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Tom Hughes
Ex-Stumbleupon user sharing web pages that have enriched my life
The Westweg trail – 12 stages through the Black ForestIt can be said that the Westweg trail is the origin of all German long-distance hiking trails, becoming the first designated path of its kind back in 1900. Since then, the trail has grown to cover a distance of 177 miles (285 kilometers) — starting in Pforzheim in the north and ending in Basel in the south. In contrast to the Mittelweg and the Ostweg, the Westweg takes you mostly through the west of the mountains. And as you go, you will witness the natural diversity of the largest German low mountain range: the dense fir and spruce forests that give the mountain range its name, the treeless expanses in the northern Black Forest, quiet mountain lakes, panoramic rock crests, glacial valleys and mountains in the southern Black Forest. In between, you'll climb the highest peaks again and again. You hike over the plateau of the Hornisgrinde, visit the Belchen and the Hochblauen, enjoy the view on the Schliffkopf and roam the high moor around the Hohloh. A true high point of your hike, of course, will be the ascent of the Feldberg, the highest mountain in the Black Forest. We have divided the Westweg into 12 stages for you. On the 177-mile (285-kilometer) long route, there are almost 27,000 feet (8,000 meters) to climb - quite a respectable amount for a hike outside the Alps. Due to the difference in altitude to be overcome and the long stages, the Westweg is not an ideal hike for beginners. Experienced hikers, on the other hand, will love the seclusion of the forests and mountains, because the Westweg also leads through quiet ban forests and over lonely plateaus away from the most popular tourist destinations. We have planned all our hikes in such a way that you can easily find a hotel or guesthouse at the individual stage destinations. A reservation is nevertheless worthwhile because only few rooms are normally available on-site. If you have not yet undertaken a long-distance hike of this size, but are fond of the Westweg, we suggest a few practice weekends. Plan a few hikes with a distance of more than 12 miles (20 kilometers) and hike on both weekend days. Use the time to bring your hiking boots and get used to your luggage in your backpack. If you feel fit enough, nothing stands in the way of your hike on the Westweg.