Rushing forests, deep gorges, crystal clear streams, sun-drenched vineyards, old orchard meadows and grandiose view rocks – the little time out is waiting in Baden-Württemberg right on your doorstep.
In this article I have compiled a selection of the most beautiful hikes in Baden-Württemberg, which I myself always enjoy. They can also be wonderfully combined into a hiking weekend or hiking vacation. The premium circular hiking trails are also perfectly signposted, so you can enjoy nature to the fullest without having to constantly look at a map. All you have to do is lace up your hiking boots and start walking.
Baden-Württemberg is a real hiker’s paradise, with well-known regions like the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb. But also with many unknown corners that are not yet so overrun – some I present here as well.
No matter whether you prefer to be active or rather leisurely on the road:
Hiking makes you happy. Any time of the year.
Trekking Baden-Württemberg: Discover the Swabian Alb
Zollernalb Ridge Walks
Although it is beautiful everywhere in the Swabian Alb, there are a few corners that I particularly like. For example, Albstadt with the Traufgängen. For me, these are among the most beautiful hiking trails in the Alb.
Spectacular ridges, plenty of panoramic views and an expanse that also opens the heart – around Albstadt, unique premium hiking trails await pleasure hikers. One is more beautiful than the other: sometimes with a postcard view of Hohenzollern Castle, sometimes with rock climbing – and every time a hiking dream. You can find detailed tips on the tours, as well as where to stop for refreshments and overnight stays on the Traufgänge here: Traufgänge Premiumwanderwege Schwäbische Alb: Immer an der Kante entlang.
Start/Finish Traufgang Zollernburg-Panorama: several entrances, e.g. Berghotel Zollersteighof or Nägeleshaus on the Raichberg, length: 15.6 km
The Mössinger Dreifürstenstein offers a magnificent view. A real dream of the Alb: After a short but crisp climb, breathtaking views from the edge of the ridge await. Narrow paths lead serpentine through sparse mixed forest, then it’s wonderfully relaxed at Farrenberg. This tour is especially beautiful in spring, when the trees blossom on the idyllic orchard meadows. Hence the name: Mössinger Früchtetrauf. Click here to go directly to the tour: Schwäbische Alb: wandern zum Dreifürstenstein
Start/Finish Mössinger Dreifürstenstein: Hiking parking lot Olgahöhe, Mössingen, length: 13.3 km
Danube Rocks Tour
Danube waves are the name of the premium hiking trails in the southern part of the Swabian Alb, the Donaubergland. One of the most beautiful: the Donaufelsentour near Fridingen. Mountainous terrain is to be taken quite literally here: The very varied trail leads up and down. A best-of, so to speak, because this hike includes everything the Donaubergland has to offer. The official starting point and wonderful vantage point is the Knopfmacherfelsen.
From there you walk on forest paths down to the Danube, which you cross on stepping stones and directly behind the Jägerhaus a path leads back into the forest. Uphill, downhill with magnificent views you hike to Bronnen Castle, to the ruins of Kallenburg and finally back down into the Danube valley.
On the other side of the river, the path climbs again. Great cinema – fantastic views included.
Fancy a slice of Danube wave cake? You can get it at Berghaus Knopfmacher (you also can stay overnight there).
By the way: Nearby, the Danube seeps away to reappear a few kilometers further, in the Aachtopf – a natural phenomenon.
Start/Finish Donaufelsentour: Berghaus Knopfmacher, length: 15.4 km
Lichtenstein Castle: Premium hiking trail „hochgehträumt“
„Hochgehberge“ is the name of the 21 Prädikat hiking trails that lead to the most beautiful places around Münsingen in the Swabian Alb biosphere region.
The hike „Hochgehträumt“, which starts and ends at Lichtenstein Castle, is magically beautiful. The truly enchanting castle is a wonderful destination in itself, but it is also very popular, especially on weekends. But most of the people are around the castle or the Nebelhöhle, another highlight along the way. In between, it’s easy to get lost and immerse yourself in the wonderful landscape of the Alb. More about the „hochgeträumt“-Wanderung rund um Schloss Lichtenstein.
Start/Finish „hochgehträumt“: Lichtenstein Castle, length: 10.9 km
Wild and romantic: Bad Urach waterfall trail
For me, the Wasserfallsteig is also one of the most beautiful hikes in the Swabian Alb. A premium trail with magnificent views from the slide rock, idyllic meadow valleys and two wildly romantic waterfalls.
My tip: Do not hike the official variant from the hikers‘ parking lot in the Maisental, but in the opposite direction. This has two advantages: the ascent is gentler and the highlight of the hike, the Bad Urach waterfall with its waterfall hut, comes at the end. A great finale: the water rushes 37 meters into the depth. Here you can find all information about the Wanderung auf dem Wasserfallsteig.
