Tracks and Trails / Cross Country Skiing / Alps & Around: Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland / Traverse of the Black Forest

Traverse of the Black Forest

black forest cross country skiing, langlauf germany

'Black Forest Gateau' of course!

A cross country skiers paradise! The 'German Black Forest' offers a superb 115km point-to-point journey. Located near the borders of France and Switzerland, lying north of Freiburg and Basel, is this superb 'Grand German Traverse'. The skiing is all on prepared tracks on classic style 'langlauf' cross country skis.

The Black Forest starts at 150m above sea level at the upper reaches of the Rhine River to more than 1400m above sea level in the highest mountains of the southern Black Forest. An extensive network of both long-distance and local cross-country skiing trails makes it possible to cross the length and breadth of the Black Forest. Each day we aim to ski approximately 20km whilst carrying just a day pack - when we arrive at our guest house we find our luggage waiting for us!

Our tour traverses the diverse landscape of the Upper Black Forest staying in charming guest houses and inns whilsr enjoying German hospitality along the way. This 5-day ski journey, between the villages of Schonach in the north and Belchen in the south, climbs some 3200m whilst keeping an altitude of about 1,000m most of the way. We alternate skiing through deep valleys, forests and farming communities.

  • Make a continuous 5-day ski journey
  • No ski pass required
  • Benefit from the tourist 'Guest Card' benefits
  • Climb the highest peak in the Black Forest - Feldberg at 1493m
  • Step off the trail and enjoy hotels & traditional guest houses
  • We are one of the few operators offering this classic ski journey
  • All luggage transported


Trip Departure date End date Price Status
SBF1 19 Sun 10 February 19 Sat 16 February 19 £1495 Places available | Make a Booking
SBF2 19 Sat 16 February 19 Fri 22 February 19 £1495 Places available | Make a Booking

Trip Level 

This traverse is designed for those that can confidently get on their skis and go! We grade this trip as an intermediate. On our first day we will spend time to find our ski legs but we do expect participants to be able ski a variety of terrain and journeys of 18-28km in length. Participants should have good travelling techniques, ski at a good pace and have mastered a controlled snow plough for both undulating, turning and any steeper descents. You should be at a very good fitness level and be able to ski up to 4-6 hours per day.

Bespoke Black Forest Tours

This trip can also be organised as a bespoke holiday where the itinerary can be changed to suit the quantity of days, ski locations and distances to suit the requirements of your group. Contact us for more information.


We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.

Day 1 Meeting in the Schwarzwald

We start this trip by meeting in or near Triberg, a typical Schwarzwald town, close to the start of our ski traverse. This charming market town is home to the Black Forest Musuem and Germany's highest waterfalls. On arrival ask the hotel for your 'Guest Card' to benefit from reduced entrance fees to sights and for free buses and trains.

Your guide will meet you at your accommodation today to organise ski hire, to brief you on the days ahead and answer any questions.

Day 2 Schonach to Brend - 20km

We start our tour in the village of Schonach, at 875m, a short distance from Triberg and home to the one of world's largest cuckoo clocks! We have time to find our ski legs and then the trail steadily rises to 1000m onto the plateau of Wittenbach first through woodland and farmland, then descends into the valley of Schwarzenbach, 940m. The trail then passes through dense forests then to wide open spaces across typical Nordic rolling terrain with some fun steady and short steeper descents along the way! We pass by the village of Shonwald and the towns huge Olympic ski jump and climb again to the delightful chapel at Martinskapelle. We have time to stop for refreshments at the inn here and can take a short diversion to visit the spring which is one of the sources of the Danube. A final short climb takes us up to Brend (1149m) and is known as the highest peak in the 'holiday region' of the northern Black Forest. On a clear day you can see across to Feldberg, the Swiss Alps and Vosges mountain ranges. Up here we sleep the night. Ascent: 865m Descent: 600m.

Day 3 Brend to Waldau - 25km

We begin today with an easy downhill which allows us to enjoy the scenery passing traditional farm houses with their large draping roofs. We continue on rolling terrain down to 980m at Neueck and enter the woods to rise a little to reach the Inn at 1020m at Kalte Herberge where we stop for lunch. We complete our day by skiing to the peaceful village of Waldau where the first Black Forest clock was made in 1664. As with many Black Forest hotels tonight you will be able to relax in the sauna prior to another traditional hearty German supper. Ascent: 500m Descent: 660m.

Day 4 Waldau to Hinterzarten - 25km

Our morning ski takes a gentle line to reach the popular ski domain in the village of Thurner. After a break here we rise to our high point for the day at Weisstannenhöhe (1190m) where we can be again rewarded with superb views of the Feldberg summit (1493m). We then enjoy a fun ski down through pine forests interspersed with vast open landscapes and traditional farming communities. On our way we can stop for coffee and strudel in traditional inn before our final to the charming village of Hinterzarten (880m) known as the 'Pearl of the Black Forest' where we sleep the night. Ascent: 685m Descent: 760m.

