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The Black Forest  (Schwarzwald) is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany.

On our return trip from Baden-Baden (See earlier posts), we decided to take a scenic route, instead of the autobahn (which offers fun in a different way). Running east and then south from Baden-Baden, this route is a part of the German federal highway (Bundesstraße) B500 which took us right through it.

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The route is known as the Schwarzwaldhochstraße, or “Black Forest High Road”, is the oldest and one of the best known themed drives in Germany.  It is about 60 km (37 miles) from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt. Below is a profile of its elevation, and along with the above map, both courtesies of the official website – here.

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As a mountain road, it was a pleasure to drive on with few sharp bends and a generous width for the entire length.

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As we climbed higher, the area was still covered in snow.

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Against the white snow, the dense forests do look black from a distance.

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The Black Forest occupies part of the continental divide between the Atlantic Ocean drainage basin (drained by the Rhine) and the Black Sea drainage basin (drained by the Danube which originated from the Black Forest).  Pine is the predominant tree in the forests.

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Spring came late this year as we were traveling during the Easter weekend. Some ski slopes were still open.

Mummelsee-10This could be a nice trail for cross-country ski or snowshoe-ing.

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At the mid point, we stopped by at Mummelsee, a popular lake along the way (#13 on the map), for lunch. See later post. After we reached Freudenstadt at the end of the Schwarzwaldhochstraße, we went to Furtwengen to see the German Clock Museum (see later posts) before returning to Freiburg (see earlier post here) via B31. One section of this highway passes through a narrow canyon, known as the Hell’s Valley (Höllental).

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The narrowest part of a valley was marked by a bronze statue of a deer (Hirschsprung) ready to leap over the gap which is reported to be about 9m. We did not stop here but saw the statue high up on a cliff as our car sped pass it.

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There are lots of hiking trails in the Black Forest and a hike through this canyon would be really fun. Alternatively, one can take the train – the Höllentalbahn (Hell’s train) – one of the steepest track in Germany, which we luckily caught it on camera while it was going across a viaduct.

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Excuse us for the fuzzy pictures as many were taken from a moving car and some were taken through a less than clean windscreen.

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