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Feldberg - On skis and snowshoes in the southern Black Forest - Germany

Feldberg - On skis and snowshoes in the southern Black Forest - Germany

  • On Feldberg, the Black Forest's highest peak, you will find a snow-sure destination in a wild and mythical fairytale forest. Put on your skis, or maybe even your snowshoes?
Skiers in the Black Forest at sunset

The visit to Feldberg was made together with the German Tourist Board, but all opinions and thoughts are, as usual, my own.

The mythical Black Forest natural area – the black forest – is located in southwestern Germany. Here, among mist-covered treetops, clear lakes, fertile valleys and high mountain peaks, you will find some of Germany's best areas for skiing and hiking.

It is the dense forests that are said to have given the Black Forest its name, as the trees are so dense that black shadows are formed. A real fairytale forest, wild and embracing. It is perhaps not entirely unexpected that it was from these regions that the Brothers Grimm mainly collected local folk tales and wrote them down into fairy tales. Fairy tales that we know today as Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, just to name a few.

Typical Black Forest house with a clock on the facade

Feldberg – Black Forest's highest peak

My visit to the Black Forest went to Feldberg, the area's major ski area and, at 1,493 meters, the highest peak in Germany outside the Alps.

It didn't take many meters up the road to the mountain before the ground was covered with snow and the peaks were covered with low clouds. The annual average temperature on Feldberg is only 3,5 degrees, unlike down in Freiburg where it is 10,2 degrees.

Feldberg belongs Southern Black Forest Nature Park, an area of ​​nearly 400,000 hectares in southwestern Germany. 1,5 million visitors come here to Feldberg every year, of which 2/3 come here during the winter.

It is usually said that there is no month of the year when there is no risk of snow up on Feldberg. Some years the snow remains until August, and then it starts snowing again in September. The ski season is therefore relatively snow-sure and some years starts as early as November and continues right into April. In recent years, however, the snow season has become more unreliable, a phenomenon we all recognize too well.

Exhibition about animal life in Haus der natur in Feldberg

I start my visit at the park's visitor center to learn more about the park from Stefan Büchner, responsible for Naturschutzzentrum Südschwarzwald.

Ever since the 1950s, there has been a slow increase in winter sports in the area and it is a constant challenge to find the right level between protecting nature and providing areas for active sports enthusiasts – both winter and summer. Part of the problem is solved by the fact that the ski slopes are mainly outside the nature reserve.

Skiers in the Black Forest at sunset

Pistes and lifts in Feldberg

Feldberg is the Black Forest's largest ski area, with 17 lifts (of which 5 are chairlifts) and 30 kilometers of slopes. The slopes go up towards two peaks Grafenmatt (1380 m) and Seebuck (1450 m) and there are plenty of red and blue slopes for families. The mountains are not as high as the peaks in the Alps, but comparable to Åreskutan at 1420 meters above sea level.

On this December day, the weather was very changeable and went from bright sun to snow and fog in just a few minutes. However, there were no lift queues on the large slopes, so those who set out to ski despite the weather had the slopes almost entirely to themselves. Definitely luxurious.

Ski lift at a ski slope in sunshine
Slalom skiing outside a restaurant in Feldberg

Snowshoe hiking

An activity that is only becoming more and more popular is snowshoeing. Modern snowshoes can get you almost anywhere in a snow-covered forest. A big problem for large and shy birds, such as grouse.

Every time an eagle is disturbed, it wants to escape by flying away. However, a large bird needs a lot of energy to fly and to be able to fly, the bird needs to eat more. It has even happened that eagles have starved to death because they have been so disturbed that they have not had time to eat enough food.

In Feldberg, the area's birds are protected by not allowing snowshoeing except on excellent trails or with a booked guided tour.

Exhibition about reindeer and other animals in Haus der natur in Feldberg
Old ski bindings

Food and Drinks

There are plenty of warming servings of food and drink both on the summits, on the slopes and in the village. When it snowed the most, I settled in a hütte (rustic house with food service) on the hill and ordered a steaming hot gluhwein and a linzer tarte with raspberries and cream. Just like in the Alps, the hearty and filling meals on the slopes are a large part of the income. A moment to rest your legs, talk a little and warm up.

In the summer, there are even more huts that are open along the hiking trails up in the mountains.

Read more

Linzer tarte with cream and a gluhwein

Is it affordable?

Feldberg is a popular ski resort, but the prices are still relatively low compared to many Swedish ski resorts - despite today's euro exchange rate.

A weekly lift pass (with 5 optional ski days) costs 206 euros for an adult and 133 euros per child (in 2024). It is also possible to buy day passes or even passes for a few hours.

Snowshoes and ski equipment can be rented.

Map of the lift system in Feldberg

Ski slope in Feldberg in fog

How do I get to Feldberg?

Feldberg is located in the southwest corner of Germany. The nearest airport with direct flights from Stockholm is Zurich (1,5 hours by car) or Stuttgart (2 hours by car).

Read more about Feldberg's winter and summer activities at Feldberg lift network.

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