Erin and I both teach on occasion in Waldkirch, a small town to the northeast of Freiburg. The train station there sits on the edge of the town, and just beyond it is a hill with a medieval castle. We can see the castle every time we walk back to the station from class, and eventually, we decided to hike to the top. It turned out to be one of the more enjoyable and interesting short hikes we’ve done in the Black Forest.
A sign that reads “Ritter Wanderweg zum Kastelburg” (Knight’s path to Kastelburg) greets you at the bottom of the trail, and along the way, there are statues of knights accompanied by a text. Our German skills aren’t that great so it took us a while to figure it out, but two knights (one good and one bad, I think), alternate as they tell the history of Waldkirch and the castle. Despite our struggle with the language, and with a little help from a translator app, it was a really fun way learn about the castle we were about to see. So what if it was intended to entertain children? There was even a quiz at the top to test how much we remembered (7 out of 8)!
Of course, hiking to the castle is only half the fun. The ruins in Waldkirch are well preserved, and you can climb a rebuilt staircase to the top for great views of the town (unfortunately, some medieval castles aren’t much to look at anymore, but that was not the case this time). There were great spots to spend some time relaxing at both the base of the castle and top of the tower. We brought sandwiches with us, and were lucky enough to have great weather to take advantage of.
The best way to end a hike is with an outdoor beer, so we stopped at Hirschen Bräu, a brewery/biergarten in town, before heading back to Freiburg.
Have you discovered a sweet castle in the Black Forest that we may not have found yet? Let us know in the comments, so we can check it out!