Channeling Hansel and Gretel
Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood have all spent time in the Black Forest. After living in Germany for almost 8 months, Dan, Stuart and I were long overdue for a visit.
Once we ate original Black Forest Chocolate cake, road a rickety wooden roller coaster and visited Germany’s highest waterfall (read about it here), we were itching to put on our hiking boats and hit the trail. Both Dan and I have done lots of hiking over the years, especially Dan who is in the process of section hiking the App trail. In my opinion, spending time outside in nature is the most rejuvenating thing a person can do.
We started our hike just outside of the village of Simonswald, in the heart of the Black Forest.
The Black Forest is riddled with trails. Trails through the valleys, along the peaks of the mountains, long-distance routes, short loops to waterfalls. The options are endless and almost create a headache trying to determine where to go. In Virginia, looped routes are clearly defined and have names like “Dragon’s Tooth” and “Angel’s Rest”. In the Black Forest, one trail leads into another and another and another, it’s up to the hiker to determine if they want to loop back to the start or proceed.
After hours of trying to nail down a plan, I turned to the blogging community and was delighted to find this great post. We followed the outdoorsy couple’s footsteps almost exactly as we set out for Zweribach Waterfall.
Topics discussed on the trail:
1. Why men are so gassy.
2. How instagram makes things prettier than real life. (Dan hated this comment.)
3. What’d we do if we lived in the 1800s.
You know, trail talk.
About two hours in, we came to pleasant clearing at a vista overlooking the valley below. Dan and I munched on sandwiches, fruit and Reese’s Pieces as we took in our peaceful surroundings. Stuart busied himself racing around the clearing like a mad man, because that’s what Stuart does when he’s happy…go nuts.
An hour later we arrived at Zweribach Waterfall. Perhaps not the world’s most impressive waterfall but darn lovely in it’s own right.
Powered by Reese’s Pieces, we trudged past the waterfall, climbing up, up, up to the ridge line. At the top we plopped down on benches at a lookout point. While the temperature in the sunshine hung around 60, a field just opposite of us was remarkably still covered in snow.
If there’s one thing Stuart loves more than hiking, it’s diving and playing in fresh snow. He gazed longingly at the white stuff. No, Stuart, we’re not going to play in snow today.
Getting hungry again, we opted to descend via a logging road instead of a trail. The four hours of hiking it took to reach the top were nipped by a descent just short of an hour and a half.
No big bad wolf or poisonous apples, it was a wonderful hike that left us all beat (even Stuart) and eager to return soon.
FYI: If you’re thinking you’d like to do a similar hike in the Black Forest, a car is a must. Although I always advise against rental cars in Europe because of their absurd insurance costs, taking public transit to remote hikes like the one we did isn’t possible.
When’s the last time you went on a great hike? Once we’re back in the States I can’t wait to explore Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park!