Schluchtensteig trail

Deep gorges & rugged landscapes

One of the most popular long-distance hiking trails of Germany. The scenic trail offers hikers beautiful an rugged landscape whil pasing through deep gorges, dense forests and picturesque villages.

Almost untouched and varied natural experiences await you on the Schluchtensteig trail in the Southern Black Forest Nature Park between Stühlingen and Wehr. The path, characterized by gorges,  repeatedly leads over open high pastures with views of rocky outcrops and mountain peaks. The Schluchtensteig trail is located in the very south of the Black Forest. The region is known for its unique landscapes that reflect the typical character of the Black Forest.
The Schluchtensteig trail is a certified long-distance hiking trail, one of the top trails in Germany, and stretches over 118 km from Stühlingen in the East to Wehr in the Southwest. As a hiker, you do not only discover wonderful little places that invite you to linger, but above all you hike on small, narrow paths, discover deep gorges and enjoy wonderful views over rocky peaks and mountain peaks. In addition to scenic highlights, the Schluchtensteig also has historical and cultural features to offer. For example, you can see the Stallegg run-of-river power plant, which is still active today and is the oldest three-phase power plant in Germany. Or you can marvel at the largest lake in the Upper Black Forest, lake Schluchsee. Those interested in history and architecture can take a look at the cathedral of St. Blasien, which can be seen from afar thanks to its impressive dome. The cathedral is a former monastery church of the Benedictine abbey and is also called the “Black Forest Cathedral” thanks to its imposing appearance. It’s worth not only taking a look from the outside, but also inside the classicist building.

Distance about 19 km | 505 m+ | 263 m- | Duration: about 5,5 hours

On the very first day, you’ll get an idea of why the Schluchtensteig bears its name. The ascents should not be underestimated but are rewarded with impressive views. With a bit of luck, the historic Sauschwänzle Railway crosses your path on the first part of the stage. Later, you’ll traverse narrow, root-filled paths through the primeval-like Wutach Gorge towards Blumberg.

Distance about 20 km | 414 m+ | 460 m- | Duration: about . 6,5 hours

Today you’ll delve deep into the world of the Black Forest gorges. Between steep, rugged cliffs, the wild Wutach River carves its way through one of the oldest nature reserves in Baden-Württemberg. The path always follows along the rushing river, waterfalls splashing, lush greenery surrounding you everywhere. At the end of the stage, a hiking bus will take you on a short ride from Schattenmühle to Löffingen.

Distance about 18 km | 701m+ | 316 m- | Duration: about 6 hours

In the morning, you’ll take the bus back to Schattenmühle to continue your hike from there. Passing by the Räuberschlössle (robber’s castle) and the Stallegger wooden bridge, the path leads you in a constant up and down out of the gorge towards Lenzkirch. Particularly idyllic spots can be found at the confluences of Rötenbach and Haslach. In Lenzkirch, taking a short break pays off because from here, you’ll climb steeply up to Fischbach.

Distance about 20 km | 384 m+ | 671 m- | Duration: about 6,5 hours

As soon as you set off on your morning hike, one of the most beautiful views of the tour awaits you: the vista from Bildstein down to Lake Schluchsee, and on clear days, even to the peaks of the Alps. During a stop at the Unterkrummenhof, you can observe the sparkling waters of the enormous Schluchsee. Continuing on diverse forest paths, you’ll head towards St. Blasien. Here, be sure to take a look inside the cathedral with its impressive dome.

Distance about 19 km | 590 m+ | 541 m- | Duration: about 6 hours

From the starting point in St. Blasien, you’ll initially ascend. The climb is rewarding. Instead of looking into deep gorges today, you’ll enjoy distant views from numerous viewpoints. Passing by the Klosterweiher (monastery pond) and Dachsberg, you’ll ascend to the Ibacher Heights. At the top of the observation tower on Lehenkopf, your gaze sweeps far across the Black Forest. From Horbacher Heide, on clear days, you can see all the way to the Swiss Jura and the Alps. A panoramic board explains the visible peaks of the Alpine range. At the end of the stage, the trail lives up to its name once again: it descends into the Hohwehraschlucht (Hohwehra Gorge) to the gingerbread village of Todtmoos.

