You’ll find the “Golden City” of Pforzheim at the confluence of the three Black Forest rivers Enz, Nagold, and Würm. The former residence of Baden’s margraves and the birthplace of the humanist Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1552), today it is the center of German jewelry and watchmaking industries. The Black Forest’s three best known highland hiking trails begin at Kupferhammer. They are the Westweg, the Mittelweg, and the Ostweg.
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Kupferhammer, the confluence of the Nagold and Würm rivers, is where the Black Forest Association’s three big trails begin. Those who do not wish to arrive there by bus hike from Pforzheim’s train station through heart of the city, crossing the Enz River and following the Nagold River up through the valley through the Stadtgarten park to the trail sign and the “Golden Gate” at the start of the three long trails.Westweg and Mittelweg remain close to the Nagold, while the Ostweg makes its own way off into the Würmtal valley right from the start. Once at the Hoheneck ruins, the red diamonds lead to the right over Hämmerlesberg down to Dillweißenstein. After the Nagoldbrücke bridge, the trail runs over Sonnenberg back into Enztal valley and follows the rushing river from Unterer Enzsteg down into Enztal valley. At Grösselbachfurt, there are sturdy stepping stones to assist in crossing the brook. The Neues Schloss sits enthroned upon a stately hill, high above the former mining town of Neuenbürg. It houses a branch of the Baden State Museum, showing scenes from the popular Black Forest fairytale “The Cold Heart” by Wilhelm Hauff.Down in Neuenbürg’s old town, hikers pass over the bridge and up the Enz’s steep undercut slope to the district of Wilhelmshöhe. After a brief pass through the forest, there is a path along the edge of the woods above Straubenhardt. From the Schwanner Warte wooden tower, the view sweeps all the way to the Rhine and the Palatinate Forest. Then the Westweg absconds into the dark fir woods of the Northern Black Forest. Behind the impressive Großer Volzemer Stein rock formation, it reaches the spa resort Dobel.
Those who have the pleasure of being in the Jewelry and Design City of Pforzheim should visit at least one of the two jewelry exhibitions. The same also applies, of course, for the museum at the palace in Neuenbürg. Wilhelm Hauff’s Black Forest saga “The Cold Heart” is the ideal way to get into the mood for the upcoming days of hiking.