Family Hike in the Black Forest

Hike into the Blue

Ein Ausflug in den Wald bei Enzklösterle im Nordschwarzwald eignet sich perfekt als Familienausflug. Es locken leckere Heidelbeeren.
Hiking Tour in Enzklösterle, the Blueberry Village in the Black Forest

BW Story

Hiking Tour in Enzklösterle, the Blueberry Village in the Black Forest

Tours, a festival, and surprising treats: the tiny forest berries grow wild and free around the blueberry village of Enzklösterle. A family day out on the Blueberry Trail. 

Die im Schwarzwald gesammelten Heidelbeeren haben eine tiefdunkle, lila-blaue Farbe.

Blueberries collected in the Black Forest have a dark, purple-blue colour. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW| Foto: Andreas Weise

Seriously? He has to stick his tongue out? Eight-year-old Lars doesn’t need to be told twice. He stuffs a handful of freshly picked wild blueberries into his mouth, makes a point of chewing slowly, then swallows. Then he laughs – and sticks his purple-dyed tongue out at his parents. District forester Stefan Waidelich has just told the family about the health benefits of the blueberries growing in the forest that surrounds the Black Forest village of Enzklösterle. He even describes them as a regional superfood: the blue colouring in the berries is an anthocyanin, which in turn is a secondary plant substance. The dark colouring is much more intense in the wild blueberries than it is in the larger, cultivated varieties and it contains a lot of healthy ingredients. They may strengthen the heart, reduce the risk of cancer, boost the immune system, have anti-inflammatory properties, are good for weight loss and even help with stress. Of course, none of this is really relevant to a child at the moment, but he’s still impressed by the colour. And he thinks the little berries are delicious in any case.

Combing the Bushes

Blueberry Trail

Combing the Bushes

Der Heidelbeerweg bei Enzklösterle im Nordschwarzwald ist ein erlebnisreicher Familienausflug.

The Blueberry Trail near Enzklösterle in the Northern Black Forest is an eventful family excursion. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise
Ein Ausflug in den Wald bei Enzklösterle im Nordschwarzwald eignet sich perfekt als Familienausflug. Es locken leckere Heidelbeeren.

The forest around Enzkösterle in the Northern Black Forest is full of delicious blueberries. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise
Die Heidelbeeren auf dem Heidelbeerweg bei Enzklösterle im Schwarzwald schmecken besonders aromatisch.

The blueberries that can be found along the Blueberry Trail are particularly aromatic.|© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise

For centuries the precious fruit has grown in abundance in the woods around Enzklösterle, and in the meantime the place confidently calls itself the Blueberry Village. A blueberry festival is held every year in July, when the berries are harvested, and the Blueberry House in the town centre has specialities from across the region and further afield, of which prove that the blueberry has arrived in the 21st century in culinary terms: there is mustard, chutney and vinegar available. The fruits don’t just taste great in jam. And it’s only logical that the traditional Black Forest gateau with cherries long ago became a Black Forest blueberry gateau in Enzklösterle. They even offer baking courses...

The Special Sound of Blueberries</span><span>&nbsp;

Blueberry harvest in the Black Forest

The Special Sound of Blueberries 

Die Heidelbeeren werden mit einer Reffe geerntet.

The blueberries are harvested with a "reffe", a small open-topped box with a sort of comb on the front. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise
Die Heidelbeeren werden mit einer Reffe geerntet - das ist effektiver als von Hand.

Harvesting blueberries with a "reffe" is more effective than by hand. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise
Heidelbeerweg im Schwarzwald: Die gesammelten Heidelbeeren werden in Körbe gefüllt.

The collected blueberries are put into baskets. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise
Die Heidelbeerplattform am Schöllkopf auf dem Heidelbeerweg im Nordschwarzwald mit Vesperplatz bietet einen tollen Ausblick in die Natur.

The blueberry platform at Schöllkopf mountain on the Blueberry Trail has a picnic area and offers a great view of nature.|© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise

For harvesting, forester Stefan Waldeilich has brought a traditional reffe with him – a small open-topped box with a sort of comb on the front. If you walk through the bushes with this harvesting device, you practically comb the berries off them and they drop directly into the associated wooden box. Lars and his parents give it a try, and are soon entirely in their element, while little brother Nils prefers to watch and nibble. It works really well, and it’s faster than picking each individual blueberry separately. The family then inspect their harvest on the Schöllkopf plateau, at 800 metres above sea level. There’s a viewpoint platform with tables and comfortable wooden loungers. Lars helps forester Stefan Waidelich to fill the collection baskets with the berries harvested using the reffe. He even learns how blueberries sound. No joke. Forester Stefan Waidelich thinks that the soft sound the berries make as they drop into the baskets is one of the most beautiful noises in the world. Followed by the clink of glasses filled with iced blueberry tea at the forest’s drinks station, of course. Everything is taken care of on the twelve-kilometre-long Blueberry Trail – refreshing drinks are stored in a little stream in the Lappachtal valley, or in a small fountain on the edge of the trail.

