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Self guided walking tour The Red Deer Trail
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Highlights

  • Relaxing walks through Germany's beautiful Black Forest
  • Soaking up views over pine forests and pastures; breathing in the clear mountain air.
  • Staying in superior hotels with excellent restaurants
  • Enjoying the indoor pools and saunas, steam rooms and/or whirl pools.
  • Exploring Freudenstadt, home to Germany’s largest picturesque market square.

Deer Trails of the Black Forest is a classic self-guided walking tour through the nature reserves and woodland of the Northern Black Forest, to the north of Freudenstadt. The route includes both the largest area of upland moorland in the whole of Germany and the Mummelsee Lake, both the highest and largest lake in the area, dating from the ice age.

The Black Forest is not, as its English name might suggest, a single forest; rather it is the name given to a hilly region some 100 miles from north to south and some 45 miles from east to west. About 60% of the land is covered in woodland, so there is much open country too. Much of the land lies at over 900m, while the tops of the mountains rise to around 1300m. You’ll also enjoy the added bonus of a ‘KONUS’ card, a local initiative that grants all visitors free use of local public transport from their arrival until the end of the day they leave.

You can see more about exploring Germany's great outdoors in the UK's Independent Newspaper article which also features the Red Deer Trail.

DAY 1: Arrive in Freudenstadt

Freudenstadt is a photogenic small town in the heart of the Black Forest. The town boasts Germany’s largest market square, where you’ll find no less than 50 fountains! Wander the impressive historic buildings which frame the square and are home to delightful arcaded houses with dozens of little shops.


Strasbourg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt Airports are located closest to Freudenstadt, and are served by a
variety of low cost and international airlines. From these airports
there are connections with German rail on to Freudenstadt. Take a taxi from the train station to your first hotel (payable locally)


Overnight: Hotel Langenwaldsee****, Freudenstadt


Hotel Langenwaldsee occupies a stunning lakeside location. Why not treat yourself to a traditional or ayurvedic massage in the wellness and beauty spa, take a dip in the indoor poor or relax on the sun terrace.


DAY 2: Walk the Mittelweg to Seewald

Leave Freudenstadt, heading north along the Mittelweg through fragrant fir forest. Part of this route is also a delightful forest nature trail. Continue along the Mittelweg with its magnificent view over the valley of the River Murg to Seewald.


Overnight: Hotel Oberwiesenhof****, Besenfeld, Seewald


Sample regional and freshly cooked cuisine courtesy of the team at Hotel Oberwiesenhof’s restaurant. The hotel boasts a spa and beauty salon, as well as a swimming pool.


Walk: 23km


DAY 3: Walk the Westweg, Schramberg Plateau to Schwarzenberg

Today’s hike will see you eventually leave the Mittelweg trail and join another long distance trail, this time the Westweg over the Toter Mann (915m) and across the open expanse of the Schramberg plateau. Finally reach Schwarzenberg, where the hotel restaurant is the holder of a Michelin Star.


Overnight: Hotel Sackmann****, Schwarzenberg, Baiersbronn


Walk: 15-20km


Enjoy a dip in Hotel Sackmann’s large swimming pool, soak in the sea salt or fragrant pine whirlpools, or relax your muscles in the Finnish sauna and Roman-Irish steam bath. The hotel is a foodie’s paradise with no less than three restaurants.


DAY 4: Walk to Hinterlangenbach

First through water meadows to Schonmunzach, then along the valley of the Schonmunz river to Hinterlangenbach. Reach a game reserve at Seibelseckle. This afternoon you’ll be back on a short stretch of the Westweg as you continue to Hinterlangenbach.


Overnight: Hotel Forsthaus Auerhahn, Hinterlangenbach, Baiersbronn


Please note that the restaurant in the hotel here is closed on a Tuesday. The only food available on a Tuesday evening is a simple supper of hot soup, cheese, cold meats and salad. As the hotel is very isolated, there is no other restaurant nearby.


Walk: 18km


DAY 5: Mummelsee Lake, Steigerskopf and Saukopf to Obertal

Continue along the Westweg to the brooding Mummelsee lake, which affords fantastic photo opportunities with its glassy reflections of the deep blue sky and forest.


Now walk south over the Steigerskopf and the Saukopf with further fine views over Wildsee Lake. Press on to the Ruhestein, then descend down into the small village of Obertal, with its attractive chalet-style charm.


Overnight: Waldhotel Sommerberg, Obertal, Baiersbronn


Waldhotel Sommerberg offers guests fantastic facilities, including a Finnish sauna, Turkish steam room, whirlpools and a swimming pool. Beauty and massage treatments are also available.


