Sommerberg to Wildsee
Old stone sign on the Sommerberg to Wildsee walk
It is an 8-km forest walk to Wildsee, a small lake within a marshy nature reserve in the heart of the Black Forest. There are a number of routes, which can be taken and all are well sign-posted complete with distances in km. The wide gravelled tracks are easy to follow and at strategic junctions there are also large maps that show the entire Sommerberg plateaux with colour coded routes. As you approach Wildsee the last kilometre consists of a walkway made of old wooden railway sleepers. This ensures that visitors do not damage the delicate eco system or vanish without trace into the bog. Depending on the route you take you may pass the Ski Huette restaurant where you can stop for refreshments. Fuenfbaeume junction comes soon after Ski Huette and here swivelling sunbeds have been placed in a forest clearing. There is also a wooden shelter, one of the many found throughout the forest useful for taking refuge in when the weather turns suddenly.
Gruenhuette restaurant
Halfway between Sommerberg and Wildsee is the Gruenhuette restaurant. This makes an ideal place to have a break or indulge in a typical Black Forest lunch of sausages, sauerkraut and beer. You can take your pick of where to sit as there are a variety of wooden tables and benches scattered over a wide area. There are also areas for barbecues and huts for taking refuge should the skies suddenly open.
Trees galore
Trees will of course mark the walk. Trees, trees and yet more trees. Still, there are many varieties and depending on the season, a range of colours. You may be lucky to see deer, hare, fox, wild boar, red squirrels or even pine martins to name just a few of the forest inhabitants. Being alert to the possibility of spotting wildlife is half the skill. The animals are often there, maybe in a clearing quietly munching on some greenery, but unaware you walk right past. A camera and binoculars can make the outing more interesting and don't forget umbrellas, water bottles, sunglasses and a warm jumper...
Wildsee walkway
The last kilometer before Wildsee is possibly the most interesting part of the route as it entails walking along the slightly raised wooden walkway. Here an endless variety of birds, insects and wild flowers (in spring and summer) can be found but whatever you do, do not leave the walkway! Das ist VERBOTEN!
Wildsee lake
The final destination. It is maybe less spectacular than one might expect but then lakes in the Black Forest are few and far between so be grateful for small ponds. It is nevertheless a very tranquil and peaceful place, even the ducks find it too, 'out of the way' and tend to stay closer to civilization. Having admired the water for a while with a glazed expressionof fatigue you realise Wildsee is of course only the halfway point. Now you can choose between returning the way you came or carrying on for roughly the same distance, then catching a bus back to your starting point. Ahead is the town of Kaltenbronn (in the next valley) and a hotel for the night could be booked ... Now that sounds like a great idea!

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