Fall trip to the Black Forest

Feb 11th, 2009, 02:13 AM
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Fall trip to the Black Forest

I'm planning a Fall trip to Germany and thought I would check in with you wonderful Fodorites who do such a great service to this Germany forum. The past few years I'm finding myself spending more and more time in the Schwarzwald. The accommodations are less expensive and the public transportation is free (my kind of travel). This year our Stammtisch group will be celebrating our 10th anniversary and will be meeting again in Urach (near Furtwangen) for two days. I'm traveling alone and by train and right now I am thinking about staying three days in Schiltach - then on to Urach - then somewhere else in the Forest for three days - then on to the north. I was hoping someone might suggest a place to spend those extra three days. Looking for a village along a train line small enough to comfortably explore by foot and large enough for an early morning bakery that I can walk to for coffee. If anyone has personal knowledge of such a place and would care to share it with me I would be most grateful. I made this same request a few years ago and Betsy and Russ offered a couple of nice possibilites (Schluchsee and Elzach - both of which I am again considering for this year). And by the way - our Stammtisch meetings are the 18th and 19th of September - in case any of you plan to be in the Black Forest and might be interested in dropping by - we would love to have you and talk travel... Ben
bavariaben is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 03:24 AM
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Staufen and the Münster valley come to my mind. Served by a local train from Bad Krozingen (on the Freiburg-Basel route), which has a nice thermal spa. Staufen is a pretty old town, well preserved. The train proceeds to Münstertal, the main village in Münster valley which has lots of good hiking options plus the baroque monastery of St Trudpert. The wine villages of Markgräflerland are within reach.
quokka is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 03:39 AM
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Guten Morgen, Ben:

I was married in Schluchsee and we have been there 30+ times (we had relatives living there).

There is a train line from Freiburg (BTW, a nice quaint city) up into the Schwarzwald.

Here are the stops:

- Titisee is a lively tourist town for people preferring a little bit of "Riviera" feeling.

- Bärental is at the foot of the Feldberg, but hardly anything more than a road junction.

- Altglashütten is a nice town, but has not too much to offer.

- Schluchsee-Aha is a small hamlet at the end of the lake.

- Schluchsee is a small town with a nice church, a dozen hotels, bakeries, stores, restaurants and access to river and hiking trails.

- Seebrugg is at the other end of the lake, again very small but with access to Rothaus.

I would recommend staying in Schluchsee, mainly because you can do anything on foot there. You have the lake, hiking trails, train and bus connections.

A picturesque side valley of Schluchsee is Fischbach, with a good restaurant/hotel ("Hirschen").

One day, you should hike to Rothaus brewery with good restaurants.

Do you need any other tips?
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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Have always appreciated your travel commentaries. Look forward to the next one.

I am partial to the Ortenau region. Its not as rural as Furtwagen but has an ambiance that to me captures the best of the Forest.

Have relatives from the lovely town of Kappelrodeck. Farther up the slope are a couple of smaller towns that have pine trees with a fragrance that seeps into your soul.

I like the ability to be in complete wilderness or comfortable conditions in 30 minutes as I please. Wish you luck finding your next stop.
hike2thetop is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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Hi, Ben.

Elzach was good as a base for the outings I had planned - bus connection to Hausach were good, nice scenic ride - but in and of itself, it isn't necessarily a destination in and of itself, IMO.

Have you heard of Löffingen? It's on the Freiburg-Villingen/Schwenningen line southeast of Urach in a scenic area of rolling countryside just west of the steeper landscape you pass through on the way to Neustadt-Titisee. I was there last June for about 5 days altogether and used it as a base for outings to Schluchsee and Hinterzarten (good hiking area); also did some hiking around Neustadt (Neustadt-Titisee over the Hochfirst peak, nice views from the tower there.) There is also the Wutachschlucht nearby - a popular hiking area but really damp when damp according to locals, as it was on the day I planned to go and opted not to.

I appreciated Löffingen for what it is too - a sort of normal little settlement with a lot of character, not the slightest bit touristy, really. I bedded down at Haus Liebermann, a few blocks uphill from the center of town; the downstairs room (huge) has its own bath (huge) and is adjacent to a nice Aufenthaltsraum with TV where Frau Liebermann serves breakfast - which I thought was better than average. Frau L is helpful, friendly, really genuine and interesting to talk to. A true bargain at 16 Euros/night.


