The Black Forest:  Full Day

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is a small mountain range that extends along Germany’s western border from Switzerland in the south to Karlsruhe in the North.  It is densely covered by pine forest allowing little light to reach the forest floor, thus it is easy to see how the area got its name.  This tour will take you on a ramble through the central Black Forest regions, covering cuckoo clocks and mountain vistas.

Here a summary of some of the interesting sights along the way.  Note that the drive itself will take about 4 hours, so you will probably have time to stop at one or two of the attractions.

Triberg:  The undisputed cuckoo clock capital of the world.  The most prominent cuckoo clock store is one called House of 1000 Clocks at several locations through the town.  It is pretty commercial and the sales staff can give you more attention than you really want.  We prefer the Eble clock factory north of town on the road leading to Gutach.  It will be on your right just after exiting a tunnel going north out of town.  It is also home to one of the two “World’s Biggest Cuckoo Clocks” in the area.  Stand out front of the building on the hour or half hour to see the clock strike.  For €2, you can also tour the inside of the clock and see the gigantic cuckoo, bellows and wooden gears.  Triberg is also home to Germany’s tallest waterfall (closed in winter).  There is a nice 20-30 minute walk up the gorge from town to the falls.

Gutach:  Home to the Black Forest Open-Air Museum (Schwarzwald Freilicht Museum).  This is one of the Black Forest’s biggest tourist draws.  It is a traditional farming village along with a collection of historical farmhouses and other buildings that have be brought to this location and reassembled from all over the Black Forest.

Haslach:  A former Capuchin monastery now turned into the Museum of Folkloric Garments (Trachtenmuseum) containing examples of traditional dress from the Black Forest region.

Freudenstadt:  Has a gigantic central market square with a unique ‘L’ shaped church at one corner.  In the summer months there is nice fountain in the square.  The square is also lined with some interesting shops and contains a beer garden (also with inside seating) that offers a dining possibility.

Opening Times and Fees:

Triberg Falls
Apr-Oct Daily   Until 10:00pm

Schwarzwald Freilicht Museum
Apr-Oct Daily   9:00am-6:00pm

Apr-mid Oct Tu-Sa   9:00am-5:00pm
So 10:00am-5:00pm
Mid Oct-Mar Tu-Fr   9:00am-noon & 1:00pm-5:00pm

Driving Directions:

Map 1

Map 2

Take the A81 south from Bondorf.  Exit at the first Villingen-Schwenningen exit and follow signs to St. Georgen and/or Triberg.  If you get a very early start, or prefer more of a driving tour with few stops, you can also start this tour backwards to Freudenstadt, and from there go south through Loßburg, Alpirsbach, Schiltach and Wolfach before heading south to Triberg.

The main town is a left as you come into Triberg.  There are parking lots at various locations through town.  The falls trail starts just beyond the center of town where the road makes a right-hand bend.  The Eble factory is the other direction as you head out of town to Gutach.

Head north to Gutach.  A few kilometers after Gutach, the road turns east to Hausach.

The road will pass Hausach, Haslach and Steinach.  Shortly after Steinach, take exit and follow signs to Zell.

The road will follow a valley through Zell and a few other towns that seem interconnected.  At the end of the valley, the road will narrow and climb steeply with hairpin turns over a mountain pass.  Then it will drop steeply down the other side and eventually end at the B28 at or near Bad Peterstal.  Check out the village and farms laid out on the steep slopes on the way down.

At the B28, turn right following signs to Freudenstadt.  This will take you back over the ridge, this time on a bigger road.  You can stop at the top and walk across the road by the windmill for a nice view down the valley.

Follow the B28 through Freudenstadt, following signs for Nagold and/or Herrenberg.  The B28 will bisect the town square.  There is a convenient underground parking garage at the square.

Just after leaving Nagold, turn right following signs to Mötzingen.  In Mötzingen, follow signs to Bondorf.