In Autumn 2018, my thoughts turned to planning another walk to coincide with my annual visit to the Hamradio convention at Friedrichshafen in June 2019. I had earlier considered either the König-Ludwig-Weg or LechErlebnisweg, both of which appeared to be good candidates, being not too long and not too hard. However, I was put off walking either trail after more research showed that I would be walking well over 50% of the distance along gravel and tarmac roads, so never far from traffic noise and also painful on the feet. The only remote trails in Bavaria are in the Bayerischerwald, but I also rejected them due to transport difficulties and focused instead on Baden-Württemburg and the Schwarzwald. I've not hiked in the central or northern Schwarzwald where there are a few 6-7 day interesting trails and I researched a few possibilities. In recent years, I've become very interested in landscape photography, however carrying the necessary camera equipment as well as everything else needed on a multi-day trip wouldn't be easily manageable, so I wanted to stay in just one location instead of multiple overnight stops. I considered either the Murgleiter or Seensteig, both of which would allow me to stay in a central location and use public transport for each stage. However, I was unsure of making another multi-day trail walk due to feeling somewhat indifferent after completing my 2018 Altmühltal Panoramaweg through-hike.
During my earlier long-distance walks along the Schluchtensteig and Querweg, I was impressed by the beauty and wildness of the Wutachschlucht and often thought of returning and exploring some of the side gorges of the "German Grand Canyon" on day walks. Basing myself centrally, I could use the excellent (and free with the KONUS card) public transport facilities to reach the start of each walk. This factor decided me to return to the Hochschwarzwald and I started planning some walks for the eight days allocated for this trip. I enjoy spending a few days every year tramping along the rivers of the Waterfall Country in the southern area of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, photographing the waterfalls, so decided my Schwarzwald walks would mainly concentrate on visiting lakes, gorges and waterfalls. As usual, the Internet provides all the information required for planning. The official Schwarzwald websites were particularly useful. Planning the transport requirements was made easy by Deutsche Bahn's excellent website (which includes timetables for buses as well as trains) and also the Haltestellensuche website which shows the locations of all bus stops in Germany.
In previous years, I've always attended the Friedrichshafen Hamradio Convention after my hiking exploits. However, in 2018 my Altmühltal Panoramaweg walk coincided with the school holidays in Bavaria which resulted in reduced bus services. After checking the 2019 Ferienkalendar for Baden-Württemberg, I reversed my usual sequence to avoid the Whitsun school holidays. Travel arrangements were made complicated and unclear due to the worrying possibility of the UK leaving the EU in early 2019 with no deal. Despite the uncertainty, in October 2018 I booked a return flight to Zurich with British Airways. In January 2019, I was able to book the necessary train tickets between Zurich, Lindau and Hinterzarten. My early bookings took advantage of DB's Super Sparpreis offers.
Some of my walks required quite early starts, so I concluded that renting a holiday apartment would be a more flexible choice instead of a Pension, especially as I would probably leave the Pension before breakfast time most days.
Titisee was my preferred base, having good bus and train connections.
Unfortunately, no suitable accommodation was available there.
Instead I booked a Ferienwohnung in nearby Hinterzarten, a pleasant village famous for ski jumping, which I know well, having stayed there 3 times before.
Although the apartment had cooking facilities, I prefer to eat out, so just took some breakfast cereals for the days when I would catch the train before the local bakery cafés opened.
Leaving Lindau on 24/6/19, the train journey to Hinterzarten took 4 hours with 3 changes and included a short ride on one of the superb ICE trains.
On arrival at Ferienhaus Marlis around 3PM, I received the coveted Konus Karte, allowing free travel on the Schwarzwald public transport system.
I made immediate use of the card by catching the train to Kirchzarten where I was able to stock up on my usual hiking essentials (Obstler and Kaminwurzerl) at Aldi.