Walk: 20km


DAY 6: Buhlbachsee Lake, Black Forest Ridge to Kniebis

Climb up to the Buhlbachsee Lake, then over the top of the Black Forest ridge which affords breathtaking panoramic views over great swathes of verdant forest to Zuflucht. Follow the Westweg to Alexanderschanze and emerge at the pretty village of Kniebis.


Overnight: Waldblick Hotel****, Kniebis


Relax in the impressive ‘Schwarzwalder Saunahaus’ which offers panoramic views from the large sauna and steam rooms. The beauty salon offers spa treatments should you be tempted to pamper yourself.


Walk: 14km


DAY 7: Walk to Freudenstadt

The tour finishes with a relaxing walk through mixed forest and over moorland to Freudenstadt.  There are to train stations in the town, from where you can make your onward travel.


Walk: 15km


DAY 8: Onward Travel

Enjoy free time exploring Freudenstadt. Check-out of your accommodation, transfer to Freudenstadt's Stadtbahnhof train station, and make your own way home.   


Additional Nights and Extensions

You can add additional nights at any point along the walk or at the start/end of your journey.


 


 

Accommodation

The accommodation on this walk is a combination of 4 star hotels. Some hotels do not have an official star rating, although are considered to be of a 4 star standard. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and an authentic experience. Unusually for the Black Forest, most, though not all of the hotels on this walk do have one or two twin rooms; they are only available on special request and cannot be guaranteed.


Alternative Accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Accommodation in Freudenstadt is very limited during the first week in October as well as during public holiday periods. This may require that tours that would start or end in Freudenstadt during this period be adapted so that the first or last nights are spent in Kniebis


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is available for solo walkers.


Grade

This walking tour is graded easy to moderate. Daily distances do not exceed 25km. Please be aware that there are some significant ascents and descents, however you can often choose to take advantage of the free public transport area pass to shorten your walk if desired (where possible) or opt to take a taxi (payable locally).


Navigation

You will see the Red Deer Trail Waymark of a green leaping deer. The hotel you are walking towards is responsible for ensuring that the green deer waymark is on all the necessary trees. At each point where the route is not straight you should see a waymark. Along the Westweg you will also come across signs for European Long Distance route 1 which runs from the North Sea via Lake Constance and the St. Gotthard Pass to the Mediterranean!


Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).


General Information

The mileages and distances are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Availability

This trip is available from May to October.


Time of Year

Traditionally July/August has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although we believe any time between May and October offers a wonderful experience.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers 

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is available for solo walkers.


Grade & Terrain 

This walking tour is graded easy to moderate. Daily distances do not exceed 25km. Much of the walking is on paved or near-paved cycle paths. Please be aware that there are some significant ascents and descents, however you can often choose to take advantage of the free public transport area pass to shorten your walk if desired (where possible) or opt to take a taxi (payable locally).


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps 

You will see the Red Deer Trail Waymark of a green leaping deer. The hotel you are walking towards is responsible for ensuring that the green deer waymark is on all the necessary trees. At each point where the route is not straight you should see a waymark. Along the Westweg you will also come across signs for European Long Distance route 1 which runs from the North Sea via Lake Constance and the St. Gotthard Pass to the Mediterranean! We also provide you with detailed route notes and a map, to help you easily find your way.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask that you limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. 


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jackets and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack. 


Getting to Freudenstadt

Your walking trip will begin in Freudenstadt, a photogenic small town in the heart of the Black Forest. The town boasts Germany’s largest market square, where you’ll find no less than 50 fountains! Wander the impressive historic buildings which frame the square and are home to delightful arcaded houses with dozens of little shops. Another highlight on the square is the Protestant town church, whose two naves unusually meet at right angles.


By Air and Train

Strasbourg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt Airports are located closest to Freudenstadt, and are served by a variety of low cost and international airlines. From Strasbourg Airport, it is a 2h15 train journey to Freudenstadt Hauptbahnhof (main train station, with 2 changes), from Stuttgart Airport it is 1h50-2h20 to Freudenstadt Stadt station by train (indirect service) and from Frankfurt it is 2h40-3h20 to Freudentstadt Hauptbahnhof (indirect service).


By Car

It is possible to drive to Freudenstadt and leave your car at your first/last hotel.

Getting to Freudenstadt


Your walking trip will begin in Freudenstadt, a photogenic small town in the heart of the Black Forest. The town boasts Germany’s largest market square, where you’ll find no less than 50 fountains! Wander the impressive historic buildings which frame the square and are home to delightful arcaded houses with dozens of little shops. Another highlight on the square is the Protestant town church, whose two naves unusually meet at right angles.


