The highest waterfall in Germany is in the idyllic black forest town of Triberg (pronounced Tree-Berg, and it's definitely worth a weekend visit. Triberg is a three hour drive from Ramstein and a shorter hour and a half drive from Stuttgart. Since we were coming from Ramstein, we decided to stay all weekend and got ourselves a little room at the lovely Hotel Cafe Adler—which was a convenient 3 minute walk to the entrance of the waterfalls. Breakfast at the hotel was fantastic, and the staff was more than accommodating. The hotel can be booked at Booking.com and is pet friendly – just beware the advertised Wi-Fi is only available in the lobby and breakfast room (which can be a little inconvenient). Right across from our hotel was the Park Hotel which also seemed like a great place to stay.
The Black Forest region of Germany is one of the most romantic and picturesque with its rolling hills, creeks, rivers, lakes and obviously, forests. It's my second favorite region in Germany, with Bavaria being the first, because I simply love being in the mountains. The architecture of this region is also classically beautiful, and similar to Bavaria; if you come in the summer you'll see lots of balconies brimming with flowers. The Black Forest region is also the home of the Cuckoo Clock, something you can't miss if you're in the region. Lastly, it’s been called the “fairy tale” region of Germany due to its affiliation with certain Brothers Grimm fairy tales including the stories of Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.
Triberg itself is absolutely adorable; it's a relatively small town, but since it is home to Germany's highest waterfall it does get a fair amount of traffic, especially in the summer and around the winter holidays. Here you can see some of the world’s largest functioning cuckoo clocks, as well as the “House of 1000 Clocks.” A small river (called Gutach) runs through the town coming from the base of the waterfall.
Hiking the falls wasn't too hard, and the first few levels are even wheel chair accessible. Entrance into the park is normally around 3.50 euro but since we were staying at a local hotel we got in for free. There are three trails you can hike once you've entered the park; the natural trail (Naturweg), the cascade trail (Kaskadenweg), and the culture trail (Kulturweg). We decided to walk the shorter cascade trail and somehow ended up on the natural trail on the way back down. The falls were beautiful, though not as high as one might expect, and the forest that surrounded it was equally lovely.
Just how high is Germany's tallest waterfall? 163 meters or approximately 534 feet high. The hike was nice and relatively easy. We went on a rather hot day (35 C / 95 F), but the shade from the trees and the cool breeze by the water made it bearable. Walking at a relatively fast pace (with our two pups), we made it up and back in about an hour and a half. I'd recommend bringing a packed lunch or some snacks and taking your time as we felt a little rushed in the end. Definitely don't forget to bring something to drink. There's a lovely little gazebo near the top, a perfect place to rest in the shade, with a great view of the falls. There are also bridges that cross the falls giving you a wonderful view of the town below. If it hadn't been so hot that day, and if we'd had more time, we would have explored the other trails; one will lead you to a little lake and the other to the Baroque church “Maria in der Tanne.”
After hiking we had lunch at a little pizzeria that was just down the road a bit from the waterfall's main entrance—next to a gigantic cuckoo clock. Later that day, we had a traditional German dinner at another restaurant in town, right across from our hotel and from the Park Hotel. For dessert both nights we were there, we enjoyed two delicious scoops of ice cream at the only “Eis” bar in town. In hindsight I should have written down the names of each of these places—but you won't be able to miss them if you're there! The food was excellent, and all three places had outdoor seating.
Depending on which direction you're coming from, you'll pass through the town of Gutach (named after the river that originates at the falls and flows all the way through to this town). Here you'll find the “Sommerrodelbahn Gutach”, and you'll want to put aside about an hour or so of your time to spend it here! A “Sommerrodelbahn” is like a “mountain coaster” and it's so much fun, for adults and kids alike! I'm not a big fan of roller coasters, and my husband is, and both of us had a great time. On a rodelbahn you get to control your own speed; the rodelbahn is open all summer long, and you can check their website for opening hours, prices (around 3 euro a 'ride' but they do offer package deals) and directions: simply type “Sommerrodelbahn Gutach” into Google and you'll find it! It's also a great place for lunch as there is a small imbiss or for a cool treat; we had two slushies before hitting the road.
If you have time, Lake Titisee is only 45 minutes from Triberg and would be a great place to spend a hot summer day.
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