G3VGR ALBSTEIG     Sankt Blasien - Albstausee     

My original intention was to start the day's walk at Weierle. Unfortunately, the section of the trail between Weierle and Glashof has remained closed since a large rockfall in 2019. The alternative route didn't look too interesting, so I instead decided to start the day's hike at Glashofsäge, a large sawmill, at the confluence of the Menzenschwander Alb and the Bernauer Alb. To compound matters, a collapsed bridge in 2022 over the Alb near Glashofsäge resulted in yet another detour. Sadly this meant I would also be unable to walk along the Alb towards Sankt Blasien. This was a disappointing start to the day. I caught trains and a bus back to Sankt Blasien and walked up from the town to the point where I finished on the Albsteig yesterday. Walking further uphill on a forest road, I arrived at the top of the Windbergschlucht next to the Windberg Wasserfall. The Windbergschlucht was as rugged and romantic as I'd remembered from my Schluchtensteig walk in 2012. Nobody was around and I enjoyed the walk down the gorge in solitude, crossing the tumbling stream over a couple of bridges. All too soon, I reached the end of the Windbergschlucht and followed the Albsteig signs to a rising path heading towards Häusern. Despite the time being around 9:30AM, the day was already quite hot as I continued upwards on a wider path until reaching the L149 main road. I was now just south of the centre of Häusern, which is located on a high saddle between Schwarzatal and Albtal.

Crossing the road, I entered a small wooded area, then was fairly despondent to find myself in a housing estate. This disappointment didn't last long as I was soon routed into the Waldlehrpfad Häusern, a delightful themed nature reserve and trail. The reserve was quite wild with many trees and high rock faces of the Fuchsfelsen. It was impressive to have this wild area surrounded by the usual suburban sprawl.  Along the path were information boards and I passed some families with small children who were enjoying the surroundings. Leaving the reserve, I crossed the busy L500 road to the Häusern sports field before starting a long uphill slog along the Wolfsbrunnenweg,a gravel road through the forest. Ever onwards, ever upwards, I plodded along the forest road until stopping at the Wolfbrunnen water fountain, one of the only two such fountains on the Albsteig. After rehydrating and filling my water bottle, I continued upwards for another 200 metres until the trail levelled out at Fünfwegscheid, a crossing of forest roads. I could see across the Albtal to the wooded hillsides opposite. As I'd gained considerable elevation since leaving Sankt Blasien, I was now confronted with a very steep descent to the valley floor. The route down was very rough and steep and I made slow progress. Just like yesterday, my feet took quite a battering during the hard descent. Despite the foot pains, I enjoyed the forest scenery and the views across the valley when breaks in the trees occurred. The descent ended at a forest road which brought me relief from the brutal path. I followed this gravel road until 200 metres past the dam wall of the Albstausee, where it joined the main road at Scmelze.

The Albstausee had a low water level so didn't look too impressive showing bare banks which accentuated its artificiality. After crossing the dam wall, I followed a path along the south bank of the reservoir. It was very hot now and my feet were quite painful. However, help was at hand when I reached a Kneippanlage.  I sat for a while dangling my feet in the cold water then treaded around the pool and felt quite invigorated. After lunch and a change of socks. I carried on walking around the reservoir bank then trudging in debilitating heat through an industrial area into the centre of Sankt Blasien. I stopped off at the Dom and sat for a while in the cool interior before heading to the Café Ell. As I sat down for Kaffee and Kuchen, I felt a little disappointed in today's stage of the Albsteig. Both the Windbergschlucht and Waldlehrpfad Häusern had been very enjoyable, but the rest of the walk seemed fairly bland and uninteresting.

View over Sankt Blasien
Path to Windbergschlucht
Windberg Wasserfall
Path towards Häusern
Windberschlucht Cascades
Waldlehrpfad Häusern
At the Wolfbrunnen
View across Abtal on descent
Albstausee Dam Wall
Alb at Albstausee
Inside Dom Sankt Blasius

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