Driving Through the Upper Black Forest

From Freiburg, you can make an easy 145km (90-mile) circuit through a scenic part of the Black Forest and be back in time for dinner. Along the way, you pass some of the forest’s highest peaks and two of its most beautiful lakes.

From Freiburg, head south on Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse to Günterstal and follow the narrow, twisting road to Schauinsland. From the parking lot, you can climb 91 steps to an observation tower for a panoramic view toward the Feldberg, a nearby peak. The area also has easy hiking trails. Continue south to the hamlet of Todtnau, where you find a 1.6km-long (1-mile) footpath to an impressive series of waterfalls. (You need about an hour to get to the falls and back.) From Todtnau, pick up B317 west to Utzenfeld and follow the narrow road northwest to the Belchen, a famous mile-high peak. An enclosed gondola, the Belchen Seilbahn, Belchenstrasse 13 ([tel] 07673/888-280), takes you to the peak for one of the most spectacular views in the Schwarzwald. From the grassy summit you can see the Feldberg and other nearby mountains, green hillside pastures, tile roofs in small villages, and the vast Rhine plain to the west. Give yourself about 90 minutes for the gondola ride and a stroll on the summit; the cable car operates daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The round-trip costs 6.50€ for adults, 4.50€ for children.

From the Belchen, backtrack to Utzenfeld and follow B317 east to Feldberg, where another enclosed gondola, the Feldbergbahn ([tel] 07655/8019), takes visitors to the 1,450m (4,750-ft.) summit of a peak called Seebuck. The round-trip takes about an hour, and on a clear day, you can see the highest peaks of the Alps to the south. The cable car operates daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Continue on B317 east and turn south on B500 to Schluchsee, one of the loveliest of the Black Forest lakes. From Schluchsee, head back north along B500 to Titisee, another popular Black Forest lake. From Titisee, you can return to Freiburg by heading west along B31.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.