Start/Finish Bad Urach Waterfall Trail: Maisental Hiking Plaza, Length: 10.7 km
Alb Shepherd’s Path
Long-distance hiking is in vogue, but you don’t have to go far to do it. The Albschäferweg on the Ostalb measures 160 kilometers and none of them is boring. The Lone Valley, Eselsburg Valley and Wental, the Meteor Crater in Steinheim, the Albuch and the Härtsfeld – in ten stages, the trail takes you through the Brenz region of Heidenheim. I hiked two daily stages near Zang and they definitely whetted my appetite for the whole route. I had my base camp at Widmans in Zang, where you can not only eat fantastic food, but also spend an extraordinary night in the shepherd’s caravan or chalet: Schäferwagen oder Chalet auch außergewöhnlich übernachten
In the farm store of Schafhof Smietana you can stock up on wool socks or lamb sausages before heading to the Hitzinger Steige on an old sheep drive. Since the 15th century, itinerant shepherds have been crossing the Swabian Alb.
In the middle of the open landscape, dotted with dark green juniper and bright yellow broom bushes, a meteor tore an incomprehensible 20-kilometer crater millions of years ago that is still clearly visible today. Rolling hills, herbs, white daisies, pink meadow knotweed and red corn poppies – in early summer, it’s green and blooming like crazy everywhere on the eastern Alps.
The Wental valley, through which the Alb Shepherd’s Path leads, is enchanting. About thirty bizarre dolomite rocks give it a fairy-tale appearance.
The sixth stage of the Alb Shepherd’s Path leads from Zang via the Herwartstein ruins to Lake Itzelberg. In Königsbronn, it’s worth taking a short detour down to the Brenz spring, which can’t decide whether it shimmers blue or green or turquoise. Small fish swim lively back and forth between the water plants in the Brenz pot, in which the trees are reflected. A fascinating play of colors.
Start/Finish Alb Shepherd’s Path: several entry points, length: 160 km in 10 stages; see more about Albschäferweg
Trekking Baden-Württemberg – Best Black Forest Trails
Blueberry Trail Enzklösterle
A real favorite tour: the Black Forest gourmet trail Blueberry Trail around Enzklösterle in the northern Black Forest. First you hike through a dreamy green landscape of rocks and ferns and then through alpine-looking valleys and meadows. Snacking allowed: In July, the delicious blueberries are ripe and grow in abundance around Enzlösterle. And in the blueberry house down in town you can buy everything you can make from the blue berries – honey, jam, schnapps, wine and much more.
Please see the Blueberry Trail Enzklösterle in detail. Schwarzwälder Genießerpfad Heidelbeerweg Enzklösterle.
Start/Finish gourmet trail Blueberry Trail Enzklösterle: Tourist Information Enzklösterle, length: 12.7 km
„Himmelsglück“ is the name of the new observation tower in the northern Black Forest (opening in spring 2021), Germany’s highest wooden observation tower with platforms 20, 35 and 50 meters high. If you want to climb up, you have to climb 300 steps or take the panorama elevator. There are other ways to get down: with the Flyline, you can float leisurely through the forest or with an extra adrenaline kick in the Flying Fox, head first, rush down into the spa gardens of Schömberg.
The Zollernblick premium hiking trail circles the idyllic Oberlengenhardt, the smallest district of Schömberg in the Calw district. From the parking lot for hikers at the Schützenhaus, the trail leads without any major inclines across extensive meadows and through the lush green fir forest; the observation tower is located directly on the trail.
Start/Finish Zollernblickweg: parking lot Schützenhaus Oberlengenhardt, length: 7.2 km
Durbacher Wine panorama trail
The certified premium hiking trail around Durbach is one of the Black Forest gourmet trails. And rightly so, because there really is hardly a better view. It’s beautiful in the Ortenau all year round, but when autumn sets off its fireworks in the vineyards, it’s hard to beat. Here you can find my description of the Durchbacher Panoramawanderung.
Another delightful tip for all those who like wine hiking: In the Black Forest wine village of Sasbachwalden (about 30 km north), you can go wine caching. Armed with a GPS device in which the coordinates of the individual stations are stored, a description and a wine glass, you’re off on your search. There are a total of 19 waypoints to discover, including five with a wine vault where a good sip awaits.
Start/Finish Durbacher Weinpanoramaweg: Festplatz Durbach, length: 15.4 km
The Black Forest Hornisgrinde Trail is just right for a Sunday afternoon with its almost seven kilometers. From Seibelseckle, you hike along a stony path, initially quite steeply upward toward Dreifürstenstein. Even if the name „Genießerpfad“ suggests a round that can be easily mastered with ballerinas, ankle-high mountain boots are highly advisable for the ascent and descent.