By Air and Train

Strasbourg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt Airports are located closest to Freudenstadt, and are served by a variety of low cost and international airlines. From Strasbourg Airport, it is a 2h15 train journey to Freudenstadt Hauptbahnhof (main train station, with 2 changes), from Stuttgart Airport it is 1h50-2h20 to Freudenstadt Stadt station by train (indirect service) and from Frankfurt it is 2h40-3h20 to Freudentstadt Hauptbahnhof (indirect service). Take a taxi to your first hotel (payable locally). Taxis are available at both train stations.


By Car

It is possible to drive to Freudenstadt and leave your car at your first/last hotel.


Included

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in 4 star hotels and one 3 star hotel.
  • 7 breakfasts.
  • Daily luggage transport of 1 bag of up to 20kg per person as required.
  • Detailed route descriptions and pre-departure information pack.
  • Maps of the walks.
  • 24-hour assistance by telephone.

Excluded

  • Travel to and from Germany and start/end of the walk.
  • Lunches and dinners.
  • Drinks & snacks.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, telephone calls, extra transfers (such as by taxi or when not included in public transport pass), tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable.
  • Solo walker supplement if applicable.
  • Additional nights.
  • Return transfer Freudenstadt train station-Hotel Langenwaldsee-Freudenstadt train station.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is very popular over the Summer months, especially during public holiday periods. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans. 

How fit do I need to be?

This walking tour is graded easy to moderate. Daily distances do not exceed 25km. Please be aware that there are some significant ascents and descents, however you can often choose to take advantage of the free public transport area pass to shorten your walk if desired (where possible) or opt to take a taxi (payable locally).

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask that you limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. 

What equipment do I need? 

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/trekking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

What is the best time of year?

Traditionally July/August has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between April and October offers a wonderful experience.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. 

 

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureDeer Trails of the Black Forest
 
4.6

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (5)
  • Great accommodations (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (4)
  • Relaxation (3)

Reviewed by 5 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

Back to top

 
5.0

Adventure made easy

By Team Z

from California

About Me World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Not crowded
  • Peaceful
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation

    Comments about macs adventure Deer Trails of the Black Forest:

    Very relaxing and peaceful trip. We were amazed by how few people we saw on the trails. The hikes were beautiful and serene. Hotels were great to excellent with good to amazing restaurants. We loved swimming in the warm indoor pools after our hikes. The hikes were as advertised in terms of difficulty.

    Macs was very responsive to our emails and questions. They did make an error on scheduling and reservations but were quick to correct this once we notified them of the mistake.

    One recommendation: bring rain gear! It is so lush and green because it rains regularly.

     
    5.0

    Good walking, nice hotels, lovely people.

    By Gamp

    from Leicestershire

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good accommodation
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Fresh air, beautiful countryside, great food

      Comments about macs adventure Deer Trails of the Black Forest:

      Very well organised. We were collected from the train station, someone was waiting for us, and taken to our first hotel. Bags were in our rooms as we walked from hotel to hotel. Maps were of good quality, although you need to study a little more carefully than we did! All hotels had nice spa areas, although one was stand out stunning, wished we'd been staying for a week! Breakfasts all high quality and massive variety. Hotels mostly family run, lovely helpful friendly people.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Well organised self-guided tour with very good accomodation

      By ACDC

      from Stafford

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Great Accommodations
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Relaxation

        Comments about macs adventure Deer Trails of the Black Forest:

        The hotels were friendly and welcoming with excellent facilities and good food. Generally able to cope with the needs of a gluten free diet. The replacement hotel, Schwarzwaldhof was particularly helpful. Navigation using supplied notes, maps and the excellent sign-post system was very straightforward. One hotel supplied A3 maps which made the contours easier to read.

         
        4.0

        Helpful and Courteous Hotel Staffs Saved Hike

        By KentuckyJay

        from Lexington, Kentucky, USA

        About Me Veteran Hiker

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations
        • Well Organised

        Cons

        • Sometimes Confusing

        Best Uses

        • Holiday

        Comments about macs adventure Deer Trails of the Black Forest:

        I came down with severe viral chest congestion just a few days before starting on my hike and was not able to see a doctor or get medicine until the day before my hike began. Each and every hotel manager/owner provided assistance even allowing me to ride with my luggage and dropping me off along the way instead of hiking the entire distance. (It is hard to climb when one cannot breathe.) These acts of kindness saved my holiday.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Peaceful countryside, outstanding hotels

        By Jonathan

        from Ringmer

        About Me Enthusiastic walker

        Pros

        • Beautiful Forest
        • Great Accommodations
        • Varied Beautiful Forest
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation

          Comments about macs adventure Deer Trails of the Black Forest:

          An excellent opportunity to discover the hidden variety of the Black Forest, with the bonus of outstanding hotels, food and wine. The walking perhaps lacked some of the sense of achievement, mainly down to the nature of the terrain. But a super holiday none-the-less.

          Displaying reviews 1-5

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