More popular by its German name of Schwarzwald, the Black Forest, is a wooded mountain range in Germany. The Rhine valley neighbors it to its south and west. Feldberg is the highest amongst the entire mountainous range, standing at 1,493 meters tall. It is situated on the southwestern corner of Germany, and extends for about 160 kilometers from Waldshut in the south to Pforzheim in the north. The forest is around 60 kilometers wide at its southern end and 20 kilometers at its northern one.
The western side of the forest descends in to the Rhine valley and on the eastern side, it descends to the Danube and Necklar valleys. The slope on the western side is much more than that on the eastern one. Tourists who are puzzled by the name of this forest will be enlightened to know that the credit for the same goes to the Romans who termed it as the Silva Nigra, which means black forest. This name was bestowed to this jungle because of its dense growth of trees that did not permit any sunlight to seep through their thick foliage.
However, this is not the case in current times and millions of visitors who pass through its ridgeway will testify. This forest is famous all over the world for its scenery and highlands. During the olden days, the locals of this area used to earn money by cutting down the trees and selling its wood. This location was also famous for its silver mines. Since the 17th century, when wood trade began to falter, the locals begun making clocks and clock-making still remains a successful industry in this area.
Tourists are recommended to take home souvenirs of this region. Their best option will be to buy the local traditional hats with their huge pompoms that are called `bollenhut.’ These types of hats are best worn with traditional German dresses.
Black Forest Tourist Spots:
Black Forest Ridgeway: Known locally as the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse, this famous and popular ridgeway follows the peaks of the hills through outstanding fir forests that provide extensive views to tourists. The southern continuation of this ridgeway runs from Triberg to Waldshut.
Black Forest Spa Route: Known locally as Schwarzwald Bäderstrasse, this 270 kilometers long route takes visitors through a series of spas between Freudenstadt and Pforzhiem. This is a must visit for those who love their health and are also interested in scenery.
Black Forest Valley Road: Known locally as Schwarzwald Tälerstrasse, this path starts at Rastatt and goes up the Murg valley and through the awe inspiring Schwarzenback Dam. It winds its journey through Freudenstadt where it converges with the Black Forest Ridgeway, to Alpirsbach. This is a must visit for those who love nature and waterways.
Apart from the landscapes and routes mentioned above, there are many tourist spots near the Black Forest with some of the quite famous all over the world. This forest is also famous for its winter sports centers. Some of the oldest of Germany’s skiing areas are found over here like Freudenstadt, Baiersbronn, and Lenzkirch.