At 1493m the Feldberg is the Black Forest’s highest summit, but it’s hardly a soaring peak. Instead its huge bulk rears into a bald, rather flat, treeless dome. Nevertheless, the area is protected as a nature reserve where wild flowers flourish as do unusual fauna like mountain hens and goat-like chamois. The scattered presence of traditional Black Forest farmhouses and the occasional alpine hut add to the charm. But most villages in the area exist to provide for the major regional downhill-skiing centre. The most convenient is the slope-side village of FELDBERG, little more than a group of roadside houses on a 1234m-high pass, but given its general lack of services and nightlife you might prefer to stay in the more well-rounded village of Altglashütten, in the valley 8km away.

Haus der Natur

In summer the main focus on the Feldberg is on the Haus der Natur visitor centre, which has various displays on natural history in German and is the start point for various hikes including the Feldberg-Steig, a highly recommended 12km loop that links five alpine huts around the upper reaches of the Feldberg. Much of it passes over open ground, offering open vistas which many other Black Forest hikes lack. In winter a good portion of this and other local trails form popular cross-country skiing routes.

Feldbergbahn

A short walk from the Haus der Natur lies the Feldbergbahn which, in winter, is part of a network of 28 ski lifts and covered by a day-pass. In summer it offers the chance of great views over the Alps without any legwork.