Distance about 23 km | 484 m+ | 937 m- | Duration: about 7 hours

On beautiful forest trails, the final stage leads you to your destination in Wehr. Along the way, you’ll hike on narrow paths with steep slopes. A short additional ascent to the Mettlerhütte is worth it. The small hut is not staffed, but there is a fountain in front of it where you can refill your water supplies and enjoy the beautiful view. After passing the Wehra Reservoir, the trail continues leisurely to the final destination of Wehr.

individual hiking tour

  • 15 days
  • dogs allowed
  • from Pforzheim to Weil a.R.
  • Black Forest

Difficulty:

from € 1.620,-

individual hiking tour

Difficulty:

  • 15 days
  • dogs allowed
  • from Pforzheim to Weil a.R.
  • Black Forest
from € 1.620,-

individual hiking tour

  • 8 days
  • dogs allowed
  • from Stühlingen to Wehr
  • Southern Black Forest

Difficulty:

from € 790,-

individual hiking tour

Difficulty:

  • 8 days
  • dogs allowed
  • from Stühlingen to Wehr
  • Southern Black Forest
from € 790,-

Individuelle Wanderreise

    • tiefe Schluchten & blühende Weiden
    • „Perlen des Schwarzwalds“: Schluchsee, Dom von St. Blasien
    • landschaftliche Vielfalt des Naturpark Südschwarzwald

Difficulty:

from € 690,-

Individuelle Wanderreise

Difficulty:

    • tiefe Schluchten & blühende Weiden
    • „Perlen des Schwarzwalds“: Schluchsee, Dom von St. Blasien
    • landschaftliche Vielfalt des Naturpark Südschwarzwald
from € 690,-

individual bicycle roundtrip

  • 7 days
  • from | to Hinterzarten
  • Southern Black Forest

Difficulty:

from € 720,-

individual bicycle roundtrip

Difficulty:

  • 7 days
  • from | to Hinterzarten
  • Southern Black Forest
from € 720,-

Who is the Schluchtensteig-Trail suitable for?

This hiking tour on the Schluchtensteig trail is ideal for couples, small groups and individual travellers.

This trip is not suitable for people with limited mobility.

Kids

In general, the Schluchtensteig and its individual stages are also suitable for children. However, we recommend that children are at least 16 years old and have sufficient fitness and surefootedness. They should also be free from dizziness.
 
 It is particularly important that you wear good shoes and, if necessary, take the children by the hand.

Requirements & difficulty

Which level does the trail have?

According to our definitions, it’s a level 3 trail:

3 Points = moderate & sporty | walking time: 4-7 hours | ascent: 400-600 meters
You have a passion for hiking and frequently explore hilly terrain. You don’t mind more challenging hikes with longer distances and steeper climbs.

Characteristics of the trail

Narrow paths and rugged trails in the canyons, as well as quiet forest paths in the Black Forest ridges, characterize the Schluchtensteig trail. Especially in the Wutach canyon, paths lead through deep gorges, known for their mostly short and steep sections as well as ladders – you should be sure-footed and free from giddiness.

 
The individual stages at a glance:
 
  • The first stage from Stühlingen to Blumberg is also good for those who are not afraid of heights.
  • Right at the start of the second stage, an 8 meter high and very steep ladder leads down into the small Schleifenbach gorge to the waterfalls there. However, this section can also be bypassed.
  • In the Haslachschlucht on the 3rd stage you go over a footbridge that is suspended from the rock. The footbridge is wide enough and very well secured with railings that even hikers who are afraid of heights can pass it safely.
  • The 4th and 5th stages are no problem for hikers who are not afraid of heights.
  • On the 6th stage in the Wehraschlucht, the trail at Hirschfelsen runs well secured (wire rope on the mountain side) around a rock face. The path is wide enough so that you don’t have to look down. The rest of the stage no longer poses any difficulties for people with a fear of heights.

