Trail talk

Top Trails of Germany

Westweg: Trekking in the Black Forest National Park

“Back to the roots” – that was our motto when we went on a trekking tour with a tent and backpack once again. It was about time. Indeed, one does not always have to look for optimal trekking tours in far-off countries, as there is quite a bit to discover right here in Germany. After the forest trail last year, this year a tour through the Black Forest National Park was on the agenda: the Westweg. We were on the trail for four days – of course, you will find out everything you need to know about the Westweg trekking from us.

Westweg Stages: our route

Day 1

  • Start: Forbach
  • Destination: Camp Grimbach
  • Distance: 14.7 km
  • Duration: 4 h
  • Elevation: ↑796 m and ↓426 m

Day 2

  • Start: Camp Grimbach
  • Destination: Camp Seibelseckle
  • Distance: 18.1 km
  • Duration: 5 h
  • Elevation: ↑667 m and ↓396 m

Day 3

  • Start: Camp Seibelseckle
  • Destination: Harkhof
  • Distance: 40.3 km
  • Duration: 8.5 h
  • Elevation: ↑852 m and ↓1,009 m

Day 4

  • Start: Harkhof
  • Destination: Hausach
  • Distance: 14.9 km
  • Duration: 3.5 h
  • Elevation: ↑389 m and ↓819 m

Westweg Tips: What You Should Know

Westweg Overview: Stages & Elevation Gain

The Westweg is undoubtedly one of Germany’s most beautiful multi-day tours and leads you across the Black Forest. The Westweg starts in Pforzheim and then leads through the Enz Valley and many forests up to Hohloh. Then it goes down into the Murg Valley and you “have to” climb the Hornisgrinde, the highest mountain in the Northern Black Forest. After that, the path follows the Black Forest High Road to Alexanderschanze and goes through the Kinzig Valley to Hausach before going steeply uphill to Kalte Herberge, which is located in the main European watershed. 

The Westweg is available in two versions – the east and west variants – from Pforzheim to Basel. The two routes diverge at Titisee. The western route, leads over the Feldberg, the Belchen, and the Blauen to Kandern and finally to Basel, and the eastern route, takes you over the Herzogenhorn and the Wehratal to Hohe Möhr and then along the Rhine Valley to Basel. You can learn more information about the Westweg here.

West Variant

  • Start: Pforzheim
  • Destination: Basel
  • Distance: 288 km
  • Stages: 12
  • Elevation: ↑7,889 m and ↓7,854 m


East Variant

  • Start: Pforzheim
  • Destination: Basel
  • Distance: 287 km
  • Stages: 13
  • Elevation: ↑7,332 m and ↓7,355 m

Path Condition

Varied. Twisted single trails and wide farm roads alternate frequently, so there’s something for everyone. The path is well-marked and well-maintained. It goes over various types of terrain, including forest paths, field paths, gravel paths, and occasionally asphalt roads (mostly, of course, in the villages along the path). In higher elevations, the path can be rocky and steep, and some sections lead over alpine paths. At least these are described as alpine paths, which of course cannot be compared with the high altitudes of the Alps.


Forest. And that’s pretty much it. The Black Forest National Park trail mostly leads through dense, old, and fascinating forests. Around the Hornisgrinde and Mummelsee, you can also admire panoramic views of Strasbourg – if the weather cooperates. It was foggy when we were there, so we had zero visibility. However, the path is characterized less by distant views than by the dense, old, and natural forest.


Very simple. If you walk the entire Westweg, you have perfect train connections in all directions both in Pforzheim and Basel. And even in the small villages along the way, you’ll always find train stations. This is also the case for our starting point in Forbach. You can park your car at the station there and start walking right away. From Hausach (our destination), it’s about a 2-hour train ride back to Forbach. The Baden-Württemberg Ticket is a good option to get back to Forbach.

Supply along the Way

None. Between Forbach and Hausach, there are no shopping opportunities. Only a few scattered restaurants (especially around the Hornisgrinde). Accordingly, you have to provide for yourselves for four to five days. We relied on trekking food. The advantages are obvious: no refrigeration is necessary, only water is needed and afterward, you don’t have to start washing 37 pots and pans. We can recommend the trekking food from Real Turmat, XYZ, or Trek’n Eat. Now you might be wondering how you’re supposed to carry water for 5 days. You don’t have to! Water supply is not a problem. You’ll come across springs and fountains now and then. Our tip: always refill your water supplies at such points, so you’ll never find yourselves without water.

Trekking Camps in the Black Forest

Available and capable of expansion. It’s a mix of joy that the trekking camps exist at all and a bit of criticism.

Camp Grimbach

A very simple camp in the middle of a deciduous forest. And the keyword here is “deciduous forest.” Especially at the beginning of the season, which usually starts on May 1st, the trees have virtually no leaves yet and offer no protection from rain. This wouldn’t be so bad if there were at least a small shelter with seating. However, there is nothing. Otherwise, there’s everything you need: a place to pitch a tent (no platform, but on the stony ground), a fireplace (the wood is unprotected next to it – complicated in the rain), compost toilet. Of course, one should always keep in mind that it’s excellent that such legal camping opportunities in the forest exist at all.

Camp Seibelseckle

This is essentially what we imagine a trekking camp to be. Wooden platforms, fireplace, seating, shelter (in this case even a hut), compost toilet, and there is a supply of wood that you are allowed to use.

The biggest criticism of all these camps is their distance from the trail. Sometimes the distances are enormous. Camp Gutellbach, for example, is 6.5km away from the Westweg, resulting in an additional 13 (!) kilometers for the round trip. That’s exactly why we skipped Camp Gutellbach and walked directly from Camp Seibelseckle to Harkhof. If the camps were designed for the Westweg, it’s incomprehensible to us that they are so far away from the trail. On the other hand, this is of course a perfect opportunity to camp legally and in solitude in the forest.

All in all, this was a beautiful trek. We enjoyed the 4 days on the Westweg. Of course, also against the background that we haven’t done a trekking tour for a long time: “Back to the roots” and true to the Trekkinglife motto “Back on Trekk.” It felt good to just get out again, start with only the essentials, breathe in the fresh forest air, and enjoy the four days. For this, the Westweg has everything to offer in the section between Forbach and Hausach with its dense forests.

Happy trails! 

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