The colorful town has the normal services. I found a good bakery (they're up early, like me) right downtown
Russ is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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(continued) I found that when the weather turned nasty in the higher mountains, it was generally less nasty or even sunny in Löffingen. On one day when the weather to the west looked bleak, I struck out to explore the environs near town and had a really enjoyable day. The Ochsen and the Linde are inns with traditional food and brew and I think both have outdoor seating. I didn't eat at the Ochsen, which Frau L recommended, but I thought the Linde was pretty good.

Would love to go back soon but don't think I can make it in September unless the state goes belly-up and lays me off

Best wishes - and many thanks for the excellent resource that is your website.
Russ is offline  
Feb 15th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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Wow - you folks are great. I feel like I hit a jackpot with all these recommendations.

quokka - I was pretty sure you would respond to my questions. So much so that I sent you an email making basically the same request. It's been some time since I wrote to you so you may have a new email address by now. Thanks very much for the info on Staufen and the Münster valley. I really do want to get down into that area more but it will probably be another trip. It would be nice to combine that area with a visit to Bad Säckingen which I have on my 'to do' list.

traveller1959 - I've had the Schluchsee area on my 'overnight' list for some time but I keep putting it off. I really wanted to do it last year but got sidetracked. I will definitely keep your info for a future trip. The Rothaus Bier is so good I will have to visit that brewery.

hike2thetop - I have made a note to try to visit Kappelrodeck and it might be this year if I don't hear back from Schiltach about accommodations there. That would be far enough north to make my trip to the Rhine as short as possible.

Russ - you always seem to come up with a winner. I think Löffingen will be a perfect fit for my itinerary this year. Will definitely try to stay at the Haus Liebermann. Now I just need to figure out when to stay there - before or after Urach. That would make for a long train ride to Bacharach so I might be better off training to Löffingen from Frankfurt airport and making it my first destination.

Thanks again everyone. I knew I would get some good ideas here at Fodor's... Ben

bavariaben is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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Russ - I thought I had your email but if I do I can't find it. Would you mind sending me an email so I can ask you some questions about Löffingen? I received a confirmation today for three nights at the Haus Liebermann. It's not until September so I was pleasantly surprised that she would agree to a booking this far out. Looking forward to it and thanks again for the recommendation... Ben

[email protected]
bavariaben is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 01:24 AM
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It's too late for your 2009 plan, it seems, but I want to mention my most recent discovery: Zell am Harmersbach. Once the smallest free imperial city in the Holy Roman Empire, it is a colourful cute little place in a side valley off Kinzig valley, not far from Gengenbach and Offenburg. Plenty of hiking, some culture. Good S-Bahn connections.

Official website: http://www.zell.de
And my own little Zell page: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/f86bd/135b/

P.S. Ben, I have never received an email, sorry...
quokka is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 02:12 AM
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quokka - It's definitely not too late for 2009 as I still have three days in the Schwarzwald open. And I may end up back in Zell again this year (if a farm I have been trying to stay at will reply). I love this little village and have stayed there the past two years. Last year I stayed at the Haus Willmann (http://www.bensbauernhof.com/hauswillmannzell.html) and the year before at the Haus Daheim (http://www.bensbauernhof.com/hausdah...rmersbach.html). Where did you stay? Please send me an email so I will have your current address... Ben ([email protected]) Just saw your pictures of Zell. Outstanding...
bavariaben is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 03:21 AM
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Ben, I did not stay anywhere as Zell is within day trip distance from my house, so hopping over to see the carnival parade was no big deal - one and a half hours on local trains.

quokka is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Dear Fodor's Black Foresters,

I live a couple hours from the Black Forest and embarrassingly have never been. Something about the name makes me think of the bad witch from the Wizard of Oz and not in a good way. I just never wake up and say, "I should go to the Black Forest!"

Anyway, I've enjoyed reading this thread for ideas and next fall I will hope to finally get there - if not sooner!


gruezi is offline  

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