CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE
Do you like to do things that are the “est?” Not established. But “est” as a superlative: smallest, biggest, fastest... Maybe you like to look for the oldest castle ruins, track the fastest speed you have gone on the autobahn, or eat the biggest pretzel. Germany Ja has visited some of the “est” things: the biggest barrel in Germany, the smallest hotel, and the oldest bratwurst restaurant. Maybe it’s a result of growing up in a culture of Guinness Book of World Records, but it’s something I think we all find interesting.
Here’s an “est” for you: Do you know where to find Germany’s highest waterfalls? Head to Triberg, in the Black Forest or Schwarzwald. The Triberg Falls are 163 meters or 534 feet tall and descend in seven cascades or steps.
Today’s German vocab: Germany’s highest waterfall is Deutschlands höchster Wasserfall.
The best part about this waterfall is how accessible it is. Getting to Triberg easy, parking is plentiful, and there are well-maintained trails all along the falls. Triberg is located in southwestern Germany, about an hour and a half from Stuttgart. It’s a popular destination in the Black Forest, with well-marked parking lots near the shopping area and the entrance to the falls.
At the entrance to the falls, you will receive a map with various trails marked along the falls. The main trail runs along the river and will take you on the most direct path to the picturesque falls. There is a viewing platform towards the bottom and two bridges over the falls at higher points. The main path is blacktop and could be done by children and with strollers.
We found that the times marked to walk the trails were a little overestimated. If you stick to the main path (Cascade Trail marked in yellow) and go as high as the second bridge you could easily do it in half an hour. We took our time and took a lot of pictures and then we started on the other marked trails. We covered all three trails: the Cascade Trail (Kaskadenweg), the Nature Trail (Naturweg), and Culture Trail (Kulturweg) in 2.5 hours and this included lots of stops for pictures.
The nature trail takes you away from the crowds and out into the Black Forest. Although there were many people on the Cascade trail, we only saw about four others on the Nature Trail. The forest is dark and cool. In the background you can hear the water tumbling down the falls even when you can’t see it.
The Cultural trail takes you away from the falls, past an adventure ropes park in the woods and out into town. You’ll pass a small lake, a historic church and head back into town near the entrance to the falls. The church is called the Wallfahrtskirche, was built when a spring in this area was thought to have healing powers and became a pilgrimage site.
You will get a ticket at the entrance. If you’d like to cover all the trails, keep it handy, as you will go past several entrance/exit points along the Cascade and Cultural Trails. The trails are well marked and easy to follow. The map is not very detailed, but it is good enough to set you in the right direction.
This area has hundreds of kilometers of other hiking and biking trails. It would be easy to spend many days hiking through the Black Forest.
Tips For Your Trip:
Children 8-18: €2.00
Children 0-7: Free
Family (two adults and children): €8.50
There are discounts if you are with a large group, if you have a tourist Schwarzwald Card, or if you buy a combination ticket with the Schwarzwald Museum.
The falls open at sunrise. Every evening the falls are lit until 2200.
The lower falls are open in the winter and the entrance rate is reduced.
From 25 – 30 December the falls are part of a special Christmas showcase called Trigerger Weihnachtszauber.
Triberg, Germany 78098
There are many well-marked parking spots near the main entrance to the falls.