Winter Wonderland ~ Oberes Gaistal
Black Forest Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
For a week in January, it snowed and snowed really hard in Germany and the Blackforest became a winter wonderland without any doubt. On the recommendation of a fellow hiker, we went to the tourist and spa resort town of Bad Herrenalb to start our winter hikes through the forests up to Oberes Gaistal.
Bad Herrenalb itself is a pretty town at all times but with everything especially the landscaped parks being blanketed in powdered snow, it looked even more picturesque and christmasy. One interesting place to visit in Bad Herrenalb is the Kloster Herrenalb (abbey) behind the Tourist Office in the town center. What is interesting about this abbey is not the abbey itself but the entrance to the compound.
From the abbey, we walked towards the back of the town to the street, Am Wurstberg. This street with its 25% inclination was a tough start to the hike. At the end of the street is the path that led directly into the forests. There were unfortunately not too many markings of the paths along the way but one would not be wrong to keep left while steadily hiking upwards. It was a great experience hiking up towards Oberes Gaistal in the fresh powdered snow. The landscape looked great and undisturbed and except a few ski walkers, no one else was crazy enough to try this hike out.
The entire trek up to Oberes Gaistal, 823m is about 7km with a minimum inclination of 6.9%, a maximum inclination of 24% and a height gain of about 457m.
That lone apple tree that was full of apples in summer in Oberes Gaistal was a different sight in winter, bare of all the leaves and fruits but with every single branch covered with fresh snow.
Another interesting hike nearby is starting at Lautenhof, 425m in Bad Wildbach hiking upwards towards GrÃ¼nhÃ¼tte. This route is about 6km with inclination between 7% and 24%. What was tough about this hike in comparison to the hike up to Oberes Gaistal was that it was done a week later and although the snow was still there, it was partially refrozen snow which made the hike more strenuous. With no prior tracks on the trail, we had a hard time stamping our feet into the hard and wet snow to leave our tracks behind. The reward of the hard trek was of course the good food and blueberry pancake at the Grünhütte restaurant!
The fresh powdered snow gave rise to the chance to make a snow angel while the wet snow allowed the possibility to build a Mr Snowman. Both weekends out in the winter wonderland were memorable :-)