It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday. We were armed with our wee book of hikes to take in the SÃ¼d-Schwarzwald (South of the Black Forest), and the destination for the day was a valley called Simonswald. It’s not far from Freiburg, about 25km to the North East. The trail that Gina picked for us was a circular walk up the valley, high above the town of Simonswald, that followed a gentle river, and dotted along the river were these water mills, which were used to grind wheat and such. They were very pretty wee mills, especially the higher up the valley we went.
We arrived around noon, to a very busy, jam-packed Simonswald. At the center of the village green, was a competition of manliness; Â Tug of war. The village was booming with supporters, as there seemed to be a lot of teams that had come far and wide. We chilled a bit watching the wars, but decided to push on, to find the trail head.
We eventually found the start of the trail, and made our way up the valley. The whole valley were dotted with apple trees, which had some brilliantly red apples on them, whenever we got the chance, we grabbed a few to enjoy on our journey, they were very very tasty. On the lower part of the valley, there was some pretty epic houses and gardens, which Gina liked, as she’s a full grown gardener now.
The sun was blasting on thisÂ gloriousÂ Sunday, and we were making our way to the top of the valley. The signs of Autumn were getting apparent, as Gina spotted a few red leaves here and there. We passed another water mill, but this one was located in a farmers field, so we decided not to visit it. Just before turning off the road that led up the Valley, we came across a really nice chapel sitting high, overlooking the valley below.
From the chapel, we turned into the forestÂ itself. We were treated to freshÂ Brombeeren (blackberries) and we happily picked and ate as we ventured ahead. After resting in a top-class hÃ¼tte, we came a a very nice open view of the whole Simonswald valley, where I managed to take this panorama:
We chilled here for aÂ littleÂ while (on the wee bench on the left) to enjoy the view and the sun. From here, everything was a gentle downhill walk back towards the village.
We came to the most glorious mill on the whole circuit. Our wee book even has this mill listed as ‘Top Tip’ – which means, be sure to check this place out. The mill, now it seems, is a walk-in museum of what the mill used to be like back in the day when it was used. Located on the upper floor was the grinder in which they used to grind down the wheat, and on the lower floor was some information about the mill, with some newspaper clippings, as I believe it’s just been newlyÂ renovated. It’s calledÂ Wehrlehof-muhle, and was built in 1879. As the brook that feeds the water wheel (used to grind the wheat) hasn’t got that much water in it, they’ve built, out of a 10m hollow tree, a shoot to connect the water to the mill, so they made sure it got some water! The outside of the mill looked very nice:
Then from here, we made our way back into the village. The route was right through the forest, where there were a couple of tiny little mills – to which I have no idea what the were used for. We then came out of the forest, and along the road – over the river, which had plenty of fish chilling lazily in it, through an epic apple orchard, to the center of the village where the tug of war was coming to an end. As the activities had drawn in the whole village, beer & food tents were set up, so we decided to grab something small to eat, and Gina had a quick beer!
A very nice, gentle Sunday afternoon stroll.