A conifer-covered mountain region in Baden-Württemberg, the Black Forest (often referred to by Germans as Schwarzwald) is a 200 km (120 miles) long stretch of forest that is home to many small townships known for their cuckoo clock crafting and vineyards. Heard of it, have you? Yes, this is that Black Forest where Hansel and Gretel escaped from a witch in a candied house. What many don't know is that this is also where the idea of "hiking" originated. Baden-Baden native Philipp Bussemer saw the many possibilities of the outdoors and began publishing guides to the region 150 years ago. Nowadays, we're excited to report that the possibilities have grown to include more than 23,000 km (14,292 miles) of trails, bringing you through beautiful waterfalls and gorges (the amazing Wutach Gorges and the popular Triberg Falls) and to the pristine wonders of glacial lakes like Titisee or Mummelsee.
There are also a number of low-lying mountains, like Herzogenhorn, which is a popular skiing area. Then again, you could roll down any hill in Triburg or St. Blasien or Freudenstadt and you'll find yourself among the trees.
If you're up for a real challenge, there is the Westweg trail, which, depending on time-constraints and your sense of adventure, can be taken as a day trip or as longer than a week of outdoor ambling. This is by far the best way to view the Schwarzwald in full; just be sure to run the other way if you run across a heavenly smelling gingerbread house.