main train station) to Hinterzarten, a village, which lies at about 893m. 

Patrik and Annette on the way to Ravenna Schlucht An old mill

Took about 20min and for visitors there are DM 10,-- Day tickets (on Sat & Sun valid for 2 Adults and 2 Children) trains to the Black Forest run every half-hour. We chose to visit the "Ravenna Schlucht" (a local gorge with a picturesque waterfall) and a hike down to "Himmelreich" (c.a. 450m) train station via Hell Valley (Höllental). All up, it is about 16km downhill on a medium track (not too rough, requiring firm boots though). From Hinterzarten to Himmelreich (Heavens) via Ravenna Schlucht and Höllental, the hiking path is marked with a number of signs. 

Ravenna stream
...more stream Waterfall in the distance and the golden water in the sun
Parik and Annette deciding on the Hunter's path

You are best served with a Hiking map, as printed by the Government Surveying department of Baden Wuerttemberg supported by the Black Forest Club (Schwarzwaldverein e. V.). Take Blatt 25 (as shown on the left frame), for the Feldberg, Belchen and Schluchsee region.. This walk takes you across green farming fields, through dense forest (or what is left of it) along a stream which transforms into a waterfall and brings water to the valley.  

You will pass little "Kapellen", which are just big enough for a hand full of people if not less. These used to be visited by passing hiker folk. Nowadays, some of these shelters are being left to the weather and the more prominent ones enjoy the maintenance care of their counties. On the main strip called the hunter’s path (Jaegerpfad) you will walk along the B31(Autobahn). 

Stephen
old bridge which used to be part of a mine haulage system

However, for two thirds of the way the B31 will only be barely visible through the dense shrub and forest. The soothing sound of the Hell brook (Hoellenbach) or Rotbach will accompany your walk. Depending on the time of the year you will also be able to see an abundance of wildflowers/berries and insects/butterflies. 

Marienkapelle Marienkapelle

The main tourist sight between the start of the hunter’s path and the Heavens is the "Hirschsprung". The story goes that during a hunt the chased dear managed to jump across a gorge (700m to the ground) and survived it and the hunt. In winter you will have to be cautious, because of the ice and snow. The hunter’s path does not receive maintenance during the winter months and is therefore quite dangerous to walk on, especially at the highest and narrowest point on "Falkensteig" from which you can look into Himmelreich. 

Hirschsprung Felsen
Stephen and Patrik, Himmelreich lazy sheep in Himmelreich
looking up from the Dreisamtal

Once you have reached Himmelreich you are at the end of the journey. The train will arrive and take you to the city, where you can relax at a café with a nice cup of tea and a piece of your favourite cake (for people on diet: try the Altstadt Café in Freiburg's Gerberau 12, they have whole meal cakes that actually taste great).

Himmelreich Train Station Train Tracks
   B l a c k  f o r e s t  - Titisee Circuit Walk 1hr & Titisee- Saig - 2 1/2 hours            
Patricia and Annette on the way up, storm damage

Still in the Black Forest, we visit the Titisee (the Titi Lake). Yes, you may laugh now. I am not quite sure where the name comes from but I will research it for you (and for me). If anyone knows, please email it or enter it into the guest book, so we can unravel the mystery. The Titisee (846m) is a lake with a 10km circumference, surrounded by pine forests on mountains. From Freiburg to Titisee, it takes about 30-45 minutes by train.

forest more forest

An easy walk around it takes about 1hour. Titisee is a busy tourist place, full of sight anxious, souvenir buying people from all over the continent. They explore the area by wandering from one cuckoo clock shop to another until, they are so exhausted, that they have to rest in one of the numerously present restaurants, which serve creamy and buttery German dishes. A well rounded day for some, but not for me. Whoever, thinks alike follow me:

yet again: forest Patricia aiming at Stephen
View from the Saiger Hoehe

The Titisee circuit walk is good at any time of the year. In winter you will experience the beauty of the icy lake surrounded by snow topped mountains. In summer the shore of the lake will offer you a colourful display of wildflowers, bees and butterflies, while enjoy the shade, which the pines provide for you, the moss and the blueberries. The area offers an abundance of adjoining hiking paths and circuit walks. One of these is the walk up to the "Saig" (988m), a nearby hill. During winter the climb up may be difficult. The locals use the first stretch for tobogganing.

The rest of the way is quite steep, so suitable shoes are recommend. As you may see from the photos we also dragged my little cousin along (Nintendo-TV generation). I think she even enjoyed the little excursion. Anyway, once you reach the top you can rest at a "Gasthaus", an Inn. The prices are reasonable and the menu contains a good selection of traditional cuisine. Apparently, on a clear day, you can see the Swiss Alps from the restaurant windows. What more would you want.

on the way down
wintery lake lake scene

Last edited 19-06-01

All photos by A. Goss & S. Goss

 

© A.Goss, April 2001