Walking the Westweg

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Hike on the Westweg

Eager to walk?

  Distance of this hike 120 km (80 miles)
  What kind of hike is this? Hiking with backpack
  Where does the walk start? Station: Schonach
  What is the rating of this walk? Rating: 80/100
  View a map of this walkView a map of this walk
  Download the GPS-trackDownload the GPS-track of this walk

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The Westweg in the Black Forest is the oldest and most famous long distance hiking trail of Germany. From the German city of Pforzheim to Basel in Switzerland, the path covers 270 kilometers of beautiful scenery.

Forests & mountains

The northern part is known as a bit boring, because of the never ending forest. I walked the beautiful and varied southern part of the Westweg, starting in the small village of Schonach. Primeval forest, mountains, green meadows, a large lake, the Alps in sight: what else does a hiker need?

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Hospitable Germans

I had never really been hiking in Germany. I also hadn’t much faith in it: not in the Germans and not in the country. But both are extremely pleasing. The Germans I met were good company, hospitable, helpful. The scenery is absolutely beautiful, and it breaths something of the freshness and tranquility of the nearby Switzerland.

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Hike on the Westweg
Southern Schwarzwald

The mountainous landscape of the southern Black Forest has an open character, with a mosaic of forests, meadows and pastures. You walk mostly on the ridges of the central mountain range (peaks up to 1500 meters), so there is no lack of great views.

Most beautiful part of the Westweg

The last part of the Westweg is undoubtedly the best, and that is directly related to three "real winners": the Feldberg (1493 m), the Belchen (1414 m) and the Blauen (1165 m). These mountains are a real challenge, but the view makes up for it. Especially the Belchen is beautiful, with a rich flora.

Titisee: great lake

An unexpected highlight was the Titisee, a "heilklimatischer Kurort," as they say in German. Titisee is a lovely lake, with beautiful paths along the banks. A lot of tourists agree with that, so you’re not alone. But Titisee is quite awesome. When you walk from the lake to the south along the Westweg, you will get more and more beautiful vistas of the lake and the surrounding area. Awesome!

Villages along the way

The village Schonach, where I started this walk, is a pleasant place, but no more than that. The same applies to the village of Titisee. The other towns along the trail had not much to offer.

Gasthaus Belchenstueble

One place for the night I would like to mention: Gasthaus Belchenstueble, at the foot of one of the highest peaks, the Belchen. There I slept one night during a cloudburst. Pouring rain while you do nót have to lie in your tent: Sometimes life is so beautiful.

Tips from Frank

A few tips if you want to walk the Westweg:

  • Parking. I parked my car in Schonach, and could easily travel back again from Basel by train. Easy to find a safe parking place in Schonach.
  • Annoying motorcyclists. Please note that some parts of the Westweg come pretty close along busy roads, with many irritating motor traffic. Try to choose alternatives for these parts.
  • Special walking maps. The Westweg is one of the "Top Trails" in Germany. A big advantage is that the Germans offer special walking maps: 270 miles of hiking trails in a handy, waterproof and detailed map for the absurd low price of 10 euro. More information: visit the website of the German Top Trails.

Tags: backpacking, Germany, long distance walking, Black Forest