Westweg

Westweg

The Westweg, (West Trail), is a long-distance hiking trail running north-south through the Black Forest from Pforzheim to Basel. The trail is around 285 kilometers long, and was founded in 1900. It is currently maintained under the auspices of the Schwarzwaldverein (Black Forest Society). The trail symbol is a red lozenge on a white background. The Westweg is a part of the European Long-distance Trail E1 (North Cape, Norway - Sicily) The route passes through or near numerous villages or small towns, so there is no difficulty in finding overnight accommodation and meals along the route. It would actually require more planning to walk it while staying in youth hostel-type accommodation, or camping. There are numerous services that will transport your luggage to the next accommodation by vehicle, leaving the hikers with only their daypacks for the hike. The route can be accessed at numerous places along its length by road or public transport, so it is easy to walk part of it or to do day walks along its route.

Route Description

The Westweg begins in Pforzheim, then leads through the Enz valley to Dobel, then through wide forests and moors to Hohloh. After descending into the Murg valley, the trail climbs to the highest point in the northern Black Forest, the Hornisgrinde. The next section follows the Schwarzwaldhochstraße (Black Forest High Street) to Alexanderschanze, and then through the Kinzig valley to Hausach. After a steep climb the Westweg leads from the Martinskapelle (the source of the Breg) to Kalten Herberge, the European continental divide between the Rhine and Danube rivers. At the Feldberg saddle the Westweg forks into an eastern and a western section. The western route (Variation A) runs over the Feldberg, Belchen, and Blauen to Kandern, then through the Wolfschlucht to the Wiese valley, and on to Basel. The eastern section (Variation B) branches southward to the second highest mountain in the Black Forest, the Herzoghorn, over the pass between the Wehra and Wiese valleys, toward the Hohe Möhr, by Weil am Rhein and down the Rhine valley to Basel.

History

The current Westweg was created in 1900 by the Baden Section of the Schwarzwaldverein (Black Forest Society). Proposals for the creation of a north-south hiking trail along the crest of the Black Forest go back to 1894.

The Westweg, which was complemented by the Ostweg (East Trail) from Pforzheim to Schaffhausen and the Mittelweg (Middle Trail) from Pforzheim to Waldshut in 1903, has become the model for many other long-distance hiking trails.

On December 15, 2006 the Westweg was awarded the certification of "Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland". (Quality Trail of Hikable Germany). In order to meet a criterium for this certification, that no more than 20% of the trail could be paved, several stretches of the trail had to be relocated or rebuilt in a more natural setting.

Dayhikes/Stages

Stages Shared by Variations A and B

First Stage: Pforzheim–Dobel

Main Variant
24 km, ca. 6 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Pforzheim-Kupferhammer 0 254 Starting point of the three Black Forest long-distance trails, the Westweg (Pforzheim - Basel), Mittleweg (Pforzheim - Waldshut), and the Ostweg (Pforzheim - Schaffhausen)
Dillweißenstein 2.5 270
Schloss Neuenbürg 9.5 390
Neuenbürg, Marketplace 0.5 323
Buchberg, Adventure playground 0.5 460 to Neuenbürg
Westweg rejoins the pre-2006 higher variation
Schwanner Warte 3.0 480 to Straubenhardt
Glider port
Herzogswiesen 1.0 520
Dreimarkstein (Three March Stone) 3.5 660 Shelter hut
Named because of the boundary stones for the communities of Dobel, Dennach (part of Neuenbürg), and Conweiler (part of Straubenhardt).
Volzemer Stein 1.5 660 Boulder field
Dobel 2.0 720 Observation tower
Higher Variant

In 2006 the first stage of the Westweg was relocated. The former stage is now marked as the "High Variation"

Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Pforzheim-Kupferhammer 0 254 Starting point of the three Black Forest long-distance trails, the Westweg (Pforzheim - Basel), Mittleweg (Pforzheim - Waldshut), and the Ostweg (Pforzheim - Schaffhausen)
Pforzheim-Dillstein 2.0 270
Sonnenberg 1.0 340
Birkenfeld 2.0 358
Wilhelmshöhe 6.5 429 to Neuenbürg
Buchberg–Adventure playground 0.5 460 to Neuenbürg
Higher variation rejoins the Westweg.

