The Black Forest is one of the most striking regions of Europe, so it’s no surprise then that camping in the Black Forest is a must-do adventure on many people’s holiday bucket list. The ancient forests that cover this iconic German mountain range have been the starting point of countless myths and mysteries, but it’s the scenery here that’s the real star.
Thankfully, there are many campsites in the area. And wild camping is possible too (although rules apply to it), and we cover both in this article.
So get ready for an adventure to Germany’s cuckoo clock region, and to eat some famous Black Forest cherry cake!
Camping in the Black Forest
Camping is a very popular hobby for many people in Germany so there are campsites throughout the Black Forest region covering all budgets. Almost all of which have spots for RVs too.
Many of them lie beside great hiking and cycling trails, or popular tourist hot-spots – like lakes or medieval German towns.
If you want to plan what campsite to stay at in relation to the hiking paths nearby, then a good hiking in the Back Forest book will be very helpful. We recommend this one here.
Wild camping is possible here, but before we talk about that, here’s some of our favorite campsites in the Black Forest.
The best campsites in the Black Forest
One of the great things about the Black Forest is that there are a variety of campsites that cater for all types of tourists. From travelers looking for an adventure, to ones searching for a relaxing holiday in natural surroundings. Here’s a few of our favorites:
This dreamy campsite is situated at the end of Lake Titisee – a lake formed by the historic Feldberg Glacier.
As well as water-based activities, this site is perfectly situated for hiking enthusiasts, with many long-distance trails passing nearby.
This campsite is set in lush green surroundings and has several walking trails leading off around it – many that have existed for hundreds of years. We know that, because signposts from that time still exist on those very walks!
Although set deep in the Black Forest, this site is close to the pretty historic town of Freudenstadt. Camping Lagenwald also has a pool – perfect for taking a dip after a good day’s hike.
A family-friendly campsite surrounded by trees and set in idyllic surroundings, we also like this place due to the food. The small restaurant on site is well worth eating at, plus there’s a great selection of local beer!
The quaint town of Alpirsbach is nearby too, and along with the typical wooden style buildings here, there’s a great local brewery and a historic monastery.
Campingplatz Trendcamping Wolfach im Schwarzwald
What we like most about this campsite is the view.
Most Black Forest sites are set in picturesque wooded surroundings. This campsite not only has that, it has breathtaking views of the forest-covered hills that encircle it.
The food on offer, and beer selection are also notable. Plus, there are many great hiking and biking paths nearby.
Wild (free) camping in the Black Forest
The bad news is that wild (free) camping in the Black Forest, and Germany in general, is technically illegal. The good news is that people often turn a blind eye to it, as long as you follow a set of principles and guidelines for good camping etiquette.
Therefore wild camping appears to be generally tolerated if you stick to the following principles:
You should camp in the same place for one night only, and pitch your tent discretely and in a remote place. Therefore don’t camp in or near settlements, someone’s farm or on cultivated land. If you think you’re on private land, always seek out the landowner and ask permission.
Campers should set up their tent at dusk, and take it down at dawn. A tent that is discreet and pitches quickly is best. Therefore a lightweight hiking tent like this one would be a great investment for someone planning to hike and camp in the Black Forest.
If you are hiking a main trail you should camp away from the path as a matter of courtesy. You should also avoid camping in tourist areas completely.
When wild camping in the Black Forest you must never make a campfire. For cooking, use a storm cooker. The Swedish brand Trangia make fantastic storm cookers that are virtually indestructible.
If you want to go completely fuel-less, a portable solar powered cooker like this one would work well. Plus, is there anything cooler than harnessing the power of the sun for your breakfast!
And of course, take any trash with you, and leave your camping spot the way you found it.
Below are our must-know tips for wild camping in the Black Forest.
Tips for wild (free) camping in the Black Forest
- Thunderstorms and heavy rain can happen in the Black Forest – even during the holiday season. Make sure you have a durable, rainproof tent that can survive heavy rain. A lightweight one-man hiking tent like this or similar would be perfect. For a good value tent that fits more than one person, this mosquito-proof one would work well too.
- Keep an eye out for animal poo – if there’s a lot near your perfect camping spot, you may end up being woken up by some enthusiastic sheep or something else in the middle of the night!
- There are lots of different water sources in the Black Forest, but remember to always have plenty of water on you when you’re walking. A space-saving collapsible water bottle would be a good purchase.
- When going to the toilet you should do it far from water sources, such as rivers and lakes. Make sure to use a trowel (like this folding one) to bury any human waste – don’t just leave it out in the open.
- Like many rugged and wild rural areas around the world, there are flora and fauna to be aware of. So read up and make sure you know what to expect in the region or area you are planning to wild camp in.
Recommended reading for your trip to the Black Forest
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