Ski area features
All-round winter sports – that’s Todtmoos
If you’re off to Todtmoos, don’t forget your sun cream. Here, the sky is blue and the sun blazes down, even if the snow beneath is piled high. Incidentally, holidaymakers should also remember to pack their camera because you’d be hard pressed to find a winter landscape as photogenic as Todtmoos – the area boasts some truly exceptional views. In years with a lot of snow, the lifts run from early December (or earlier) until the end of March. In the Upper Black Forest, the first snow can be expected from late October onwards, promising ideal conditions for cross-country skiers in particular. The Todtmoos-Herrenschwand ski resort comprises the two Hochkopf lifts and the Kirchberg lift as well as the Herrenschwand ski lift. The lift systems are kept straightforward so that their operators can start them up at short notice if required. Rather than having its ski season dictated by the calendar, therefore, Todtmoos follows a simple rule: if there’s enough snow, the lifts will be running. As this can happen as early as November, winter sports enthusiasts are often already out and about here, while elsewhere the skis and snowboards are still gathering dust up in the loft. When all the lifts are in operation, there are four medium-difficulty red slopes and five easy blue ones to choose from.
Lift prices are extremely reasonable, and visitors with a Todtmoos guest card get their ski pass included. The points cards are recommended for calmer souls. Unlike in most ski resorts, therefore, where you usually have to buy a ski pass for the whole day, the points card can be used at any time, including beyond the season and into next year and the year after that. In other words, winter sports fans who like to take a break sitting cosily on the terrace and enjoying the view with a glass of mulled wine in their hand can relax, lingering for longer without worrying that their ski pass is about to expire. Toboggans are another option for getting downhill. The Mättle/Sonnenweg toboggan run in Todtmoos and the Herrenschwand slope for tobogganers both invite you to take a rapid descent, in some cases even until 10.00 p.m. at night thanks to floodlights. Beginners can learn to take their first turns at Todtmoos ski club and the ski school next door. Something else everyone can enjoy is the winter weather in Todtmoos: there are up to 22 days of precipitation in December and January, much of which falls as snow.
Todtmoos and the Upper Black Forest are key destinations for cross-country skiers in particular. The local area is thus geared up for a much bigger wave of tourists than the lift facilities would suggest. There are ten hotels with some 600 beds in the village of Todtmoos alone. A glance at its cross-country trails explains why visitors flock to Todtmoos, where active holidaymakers keen on Nordic winter sports can access over 45 kilometres of these trails. Todtmoos is connected to the Bernau cross-country skiing network, which provides a further 55 kilometres of trails groomed for traditional cross-country skiing or smoothed for skaters.
The trails in and around Todtmoos are designed for experts and accordingly pose a challenge. At 11 km, the Gerspacher Spur is of medium length, features steep climbs and descents and is thus flagged as a difficult black trail. The Schwarzenbach trail is also rated as challenging. The St.-Antoni-Spur offers seven kilometres of medium-difficulty trail, while the blue Silberbach trail is easy throughout. The St. Antoni, Hochkopfhaus, Rot Kreuz trail is longer and of medium difficulty, while the ten-kilometre-long Herrenschwand trail is reserved for skaters and hikers. Well-signposted winter hiking trails also offer ideal conditions for those visitors who do their winter sports on Shanks’ pony, who can choose from 35 km of easy to medium-difficulty options. Those wanting to take it easy can hike just under three kilometres on the Glühweinpfad or almost six kilometres through the Mättlewald forest, both of which are flagged as easy blue hiking trails. The more demanding winter hiker can take the trails towards the Roter Kreuz, St. Antoni or Schwarzenbach, conquering nearly 25 km of climbs and descents along the way. Cross-country skiing is important to Todtmoos. At the same time, there are frequent debates over whether to scale back lift operation or close them entirely. The tourist information centres can provide details of the current situation, while reliable information can also be found on the lift operators’ websites.
Todtmoos has a venerable tradition of sled dog breeding. Thus visitors can sign up for a dog handler course and become a genuine “musher” or dog sled driver. An international dog sled race is held in Todtmoos every year.
The best place to go for good food in Todtmoos is the Rössle. First mentioned as a hotel with stables in 1670, it remains family-owned to this day. As well as typical Black Forest specialities, the head chef also places great importance on fine cuisine using fresh organic ingredients. There are several restaurants offering something for every taste. If you’re wanting to stay a few days, you can rent one of the rooms available in eight different categories or rent a wooden eco-house. Hotel guests can enjoy a sauna, pool, spa and massages across 350 square metres.
If you’re looking for a party and enjoy strutting your stuff on the dance floor, then TanzStadl in Todtmoos is the place for you. Here, the party keeps going as long as the partyers do. Although there is an official closing time, the end is usually signalled by the arrival of the shuttle buses. Those who would prefer to sit down for a quiet drink are also catered for, the most popular choices being Pomy’s Bar in the Hotel Schwarzwälderhof or in Bar Henry.
Todtmoos lies in the middle of the Hotzenwald. The forest was made famous in particular by Otfried Preußler’s children’s books about Hotzenplotz the robber. Hotzenplotz and his gang regularly retreated into the wood to hide out. The folk songs that warn about robbers hiding in the forest are also based on the Hotzenwald. Chronicles mention it as early as the 12th century, when it was recorded as being part of the land belonging to the Abbey of St. Blaise. As the actual boundaries of the forest were never documented, however, they remain unknown to this day. Tradition has it that the villages and communities in the southern part of the Upper Black Forest do not want anything to do with the Hotzenwald. This is the origin of the custom whereby, wherever you happen to be when you ask a local, you will always be told that the Hotzenwald begins at the boundary of the next village along. And visitors are sure to be welcomed with this legend next season too.