and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Walks in the Black Forest - 4. Rappenfelsen, Schloßfelsen.

Friday 12 July . Black Forest 4. - Rappenfelsen, Schloßfelsen

We woke up to pouring rain - forecast to last all day! 
It was very heavy at times, with a  crash of thunder, then a dry spell. 

After a morning inside, and lunch, we decided to go for a stroll up to Gremmelsbach, and maybe try one of the shorter walks from the noticeboard. Luckily we had also bought a map of the area - not quite OS, but good once you were used to it.

We ended up walking up to a road junction on the left, taking the road towards Leutschenbach, which was also signposted as the path to the Rappenfelsen. 
At the next junction we turned left towards Oberrötenbach, where there are a couple of farmhouses. 
Looking back over the valley

These cows were the only ones we heard with traditional cowbells.

Someone's private heaven?
A local farmer with a friendly dog and a hand held motorised meadow mower, suggested we look inside the small chapel. 

We took the track opposite the chapel,
alongside the farm buildings, through the trees to a viewpoint, where we turned left then beside an open meadow.

Here we chose to turn right, following a forest path. We turned off to our left for a brief look at the communication tower at the top of the hill.
Back to the track and on to another open viewpoint, where several tracks crossed. Ours went quite sharply left (labelled Rappenfelsen). We passed a few beehives and continued through dappled sunshine.

The Rappenfelsen was an impressive tumble of high rocks, overlooking the Gutach valley.

We followed the path towards the Schloßfelsen. There are two of these. The first one had a short staircase to help us to the top. Well worth it for the views. This Schwarzwald is more ruggedly beautiful than I remember.

 Then down again, through magical moss grown boulder country, tall trees, steep hillsides.

Lower down is the Unterer Schloßfelsen, which marks the site of a castle built around 1100. More stair rails - pretty essential as the steps can be a little slippery after rain, and the pine needles and cones are another skid hazard. Fabulous views again.

Then downhill, steeply at first and later gently, descending into the Steinbishof, past typical houses and about a million logs.
The road reaches the valley emerging in the middle of the Finkbein sawmill, just minutes from our base.

The weather remained dry, apart from a few drops early on, and a couple of distant grumbles of thunder.

The "stroll" ended up as six miles of pretty demanding walking. 

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