Second Stage: Dobel–Forbach

25 km, ca. 6.5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Dobel 0 720 Observation tower
Weithäusle 5.0 823 Shelter hut
Schweizerkopfhütte 1.5 835 Observation pavilion
Hahnenfalzhütte 4.0 876 Hut of the Bad Herrenalb ski club
Absetze 1.5 917
Kreuzlehütte 2.0 852
Hohlohturm 2.0 986 Kaiser Wilhelm-Turm observation tower, Shelter hut
500m side trip to the Hohlohsee (a bog).
Prinzenhütte 1.5 976 Shelter hut
Latschigfelsen 2.5 762
Gausbach 3.0 306 Suburb of Forbach
Forbach 1.0 303

Third Stage: Forbach–Unterstmatt

19 km, ca. 5.5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Forbach 0 303
Auf Wegscheiden 5.0 751
Herrenwieser See 1.5 834 Glacial cirque from the last glacial period, ca. 9 m deep, ca. 600 m circumference.
Bussemer Denkstein (Bussemer Monument) 1.0 1003 Philipp Bussemer
Badener Höhe 2.0 1004 Großherzog-Friedrich-Turm observation tower
Herrenwieser Sattel 1.1 879
Sand 2.6 828 to Bühl
Schwarzwaldhochstraße (B 500)
Hundseck 1.8 856
Hochkopf 3.0 1041
Unterstmatt 1.0 928

Fourth Stage: Unterstmatt–Alexanderschanze

27.5 km, ca. 7 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Unterstmatt 0 928
Ochsenstall 2.0 1036 Inn for skiiers and hikers
Hornisgrinde 1.0 1164
Mummelsee 2.0 1034
Seibelseckle 1.5 956
Darmstädter Hütte 3.0 1020
Seekopf 0.5 1040 View of the Wildsee and the grave of Orientalist Julius Euting
Ruhestein 2.5 915 Schwarzwaldhochstraße (B 500)
Schliffkopf 4.0 1055
Zuflucht 7,5 963 Former hotel, then a youth hostel, currently closed
Alexanderschanze 3,5 968 Crosses the B 28

Fifth Stage: Alexanderschanze–Auf der Hark

18 km, ca. 4.5 hours walking time

This stage and the next can be completed in one day by experienced hikers.

Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Alexanderschanze 0 968
Am kalten Haupt 2.5 936
Hildahütte 2.0 914
Lettstädter Höhe 3.0 968
Lake-level above the Glaswaldsee 1.5 960 Side trip to viewpoint over the Glaswaldsee
Freiersbergsattel 2.0 752 Crosses the pass road SchapbachBad Peterstal
Littweger Höhe 2.5 843 Shelter hut. Crosses the Querweg (Cross-trail) GengenbachAlpirsbach
Auf der Hark 4.5 700 Farm bed and breakfast– to Oberharmersbach

Sixth Stage: Auf der Hark–Hausach

16.5 km, ca. 4 hours walking time

This stage and the previous one can be completed in one day by experienced hikers.

Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Auf der Hark 0 700
Kreuzsattelhütte 3.0 738
Trail forks to Brandenkopf 0.2 735 Marked variant: The Brandenkopf is about 3.5 km from the Westweg.
Hirzwasen 1.8 735 Crosses the Great Hansjokob Path
Ebenacker 2.0 620
Hohenlochen-Hütte 2.5 689 Simple hiker's hut
Käppelehof 0.3 640 Farm bed and breakfast
Weißes Kreuz 0.2 570
Spitzfelsen 2.0 580 Schutzhütte
Hausach 4.5 237

Seventh Stage: Hausach–Wilhelmshöhe (above Schonach)

21.5 km, ca. 5.5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Hausach 0 237
Husen Castel ruins 0.5 288
Farrenkopf / Hasemann-Hütte 5.5 790 Shelter hut named for the painter Wilhelm Hasemann
Büchereck 3.0 651
Haselberg 2.0 760 Crosses the Querweg (Crossing Path) RottweilLahr
Prechtaler Schanze 0.5 820
Huberfelsen 1.0 745 Viewpoint
Fährlefelsen 0.5 755 Crosses the Querweg (Crossing Path) RottweilLahr
Karlstein 1.5 970 also: Hauenstein
Named for the visit of Karl, Duke of Württemburg in 1770
Formerly a Vierländereck (Corner of Four Countries) - Baden, Württemberg, Fürstenberg and Vorderösterreich
Schöne Aussicht 1,0 915 Inn
Rensberg 3,0 940
Wilhelmshöhe 3,0 980 to Schonach

Eighth Stage: Wilhelmshöhe–Kalte Herberge

23.5 km, ca. 6 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Wilhelmshöhe 0 976
Wolfsbauernhof 1.5 1023
Blindensee 1.5 1000 Bog
Weißenbacher Höhe 2.5 1016
Martinskapelle 3.5 1094 The continental divide between the North Sea and the Black Sea. Near Martinskapelle is the spring of the Breg, one of the sources of the Danube, and the Elz, one of the tributaries of the Rhine.
Brend 3.0 1149 Highest point in the central Black Forest. Observation tower
Alte Ecke 2.5 1075
Winkel / Südlicher Staatsberg 2.0 1045 Beginning of a section shared with the Querweg (Crossing Path) – KaiserstuhlRhein.
Beim Staatsberghof 1.0 990 End of the section shared with the Querweg Kaiserstuhl - Rhein
Neueck 0.5 988 Saddle between Furtwangen and Glottertal
Hausebene-Hof 2.0 940
Kalte Herberge 3.5 1029 Inn (on the continental divide: water flows off the roof in both directions.)

