The 11 Best Outdoor Activities in Friborg
Wherever you are in Freiburg, you can feel the attraction of the mountains and the forest. The southern German city, a beacon of progress and sustainability, exudes an energetic vibe that runs through cobblestone and historic streets ‘BÃ¤chle’ gutters. The entourage Schwarzwald (Black Forest) draws you into its enchanting trails, and Schauinsland Mountain creates a spectacular backdrop against the medieval old town.
So it’s no surprise that the best activities in Freiburg are to be found outdoors. Of a quiet sonntagsspaziergang (Sunday hike) to an intrepid snowshoe adventure, this Black Forest town has something for everyone and all fitness levels. And don’t worry about the weather – as the Germans firmly believe, there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
So put on your boots and grab those hiking poles, because here are the best outdoor activities for kids, adventurers and adrenaline junkies in Freiburg.
Hike on the Westweg Black Forest Trail
If the Grimm brothers have captured your imagination with stories like Hansel and Gretel inspired by the Black Forest, take time to immerse yourself in its magic on a multi-day hike along the famous Black Forest trail Westweg. It’s hard to get lost with the red triangles marking the 177 mi (285 km) trail, and you can choose between sections with low, rolling hills that aren’t too intense for the knees, or more challenging peaks that climb Feldberg mountain. In addition to the dense pine forest, you will pass through open countryside, sunny meadows, orchards and dairy farms, as well as ruins, tiny medieval towns and complete the fairy tale.
Dive into Lake Dietenbach
As Freiburg is a good seven hours from the nearest beach, locals instead head to the nearby lakes to cool off. From May to September, the water in Dietenbachsee is warm enough for swimming. There are also play areas to occupy the little ones, beach volleyball courts, table tennis tables and a skate park. The lake is also suitable for a relaxing walk in winter, just 20 minutes by tram number 3 from the old town of Freiburg.
Cool off at Opfinger See
Opfinger See, about 10 km west of Freiburg, is another popular place to relax on a hot summer day. This natural body of water is kept cool by the surrounding forest of Mooswald. Get there early to find a spot on the lawn for sunbathing, and bring supplies if you want to enjoy the barbecues scattered around the shore.
Hike on the MarkgrÃ¤fler wine route
A popular long-distance trail for travelers who enjoy hiking with an accompaniment of wine is the 84 km (52 ââmi) MarkgrÃ¤fler Wiiwegli (wine route). You can choose to hike the entire trail over 3-4 days, staying in hostels along the way, or if you’re short on time, tackle the first section from Sankt Georgen to Staufen for a decent day hike . Winding through the wine regions of the southern Black Forest and the French border, the trail is relatively flat and well paved.
In the fall, the landscape is brushed with golden and amber hues, turning it into an impressionist’s dream. You will also find many StrauÃwirtschaften (seasonal wine taverns) open in the fall and spring, providing a welcome break for hungry hikers to enjoy the latest harvest and a hot snack. Just look for a broom hanging on the front that indicates they are open for business.
Quiet snowshoeing in Schauinsland
While the nearby ski resort of Feldberg offers fairly decent ski and snowboard runs, it’s also a busy place. So get away from the busy ski lifts and spend time exploring nature as you glide down Schauinsland Mountain on snowshoes. The sport is growing in popularity for the freedom and tranquility it offers, as well as for its assertion as the healthiest sport in the world. The glide movement provides a full body workout that strengthens your heart and muscles, without the impact or risk associated with other cardio workouts, while still breathing in the fresh mountain air. All the equipment you need can be hired in the mountains for around â¬ 50 ($ 56) for a week between November and March. The Schauinsland 15 km red trail is a great place to learn the ropes.
Downhill mountain biking
A city full of biking freaks means a forest full of great mountain biking trails. Pros and absolute beginners alike will find well-groomed, rock-free trails. The terrain is fluid as opposed to steep, which allows for a fairly quick ride. Head to Dreisam Football Stadium to try the jumps on the thrilling ‘Baden to the bone’ trail. You may encounter snow in the dead of winter, but otherwise mountain biking is definitely considered a year round sport in this part of the world. ATV rental starts at â¬ 25 ($ 27) per day from Radstation next to the city train station.
Tobogganing in Schauinsland
While you try out the snowshoes, young and old will love the thrill of sledding. One of the most famous toboggan runs is at the top of Schauinsland. Hop on the Horben cable car and hire your sled at the top. Next, prepare for the rapid 300m (920ft) descent. Rinse and repeat until your hands, feet or lungs cannot take any more.
Watch the sunset over the rooftops of Freiburg
According to locals, Eichhalde is the best place to watch the sunset over the rooftops of Freiburg. This hill on Eichhalde Street has a few benches scattered around the open field, so pack a picnic or a bottle of wine and make yourself comfortable. It’s a short half hour walk into town, or an easy bike ride, but away from the crowds.
Otherwise, stay in town and join the cool kids sipping beers on the blue steel WiwilÃbrÃ¼cke bridge next to the main train station. The view might not be as good, but the people watching are top notch.
Take the HÃ¶llentalbahn to Titisee
If you are looking for a perfect day in the Black Forest, this is the one for you. Departing from Freiburg Main Station every half hour, the HÃ¶llentalbahn train travels to the depths of the Black Forest on one of the steepest railways in Germany. If you’re there in July, August or December, you can even catch the historic steam train which makes a special appearance on the route. Take in views of small towns and forest as you make your way to Titisee. This popular lake has lakeside cafes and restaurants, rental pedal boats, and a pleasant hour-long hiking trail around its perimeter.
Explore the Ravenna Gorge
If you have wheels, don’t miss a day trip to Ravennaschlucht (Ravenna Gorge), 30 minutes drive from town. The leisurely 4 km (2.5 mi) hike follows the windy gorge path through a valley of waterfalls, mossy trails, wooden walkways, and historic aqueducts.
In December, the imposing vaulted vault RavennabrÃ¼cke (the bridge) lights up as it hosts one of the region’s most magical Christmas markets. Warm up with a steaming glÃ¼hwein as you browse through delicate Christmas decorations, woolen scarves and mittens, and cuckoo clocks, synonymous with the region.
Ride the Hasenhorn slide
Another outdoor activity easily accessible by car is the Hasenhorn Rodelbahn (toboggan). Germany’s longest toboggan run, you’ll be descending the loop trail in about three minutes and you’ll want to start all over again. For the ultimate thrill, follow the operator’s instructions and don’t brake! A race costs â¬ 10 ($ 11) for adults and includes the ascent by chairlift.
Safety recommendations and restrictions during a pandemic can change quickly. Lonely Planet recommends that travelers always check with local authorities for up-to-date advice before traveling during Covid-19.