How is the Schluchtensteig signposted?

The Schluchtensteig trail is signposted with diamond-shaped marker that has its name on it, as well as an “S” in blue und a red and a green hill-shaped line.

Due to various weather events such as thunderstorms, storms or heavy rain, it may well happen that sections have to be closed at short notice. Detours are usually always signposted here.

The best time for travelling

We recommend this hiking trip from April to October.

There is an official opening which usually takes place when all obstacles such as fallen trees etc. have been cleared away. This is usually the case from mid-April.

Please make sure to have clothes for all possible weather conditions. It can sometimes be very cool in the gorges, even in summer.

 
Spring (April&May) is undoubtedly one of the best times of year to explore the Schluchtensteig. Nature comes to life. The streams and rivers carry more water and the gorges shine in all their splendor. The forests and meadows bloom with lush greenery and bright colors, while the birds chirp and fill the air with fresh energy. This is the time when hikers can enjoy the full beauty of the canyon landscape and its flora.
 
Summer (June-August) also has its own charm on the Schluchtensteig. While the sun warms up the Black Forest, the deep gorges offer a pleasant way to cool off. The clear waters invite you to take refreshing breaks, and the dense forests provide pleasant shade. The mild temperatures make summer a pleasant time to tackle the length of the Schluchtensteig and explore the many spectacular viewpoints.
 
When autumn (September&October) arrives, the Schluchtensteig becomes a veritable riot of color. The leaves of the trees turn into bright shades of red, orange and yellow and bathe the entire Black Forest in a colorful robe of leaves. Autumn is also a quieter time on the Schluchtensteig, which makes it possible to take in the beauty of nature in peace and quiet.

Arrival & departure

How do I get to Stühlingen?

Arriving by plane, the closest airports are Frankfurt, Zürich (Switzerland) and Basel-Mulhouse (Switzerland).

Stühlingen has a bus station that is reachable by regional busses. These in turn have connections to the local train stations. The nearest train station from Stühlingen is Waldshut-Tiengen. 

Parking in Stühlingen

In Stühlingen, there are public parking lots for hikers close to the city hall. Just follow the signposting. You can park your vehicle for the duration of your hiking trip for free.

How do I depart from Wehr?

Wehr has a bus station that is reachable by regional busses. From there you usually continue to the next bigger train stations in order to catch long distance trains.

The closest airports are Basel-Mulhouse and Zurich (both in Switzerland), as well as Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Return to the starting point

You can return to the starting point of the trip from every place along the trail by public transport for free, using the KONUS guest card. The journey takes between 1.5 and 3 hours, depending on the route and connection, and it usually involves multiple changeovers.

Please note that Stühlingen does not participate in the KONUS system. If you want to park your car at the destination in Wehr on the arrival day and then travel back to Stühlingen from there, you will need to purchase a ticket for this trip.

Alternatively, for your return journey, you can book a private transfer by taxi with us. Please check for prices during the booking process in additional services.

Travel documents

What is included in the travel documents I receive for the Schluchtensteig trail?

You will receive the hotel list with detailed information about the accommodations booked, as how to get there, as well as contact information and important information about closed days and arrival.

Moreover, there will be some general information about the trail, also the timetables of the hiking buses.

You also get the „Hikeline“ guidebook for the trail, which is available in German only so far, but it has detailed maps and cutouts for the complete route.

On top, you can also download the GPS track in order to use it with common apps like outdooractive, komoot, etc.

For the luggage transfer you can find luggage tags for each piece of luggage registered upon booking (usually it is included one piece per person in the package price).