Day 5 Hinterzarten - Feldberg - Notschrei - 28km

Today is our big day in both length and height on our traverse. We leave Hinterzarten (880m) and over 10km's gradually ski up to Rinken (1195m) and soon see our days objective. We continue winding our way through the woods before making the final climb (of which a short section in the woods will be with skis on our packs) onto the Feldberg summit itself. At 1493m and the highest point of the Black Forest we are rewarded with fabulous 360 degree panoramic views. The arc of Alps in the south, the Jura and the Vosges in France in the north make a fine picnic spot. We then descend to the Todtnauer Hütte (1321m) where we can stop for a celebratory hot chocolate and yet another strudel! Our day continues on and mainly down through the forests towards Notschrei sliding and gliding with ease down to 1120m. From Notcherei we take the public bus a short way off the trail to the charming village of Todtnauberg where we sleep the night. Ascent: 1000m Descent: 820m.

Day 6 Notschrei to Belchen - 17km

Our final day to complete our Black Forest Traverse will feel a much easier day. First we transfer back to the trail at Notchrei where our trail enters yet another labyrinth of tracks gently rolling 9km to Wiedener Eck (1034m) where we will break for morning drinks. A short climb takes us onto Hohtannhutte, another popular ski destination, before reaching the small ski resort of Multen/Belchen where we finish our journey. To make transfers simpler for the following day tonight we stay in the town of Schonau, a short bus ride away, where we end with a final celebratory meal together. Ascent: 640m Descent: 780m.

Day 7 Departure Day

Today is departure day and the trip finishes after breakfast. With your tourist card trains and buses leaving the area will be free to airports and main railway stations.


Included: The price includes half-board accommodation, based on two people sharing (twins or doubles) in mainly 3 star hotels OR guest houses for 6 nights and including local taxes. Single rooms may be available on request for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details. Luggage transfers (1 bag per person), free local public transport with the local tourist card, and the fees of a qualified Nordic Ski Instructor who's also an International Mountain Leader and their expenses are also all included.

Not included: Ski hire, insurance, flights, arrival transfer, and return transfer out with the Black Forest region, drinks and lunches.

If in the event of a poor winter season it could be that the complete traverse is not possible. Using our local knowledge of the area we make the best alternative arrangements possible. We would aim to ski in different locations each day, using a vehicle to transfer us along the lower sections. Depending on the group size this may or may not incur an additional fee. However, previously when we use a vehicle back up it has not cost our guests any more.


In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. In winter temperatures can range from +10 degrees celsius, to -15 degrees celsius. Even in winter it is often sunny with lovely blue sky days, but it can snow heavily and you would be prepared for any eventuality.

Minimum numbers

This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We take a maximum of 8 clients.


Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this please be sure you have read the insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.

Ski Rental

Cross country skiing equipment, which includes fishscale classic skis (not skates or waxables), Salomon (or similar) boots, bindings and poles, can be hired locally at the start of the traverse in Schonach. The total ski hire for the week is approximately 135 Euros per person (this includes the cost of returning the equipment to the hire shop at the end of the trip). You will make your payment directly to the guide (cash only). All equipment hire must be arranged in advance, as it will be necessary to pre-order correct sizes. Please make note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits (for ski pole hire). The guide will accompany clients to the hire shop and at the end of the traverse, will collect any hire equipment and organise its return.

Further Information

Upon booking a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided. This trip includes luggage is transfers by taxi so only a light pack is needed during the day time. Maps of the route are possible to buy on the first day for 5 Euros at the Tourist Office in Schonach.

The Black Forest is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane.

The closest airports to this area are Stuttgart (Germany), Strasbourg (France), Zurich and Basel/Bale (Switzerland).

Trains to the start and finish from the Swiss Airports are the most convenient taking approximately 2.5 hours to Triberg.

Your visitors 'Guest Card' will give you reductions on many attractions (museums, cable cars, swimming pools etc) and free bus and train travel during your stay and return journey back to the airport (N.B: this is not valid until you arrive at your hotel so will not include your travel to your first hotel).

Train connections can be sourced using for Swiss connections and Deutsche Bahn for German connections. Searches should be made using: Basel Euro Airport or Stuttgart Flughaven/Messe (which is on the S bahn) to: 'Triberg' and departing from: 'Sparkasse Schönau im Schwarzwald' both of which are in Germany. Please note that timetables are normally only available 3 months in advance. Detailed trip joining information is provided 4 weeks prior to the trip start date.

Alternatively you may wish to travel entirely by rail or coach in which case many high speed trains link into these cities from other European cities. For more suggested travel links please refer to our Booking & Information pages for further details.

It is possible to arrange a taxi back to the start of the traverse from Belchen to Schonach/Triberg for approximately 150 Euros taking 1-4 people.

Accommodation Arrangements & Bad Weather Options

The complete Black Forest traverse is approximately 115km which means we will ski anything from between 15-25km per day. The accommodation available is varied in its facilities and due to availability we do not always use exactly the same places so it could mean the daily distances on the day to day itinerary vary by a few kilometres. Please note that your guide will try to fulfil the stated itinerary, but this is dependent on weather/snow and track conditions at the time.

Lunches will normally be picnics bought from either our accommodation, bakeries or in cafes when we pass them - please bring additional snacks from home.

We run our Black Forest traverse at a time of year when the snow is most reliable and the tracks are well maintained. However, in the event of poor snow conditions, we will offer an alternative ski itinerary visiting the highest Nordic ski areas both regionally and on the traverse with the aim to offer the same distance skied per day.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the Traverse of the Black Forest are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us.

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