The Premium Hiking Trail (see inset) has existed for approximately ten years now and leads around the small Black Forest village in a star shape. The trail doesn’t just turn the blueberries into an experience, it also provides a great deal of variety. Sometimes the narrow path winds through sparse forest with pines, spruces and a lot of rocks, before heading through a seemingly mysterious ancient beech forest. The small group of blueberry gatherers passes a red deer reserve and also finds the aforementioned refreshments – a real boon in the height of summer.

Blueberries Love Poor Soils and Lots of Sun</span><span>&nbsp;

Superfood From The Black Forest

Blueberries Love Poor Soils and Lots of Sun 

Im Rotwildgehege am Heidelbeerweg im Schwarzwald kann man entspannt Rehe beobachten.

At the red deer reserve on the Blueberry Trail you can relax and watch deer. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise
Der Heidelbeerweg im Norschwarzwald gehört zu den Premium-Wanderwegen.

The Blueberry Trail in the Northern Black Forest is a Premium Hiking Trail. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © TMBW, Andreas Weise
Die alkoholfreie Heidelbeerbowle ist eine erfrischende Belohnung nach der Heidelbeerweg-Wanderung.

The alcohol-free blueberry punch is a refreshing reward after a hike on the Blueberry Trail. |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

| © |© TMBW, Andreas Weise

And now, not far from the deer reserve, which is also quite close to Enzklösterle, Lars and Nils hold a splashing party and see how far they can get the water jet from the fountain to splash when they try to stop it with their hands. Meanwhile, the adults quench their thirst with the drinks stored in the fountain. There’s an honesty box for payment. As they rest and recuperate, forester Stefan Waidelich tells them about how blueberries got their big break, approximately 300 years ago, in the forests around Enzklösterle. Back then, a large number of fir trees were chopped down and the wood was sold to the Netherlands. The Black Forest pine species called forchen coped best with the poor Bunter sandstone soils that remained. And, of course, blueberries, which need sun, water, and poor soils to flourish. Waidelich tells them that, when he was a child, he and his five brothers and sisters were sent to pick blueberries every summer – the forest berries were an important source of vitamins, and indeed of income for local families in earlier times. Money from blueberry sales financed life’s essentials, such as shoes, or school supplies for the children. Every family also had their own traditions for how they ate the blueberries. Forester Waidelich’s family always make blueberry pancakes with the first berries, even today, then they make cakes, then ice-cream. The wild berries are also bottled, or turned into jam or blueberry schnapps to preserve them for the winter.

Meanwhile, the family’s baskets are now full of berries. They finish off their day by visiting the Blueberry House in the village below. First and foremost, this is a shop selling many delicious blueberry specialities. However, owner Angelika Schmal makes an exception for the Blueberry Festival, and indeed for today’s tour: she and her assistants serve non-alcoholic punch with a few of the purple fruits swimming in it, along with bread and homemade herb cream cheese and salmon pâté. Once upon a time, many families needed blueberries in order to survive. Since then, the village in the north of the Black Forest has specialised as a climatic health resort for relaxing holidays in the middle of the forest. As well as the Blueberry Trail, there is also, for example, the Bärlochkar Forest Adventure Trail, a forest climbing park, and the high moor area at Kaltenbronn. In summer, you should never be without a small container for berries, because the berries play a starring role almost everywhere in the forest, not just along the trail named after them. You’re at risk of blue lips at any time in July and August here. Without your teeth chattering...

☀ Blueberry Trail

Facts & Figures

☀ Blueberry Trail

A varied circular tour

The 12.7-km Premium Hiking Trail often follows narrow paths through the blueberry forest near Enzklösterle. There are many beautiful views to be admired on the way. On the upper part, you hike in a rocky landscape, and then the trail takes you through beech groves. The local Tourist Information is the starting point. The circular path can easily be split into two stages and it is well signposted. The highlights are the blueberry platform, where you can plan a picnic, the drinks station and the red deer reserve. Some of the trail goes through blueberry fields.


Forest Freiburg im Breisgau

Black Forest

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