Welcome to Baden-Baden’s municipal recreational forest and to the North/Central Black Forest area of outstanding beauty (“Naturpark Schwarzwald Mitte/Nord”). The mountain peaks on the western edges of the Black Forest offer spectacular and contrasting panoramas. In one direction you have the sweeping view across the Rhine plain to the mountains west of the Rhine. On a clear day you can see the countless towns and villages spread across the plain as well as the course of the Rhine. One particularly impressive landmark is the tower of Strasbourg cathedral. You’ll often get a view of the complete western flank of the Rhine Valley, from Grand Ballon, the highest peak in the Vosges Mountains, in the south, to Kalmit, the highest mountain in the Palatinate Forest, in the north. In another direction, you can enjoy views of Baden-Baden’s outlying villages located at the foot of the Black Forest hills, Neuweier, Varnhalt and Steinbach nestling prettily among the vineyards on the valley sides. To the east the views are of the dense Black Forest, a stark contrast to the sun-drenched Rhine plain.
From the Kirche Varnhalt trailhead at the church in Varnhalt you can reach two of the nicest vantage points in the area, Fremersberg and Yburg, both involving a steep ascent to reach the top.
A less strenuous path is the circular route around Varnhalt, which leads you all the way around the wine-growing village without ever straying far from it. This walk also has lots of wonderful views along the way.
Suggested routes from the Kirche Varnhalt trailhead
To the Yburg-Rundweg circular route and up Yburg mountain: 9 km, total ascent 450 m: This route involves a steep ascent and descent on narrow and stony paths. You access the Yburg-Rundweg from the church in Varnhalt by following the yellow-diamond route signs. There is a restaurant in the castle on Yburg.
Up Fremersberg mountain: 11 km, total ascent 410 m: a steep descent on stony paths in parts. There is a restaurant on the summit of Fremersberg.
"Rund um Varnhalt", circular route around Varnhalt: 9 km, total ascent 150 m, easy.
Long-distance walking on the Ortenauer Weinpfad – the Ortenau Wine Trail
The Ortenau Wine Trail (Ortenauer Weinpfad) is a long-distance trail starting in Gernsbach and taking in Baden-Baden, Oberkirch, Offenburg and Gengenbach before reaching its end point, Diersburg. From Neuweier it takes you to Baden-Baden heading north. If you head south, it takes you via Varnhalt, Neuweier and Bühlertal to Neusatz. If individual sections are too short, they can be extended by using some of the vineyard loop walks – “Weinschliefen” - due for launch in 2019. These signposted walks will take you to interesting places left and right of the Ortenau Wine Trail. If you are heading for Baden-Baden, the loop taking in Sonnenberg and Feigenwäldchen vineyards is worth exploring. It leaves the Ortenau Wine Trail at Nellele (shelter and barbecue area) and joins it again at Entenstall.
Covering an area of 7,500 hectares, Baden-Baden’s municipal forest is one of Germany’s biggest areas of publicly-owned forest and is first and foremost intended as a place of recreation for visitors to it. The goal of ensuring that you enjoy your time here and of preserving the forest for future generations can only be achieved if we show consideration for each other‘s needs and respect the plants and animals living here.
We therefore ask you not to leave the paths and to keep your dogs on a lead. We ask mountain-bikers to only use tracks which are at least two meters wide, or the specially designated mountain-bike trails. Please ride carefully.
Along with your happy memories, please also take your rubbish with you when you leave.
Baden-Baden municipal council wishes you a pleasant and memorable visit.