After the ninth stage these descriptions follow the pre-2006 route. Since then the fork between the eastern and western variations has moved to Titisee. The western branch leads from there over the ridge between Titisee and Hinterzarten toward Oberzarten. From there it follows the Emil Thomas Path to the peak of the Feldberg, where it rejoins its former route. After Kandern the trail now goes through the Wolfschlucht to Wollbach. The eastern variation follows its former path through the Bärental, the Zweiseenblick, the Cartitasheim, and then on toward Herzogenhorn

Ninth Stage: Kalte Herberge–Bärental (Pre-2006)

26.5 km, ca. 6.5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Kalte Herberge 0 1029
Lachenhäusle 3.0 1080
Schweizerhof 3.5 1040 Inn
Fürsatzhöhe 9.5 1071
Geigershof 1.5 940
Titisee 2.5 823 Crosses the Querweg (Crossing Path) Freiburg – Bodensee
Bärental 6.5 967 Highest Deutsche Bahn station on the trail

Variation A - Western Route

Tenth Stage: Bärental–Wiedener Eck (pre-2006)

24.5 km, ca. 6 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Bärental 0 967
Zweiseenblick 3.0 1284 Viewpoint over the Titisee and Schluchsee
Feldberg-Caritasheim 2.5 1230
Feldbergerhof 1.5 1279
Bismarck-Denkmal 1.0 1448 View over the Feldsee
Feldberg- Peak 2.0 1495 Highest point of the Westweg and the entire Black Forest.
Stübenwasen 3.5 1241 Inn
Notschrei 5.0 1121 Hotel
Am Trubelsmattkopf 2.5 1282
Wiedener Eck 3.5 1037 Hotel

Eleventh Stage: Wiedener Eck–Blauen (pre-2006)

21 km, ca. 5.5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Wiedener Eck 0 1037
Krinne 4.0 1119
Belchen 2.0 1414
Hohe Kelch 1.5 1266
Haldenhof 3.5 900 Inn
Sirnitz-Saddle 1.5 1073
Stühle 3.0 1049 Shelter hut
Egerten-Saddle 3.0 927 Shelter hut
Hochblauen 2.5 1167

Twelfth Stage: Blauen–Basel (pre-2006)

32.5 km, ca. 8 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Hochblauen 0 1167
Hexenplatz 2.5 845
Sausenburg 3.5 665
Kandern 4.0 352
Egerten-Nebenau 6.0 456
Burg Rötteln 5.0 417
Tüllingen 6.5 422 Suburb of Lörrach
Basel 5.0 260

Variation B – Eastern Rount

Tenth Stage: Bärental–Hochkopfhaus (pre-2006)

26.5 km, ca. 7 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Bärental 0 967
Zweiseenblick 3.0 1284 Viewpoint over the Titisee and the Schluchsee.
Feldberg-Caritasheim 2.5 1230
Feldbergerhof 1.5 1279
Zeiger 1.0 1231
Grafenmatt 1.7 1377 Inn
Glockenführe 0.8 1320 Path up the Herzogenhorn (1415 m)
Hof Eck 3.5 1127
Auf der Wacht 3.0 975
Blößling 2.5 1309 Steep climb
Präger Eck 2.0 1103
Leder Tschobenstein 2.0 1212
Hochkopfhaus 3.0 1087 Schwarzwaldverein hiking center

Eleventh Stage: Hochkopfhaus–Schweigmatt (pre-2006)

18.5 km, ca. 5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Hochkopfhaus 0 1081
St. Antoni 2.0 1064
Altensteiner Eck 3.0 1090
Altensteiner Kreuz 1.5 1064
Sägbaumdumpf 1.3 1040
Schwellen 4.2 1001 Gersbach (Südschwarzwald), winner of two village "beauty pageants":Bundesgolddorf in 2004, Europagolddorf in 2007
Hohe Möhr 4.5 985 Observation tower, the top of which is over 1000 meters above sea level. (The last time above 1000m on the trail)
Schweigmatt 2.0 725

Twelfth Stage: Schweigmatt–Adelhausen (pre-2006)

18 km, ca. 4.5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Schweigmatt 0 725
Hasel 3.5 440 Erdmannshöhle
Hohe Flum 9.5 535
Adelhausen 5.0 459 Suburb of Rheinfelden

Thirteenth Stage: Adelhausen–Basel (pre-2006)

18 km, ca. 4.5 hours walking time
Location/Attractions Distance in km Elevation in Meters Additional Information
Adelhausen 0 459
Sieben Bannstein 4.0 451
Rührberg 6.5 510 Suburb of Grenzach-Wyhlen
Basel 10.0 260 Ending point is the Basel Badischer Bahnhof

Geocaches

Some of the geocaches hidden along the Westweg are at the following coordinates:

Notes

External links

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