Belchen and Blauen are two of the highest Black Forest peaks on this program. Belchen is considered one of the most beautiful, rustic, and alpine-like peaks in the Black Forest. Its stunning massif towers over the surrounding valleys with powerful steep wooded flanks. Blauen, by contrast, leans far into the Rhine region. The descent into the Markgräfler Land represents the start of a gradual departure from the Black Forest.
From Wiedener Eck, the Westweg circles Heidstein on small trails and then climbs through steep mountain hillsides to Krinne. The crown prince of the Black Forest begins to take shape at Belchen. A steep, rocky, and alpine climb – enriched with deep views into Münstertal valley – ascends through the mountainous forest until it reaches the bald summit. From the edge of the forest, there is a detour directly to the peak (1,414m). The Westweg runs parallel to the hillside to the Belchenhaus, the highest restaurant in the state of Baden-Württemberg since 1898. What a show! From the summit, the view encompasses the entire Southern Black Forest all the way to the shining ice giants in the Alps. 700 meters further down, the Kleine (small) and Große (large) Wiesental valley extends through idyllic villages. The trail continues through a one-of-a-kind mountain forest with sorbus shrubs above the “southern wall” of Belchen with a descent that is gradual at first but grow steeper. There are a few handrails to assist hikers over particularly exposed spots. Passing the chapel Dekan-Strohmeyer-Kapelle, the trail follows the edge of the forest to Haldenhof estate. While descending to the Kreuzweg parking lot, the narrow trail snakes around the Weiherfelsen cliffs. This is followed by a recovery section on quiet forest trails up to Müllheimer Egerten. From there, the trail leads over the steep northern flank to the iron tower Blauenturm (1,165 m). From here, it’s all downhill! The section passing over the mystic Hexenplatz and Sausenburg fortress ruins is so interesting that before hikers realize it, they have reached Kandern.
Those who find this stage to be to long can divide it up into two days. To do so, take an alpine climb over the Rosenfelsen cliffs and Hohfelsen cliffs to Neuenweg. On the following day, pass over the enchantingly beautiful Nonnenmattweiher to Haldenhof estate, to where the Westweg also follows a more direct path via Hohe Kelch.