Hiking in the Black Forest: Mysterious and mystically beautiful

It's not always the exotic countries that can enchant you. If Corona has taught us anything, it is that it is definitely worth exploring your own environment. We live in Baden-Württemberg, just a stone's throw away from the mystically beautiful Black Forest. Hardly any other mountain region in Germany is as diverse and at the same time as mysterious as the Black Forest. This article is about a hike in the wild and romantic Murg Valley. More precisely after Bermersbach, a district of the idyllic and beautiful municipality of Forbach.

Forbach (Bermersbach) in the Murg Valley: hiking in the northern Black Forest

Bermersbach is located at a height of approx. 410 m on a terrace above the Murg valley. The Murg is a picturesque 80 km long tributary of the Rhine and flows in the northern Black Forest and the Upper Rhine Plain. This district of Forbach is best known for the so-called Giersteine, which I would like to introduce to you in one of my next blog articles. Today, however, there is a beautiful hiking route for young and old to Bermersbach: On the Bermersbach goat path.

Hiking with goats: the goat trail in Forbach Bermersbach

Yes, you read that right: We hike with goats! Goats have an old tradition in the Murg Valley. There were already goats in the Murgtal 100 years ago and the Association of Goat Friends for Landscape Conservation Bermersbach eV has now made it its mission to look after the landscape around Bermersbach with the help of goats. A total of 4 herds of goats live here on the pastures around Forbach Bermersbach with a total of around 100 animals. Incidentally, when it comes to goat herds, a distinction is made between the so-called “eaters”, which are mainly used for landscape maintenance. There are two mother herds and two gobbler herds living in Bermsbach.

How did the first goats get to the Black Forest?

The Boer goats are originally from South Africa. After the Second World War, no live goats were actually allowed to be imported into Germany. A ship that was supposed to transport lions for the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart had the Boer goats on board as live food for the lions. Since the sailors didn't have the heart to feed the live goats, the first Boer goats came to Germany and are now an integral part of the Murg Valley.

By the way: Boer goats are so-called “meat goats”, meaning their milk is only enough to feed their own kids. They have a restrained temperament and are therefore mostly only used for landscape maintenance these days. Goats are one of the oldest domestic animals in the world and were already providing people with milk, meat, wool and fur before 10.000 BC.

Directions and parking lot to the goat path in Forbach

The goat trail starts at the train station in Forbach. The Murg is crossed over the bridge and then turned right in the direction of the hospital. The entrance to the goat trail is at the fire station. The first half leads uphill over a narrow path in the direction of Bermersbach and the way back downhill on the other side of the valley to the entrance gate.

Since the goat path is a circular route, you can alternatively start the hike in the center of Bermersbach. Those arriving by car will find free parking spaces at the Forbach S-Bahn station.

Hiking in the Black Forest in the middle of goat pastures

As the name suggests, the goat path leads right through the Bermersbach goat pastures and is signposted throughout. It is therefore not particularly suitable for families with prams. Along the route there are always signs with interesting information about the goat path. It is a truly enchanting trail surrounded by mountains and magnificent apple trees. Part of the hiking trail also leads through the cattle pasture. Please also think about sufficient distance to the mother animals. Important: Dogs are to be kept on a leash. Since there is no rest stop in Bermersbach, you should take enough provisions and water with you.

A few details about our hiking route

(By the way, the Bermersbach goat path is a circular route)

– Length: 5,1 km
– Duration: 1:38 hour
– Best season: From April to October
– Ascent: 129 m
– Descent: 137 m
– Highest point: 406 m
– Lowest point: 284 m

Tip: To be on the safe side, whether there are goats in the pasture, you can go to the website of the Goat Friends Bermersbach look.

Yogis Staring at Goats - Friendly and curious goats in the Murg Valley

The herd of goats made a very relaxed impression on us. Most goats also like to be petted and have a very even-tempered and friendly personality. Nevertheless, these animals should also be treated with the necessary respect. It is an incomparable experience to watch so many goats in the middle of the idyllic landscape of Bermersbach and to dip your tired feet in the cooling Sersbach. Rarely have I been able to relax so well. No wonder that yoga with goats is now offered in the neighboring town of Gernsbach.

Now we like to go hiking. We did another hiking tour last year (2019) on the Olpererhütte in the Zillertal .