After half an hour, a super wide view of the Grinden awaits at the top. This is the name of the bare „peaks“ of the Black Forest. On the plank path you come through the high moor to the Bismarck Tower (the highlight of the tour) and from there past the Hornisgrinde Tower down to Lake Mummel. The lake owes its name to the many pond roses, the nickname „Rummelsee“ to the numerous tourists who stop here thanks to its direct location on the Black Forest High Road. The Black Forest gateau also tastes great in the Berghotel Mummelsee. By the way, it is only real with original kirsch water.
My tour description and more tips on the Wandern rund um Sasbachwalden.
Start/Finish Black Forest Connoisseur’s Trail Hornisgrinde: Seibelseckle parking lot, length: 6.7 km
Trekking Baden-Württemberg: Natural Paradise Schönbuch & Heckengäu
The panoramic circular trail at the Schönbuchtrauf – a ridge walk along the Schönbuchtrauf with breathtaking views into the Ammertal to the Swabian Alb. The Land.Tour is well signposted and takes just under three hours in total. The first part goes along the southern edge of the ridge through the forest in the direction of Herrenberg-Kayh to the Jägergarten. Below, the path leads almost parallel to the orchard meadows back to the starting point above Herrenberg. The beauty of this hike is that it can be varied to suit your mood. If you only want to take a short walk, you can walk to the fallow deer enclosure and return along the 2.3-kilometer short barrier-free circular trail.
You have a brilliant view over the treetops of the Schönbuch from the 30-meter-high Schönbuchturm. Although it is not directly on the path, it is worth the short detour (approx. 400 m) from the parking lot at the Naturfreundehaus.
Start/Finish Schönbuchtrauf panorama hike: parking lot at the forest cemetery or Naturfreundehaus Herrenberg, length: 10.8 km
Whether the rush of blossoms in the meadow orchards is the most beautiful moment for this hike or late summer, when temptingly ripe fruit hangs on the trees … hard to say. The eight-kilometer Schönbuchspitzrunde is pure pleasure, in any season. Even the gnarled vines and bare trees in hibernation I find charming. And the sun heats up the slope pretty quickly, even in February.
Once the somewhat crisp climb has been mastered right at the beginning of the tour, the panoramic path above the Breitenholz vineyards rewards you with a magnificent view. Dry stone walls support the vines on the slope. You literally get a picture of how much effort goes into each bottle of wine from this steep slope.
Over hill and dale, you’ll hike leisurely on narrow paths through the Schönbuch forest, with wonderful views of the Ammertal valley time and again.
Just in the mood for a short round: The first and last part of the trail is identical to the premium hiking trail „Ammerbucher Gigeleswegle“.
Start/Finish Schönbuchspitzrunde: Hiking parking lot Breitenholz, length: 8.3 km
Maybe it’s so beautiful here because the corner still passes as a real insider tip and has so far been spared from mass crowds. For me, it’s an oasis (almost on my doorstep) where I can immediately recharge my batteries. The Heckengäu is a small natural paradise in the district of Böblingen, on the western edge of Stuttgart.
From stones, which the farmers have read from the fields for centuries and stored at their edges, so-called reading stone bars – the basis of the hedges – were formed. Together with the typical juniper heaths, these characterize the landscape. I am particularly fascinated by the silence on the Venusberg, where there are also beautiful places for a picnic.
The Venusberg does not have a real summit and the altitude is also more than manageable at 537 meters. This makes the Land.Tour Venusberg a really relaxed hike. And you also learn something: At prominent points along the way, large wooden frames draw your attention to the landscape and its cultural and historical significance, which is explained on small panels.
Start/Finish Land.Tour Venusberg: Hiking parking lot Kirchtal Aidlingen, Length: 12.5 km
Trekking Baden-Württemberg – between the Enz and Zabergäu rivers
Three Lakes Trail
Hiking or rather relaxing at the bathing lake – on this tour you can have both. The Three Lakes Tour in the Zabergäu is an easy hiking tour without ascents that can be varied at will from the Ehmetsklinge. The Zabergäu is located about 40 kilometers north of Stuttgart in the Stromberg-Heuchelberg Nature Park. Here you can find everything important about the hike on the Drei-Seen-Weg.
Start/Finish Three Lakes Trail: Ehmetsklinge parking lot in Zaberfeld, length: 9.3 km
Enz Circular Route
What the Neckar can do, the Enz manages to do just as picturesquely: wind wonderfully through the landscape. Along the idyllic Enzschleife between Vaihingen/Enz and Mühlhausen, I particularly enjoy hiking in spring and fall. From the center of Vaihingen, the route leads directly into the vineyards along the Enz River – it’s quite spectacular how the vines grow here on the steep stone terraces.
On the way back, the panorama shows itself in all its glory from the opposite side of the river floodplain to the finale below Kaltenstein Castle. Fancy a little wine tasting? Then a detour to the vinotheque in Roßwag is worthwhile.
Starte/Finish of Enzschleifen circular trail: Vaihingen/Enz market square, length: 13.6 km
You can find even more tips and excursion destinations in Baden-Württemberg in the article: Wo das Ländle am schönsten ist.