Mountain region, Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It extends in a fairly narrow strip about 100 mi (160 km) along the eastern bank of the upper Rhine River, from the Neckar River to the Swiss border. Its highest peak is Feldberg, at 4,897 ft (1,493 m). Its name comes from its dark interior, the higher parts being thickly forested with fir and pine. It is the source of the Neckar and Danube rivers. The setting of many of the Grimm brothers' fairy tales, it is famed for the beauty and charm of its villages and rolling hills. Winter sports are prominent in the area, which also has many mineral springs and watering places, including the spa town of Baden-Baden.
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The Black Forest (German: Schwarzwald) is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 meters (4,898 ft). The region is almost rectangular with a length of and breadth of . Hence it has an area of approximately .
The main industry is tourism. In addition to the towns and monuments noted below, the Black Forest is crossed by numerous long distance footpaths, including some of the first to be established. The European long-distance path E1 crosses the Black Forest following the routes of some of the local long-distance paths. In addition there are numerous shorter paths suitable for day walks, as well as mountain biking and cross-country skiing trails. The total network of tracks amounts to around , and is maintained and overseen by a voluntary body, the Schwarzwaldverein (Black Forest Society), which has around 90,000 members (figures from Bremke, 1999, p.9).
The cities of Freiburg and Baden-Baden are popular tourist destinations on the western edge of the Black Forest; towns in the forest include Bad Herrenalb, Baiersbronn, Freudenstadt, Furtwangen, Gengenbach, Gütenbach, Sasbachwalden, Schramberg, Staufen, Titisee-Neustadt, Hausach and Wolfach. Other popular destinations include such mountains as the Feldberg, the Belchen, the Kandel, and the Schauinsland; the Titisee and Schluchsee lakes; the All Saints Waterfalls; the Triberg Waterfalls, not the highest but the most famous waterfalls in Germany; and the gorge of the River Wutach.
The Vogtsbauernhöfe is an open-air museum that shows the life of 16th or 17th century farmers the region, featuring a number of reconstructed Black Forest farms. The German Clock Museum in Furtwangen shows the history of the clock industry and of watchmakers.
For drivers, the main route through the region is the rapid A5 (E35) motorway, but a variety of sign-posted scenic routes such as the Schwarzwald-Hochstrasse (Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt), Schwarzwald Tälerstrasse (the Murg and Kinzig valleys) or Badische Weinstrasse (Baden Wine Street, , a wine route from Baden-Baden to Weil am Rhein) offer calmer driving along high roads. The last is a picturesque trip starting in the south of the Black Forest going north and includes numerous old wineries and tiny villages. Another, more specialized route is the 'Deutsche Uhrenstraße' ("German Clock Road") , a circular route which traces the horological history of the region.
Due to the rich mining history dating from medieval times (the Black Forest was one of the most important mining regions of Europe around 1100) there are many mines re-opened for the public. Such mines may be visited in the Kinzig valley, the Suggental, the Muenster valley and around Todtmoos.