Black Forest, Schwarzwald in German, is a forested mountain range in south-west Germany. More precisely in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Bounded by the Rhine valley to the west and south, close to the borders with France and Switzerland.
Black Forest is a large area, an eldorado for nature lovers, hikers, skiers (during winter) and bikers. It’s also heaven for motorcycle riders. In 2017 I rode through this vast area. The weather was pretty bad for most of the time. At the highest point on-road the temperature dropped down to 4.5C. In July!
However, got to see enough to know I had to come back. And hope for better weather. As a result, Black Forest was part of this years plan while on the way south, to Switzerland and France.
I am an early riser by nature. This brings som advantages. One being alone at breakfast, quite often. Given Corona, even more of an advantage. The other advantage is to have time. Don’t know about you, but when traveling, especially on a motorcycle, to have ample time (to waste, sometimes) is good.
9:30ish I departed from Hotel am Jakobsweg, rode past Höxter on the west side of town. Stayed on small roads going south. Coming down road 202 I spotted some orange colors. It was a KTM dealer shop. I needed some supplies, specifically spray to clean the visor. This shop seemed to have a lot of things, bikes and gear. They did, but no visor cleaner!
I carried on, a blend of Bundesstraße and smaller roads, as usual. A relatively steady course in direction of Black Forest. The distance to my next destination was around 450-500 kilometers. Pretty average, at least for me. This time around I managed to steer clear of larger cities and dense traffic.
As it turned out I got plenty of that later, in France and Italy.
Black Forest & Enz Residenz
Small roads riding means, time flies. It’s a norm more than an exception, for me. Am sure I share it with a vast number of bikers. And I like it, although it often means a rush later in the day, when realizing I’ve spent time on explorations. But not really covered the anticipated distance.
I’m no fan of transport legs and motorways. The journey, the ride, is the vacation. As a result it was early evening as I rolled into the Black forest region. Had pre-booked a hotel, stated to be a biker’s hotel on booking.com.
Hotel Enz Residenz is situated in beautiful surroundings in Enzklöstere, a small village in Black Forest. It turned out to be every bit as good as it looked. Price-wise not too bad. Don’t remember exactly but think I paid around EUR70 for one night, with breakfast.
As for the bikers hotel aspect, well a clue was revealed right inside main entrance hall.
To the left, in the middle of a reception room was a Ducati 916 parked. Turned out both the proprietor and his wife were die hard motorcycle riders. With a particular passion for Ducatis. And a motorcycle parking for guests in the cellar.
When I travel in Europe I look for biker friendly hotels or lodges. The number of such have increased over the years. Bikers represent an important source of income during summer season. During Corona I would think we are even more significant to the hotel owners.
Installed in my room I went down, got me local beers and Schnitzel number 3. The food was excellent.
Through Black Forest north to south
Around 9:30ish next morning I was out the door. Weather was perfect for riding. The plan, sorry, “plan”, for the day was to spend some time riding around in the forest. Then cross over to France. A friend had suggested a hotel in France. A special place, also a bikers hotel. So that was the destination.
But first, roaming about in Black Forest. Since I was in the northern region, the idea was to criss-cross in a southern direction. A mix of freestyling and GPS navigation revealed some real road gems. Narrow, small winding roads with hairpins and steep inclines. Then arriving at the top of a mountain. A real treat indeed!
Let me tell you this, if you haven’t been to Black Forest, I highly recommend it. For cruisers and adventures riders alike, it really is a regional heaven. To be quite honest with you, almost any road here is worth the ride. Just be adventurous, and avoid the main roads.
Coming through the southern region I rode through the old city Wolfach. Which I’d passed through in 2017, going north. A quick lunch, then down past Freiburg im Breisgau, over the river Rhein, and into France.
Col de Bussang
The temperature was on the rise as I crossed the river Rhein. Down here, late August is like July at home, or even hotter. Didn’t stop, but instead found the quickest route towards Parc Naturel regional des Ballons des Vosges. The destination was a bikers hotel at a pass called Col de Bussang.
After the flatland crossing into France finally the landscape changed. I began a climb upwards, into the natural park. There, close to the top of the pass, along road E512/D1066, sits Moto Hotel Col de Bussang.
I’ve never been to any accommodation that more deserves to be called a Biker’s hotel. Not only because of the parking facilities. During the evening I got into talking with the owner, correction, the previous owner, Mark. Cool guy, who also said he was selling the place. Turns out he already had.
From next season you’ll be greeted by, and catered for, by new owners. The whole area in Alsace is worth a visit. The roads are, well definitely something for those who like winding pavement roads! Take my word for it!
Back soon with more. Below GPS tracking of the route