Santa Barbara, California is one of those cities that feels like an escape every time you visit! You can’t go wrong with year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and mountains, and the gorgeous Spanish-style architecture throughout the whole city. Beyond the more popular tourist options such as visiting the Santa Barbara Mission, shopping on State Street, and visiting the breweries and wineries in the Funk Zone – there are many unique hidden gems in Santa Barbara to explore.

Here are 11 of the best hidden gems and unique things to do when visiting Santa Barbara:

1. Tangerine Falls

The Tangerine Falls Trail is a true hidden gem in Santa Barbara – I lived there for four years before learning about this beautiful hike! The trail is unique because there are not many waterfalls in Santa Barbara since the area doesn’t get a lot of rain.

The hike is a 2.2 mile out and back trail that starts on a path then transitions to scrambling over rocks for most of the hike, so it is a bit more difficult for some. However, the effort is well worth it when you reach the waterfall.

The rocks behind the waterfall have a beautiful orange tint and the water collects enough at the bottom that there is usually a shallow swimming hole, and it all overlooks a great view of Santa Barbara with views out to the ocean! Plus, you might see some animal life (like newts!) and nature that is hard to see anywhere else in Santa Barbara.

2. Montecito Hot Springs Canyon Trail

Santa Barbara has a few areas with hot springs (naturally heated pools of water that have bacteria and sulphur with amazing health benefits) but these Montecito ones are my favorite.

The Hot Springs Canyon Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately challenging loop trail. The hike itself is lush and mostly shady, but the best part is dipping in the hot spring pools at the end.

The hottest pool is at the top and each gets a bit cooler as the water flows down. Whichever pool you choose, you will leave feeling like you came from the spa! Just make sure to follow the signs closely to choose the right turns to reach the hot springs.

3. Visit the Sunstone Winery

Located 35-minutes north of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Sunstone Winery is truly a hidden gem for those looking for a gorgeous California vineyard. It has been voted “Santa Barbara’s Favorite Red Wine” and “Best Santa Ynez Valley Tasting Room” by the Santa Barbara Independent, proving the Sunstone Winery is a local favorite.

With French inspired courtyards, stone barrel-aging caves, and picnic tables under the olive and oak trees, not to mention the wonderful wines that can only be bought onsite… this is the perfect afternoon activity for those looking to get off the beaten path in Santa Barbara!

4. Tour Casa del Herrero

Casa del Herrero Home and Gardens is great for those who want to experience a piece of Santa Barbara’s history by diving into a more unique experience than the typical tours.

This 1920s home is one of the finest examples of Spanish revival architecture in the U.S. and is full of 15th and 16th century pieces from the “Golden Age” of Spain. Plus, the Moorish-style gardens are spectacular.

5. Lizard’s Mouth

Lizard’s Mouth is a rock formation near the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains. It is aptly named for its resemblance to a lizard’s mouth (from a distance) and has some of the best views of the Santa Barbara area.

The distinct silhouette that gives Lizard's Mouth Rock its name

The distinct silhouette that gives Lizard’s Mouth Rock its name

You must do a little walking (~0.3 miles) to see the rock formation, but the area is primarily made up of rocks and does not really have trails. This is a popular spot in Santa Barbara for outdoors enthusiasts and people who like bouldering and rock climbing.

6. Walk Through the Goleta Butterfly Grove

The Monarch butterflies migrate through Goleta from November to February and can be seen at the Butterfly Grove. It’s incredible to see the butterflies come through, but the site itself is gorgeous all year round too.

Hidden gems in Santa Barbara - monarch roosts in the Goleta butterfly grove

At the right time of year, you can see monarch roosts in the Goleta butterfly grove

Situated on the Goleta bluffs, there are a few trails through the trees that take you to the cliffs and some that have beach access. The Goleta Butterfly Grove is a beautiful and lesser-known spot for a stroll, picnic, or to watch the sunset.

7. Visit Santa Barbara’s Most Unique Coffee Chain: Cajé

Cajé is my absolute favorite coffee chain in Santa Barbara! They of course have great coffee, but they are unique because there’s multiple locations across Santa Barbara that each have a distinctly different vibe and slightly different menu.

The Cajé I highly recommend visiting is across from the Arlington Theater on State Street. It’s a stunning location (often used as a wedding venue!) and serves signature coffee cocktails. The Haley St. Cajé also has nice vibes and “fancy” cocktails and even occasionally (it’s not advertised) turns into a speakeasy at night with a full bar.

For a more casual cup of coffee visit the Cajé downtown State Street or in Isla Vista. The original Cajé is in Isla Vista and mainly serves the local UCSB college community, but it has a more extensive breakfast food menu and a casual, fun feel with a 5-minute walk to the beach.

8. Have a Picnic and Watch the Planes at the Santa Barbara Airport

The Santa Barbara Airport is a tiny airport located in Goleta. It’s a very easy airport to fly in and out of when visiting, especially for inexperienced flyers, but it’s also a great place to see unique, old-school airplanes.

A fun, hidden gem activity is to pick up Dave’s Dogs (a nearby place that serves hotdogs with all kinds of toppings imaginable) and watch the planes from the benches in the waiting lot right outside of the airport.

9. Spend a Day in Solvang – “The Danish Capital of America”

Solvang is a town that is 34 miles (~45-minute drive) north of Santa Barbara, but is well worth a day trip. Most buildings have Danish-style architecture, there are plenty of amazing wine tasting rooms, and multiple authentic Danish bakeries and restaurants.

Discover Danish architecture of the nearby town of Solvang

Discover Danish architecture in the nearby town of Solvang

In Solvang Village, you can tour Old Mission Santa Inés, shop at The Book Loft or Rasmussen’s, visit a museum, enjoy an outdoor performance, or pet the alpacas!

10. Hidden Gem in Santa Barbara for Foodies: Zaytoon

Somehow, Zaytoon is rarely mentioned in places to eat in Santa Barbara, which makes it hands down the best hidden gem restaurant in the area and the one place I always have dinner at every time I’m in town again!

Zaytoon is a Lebanese and Middle Eastern restaurant with a delicious gourmet menu and beautiful patio. It’s a hidden oasis full of flowers and greenery with fire pits, live entertainment, and a beautiful fountain and architecture.

11. Hidden Gem in Santa Barbara for Extreme Adventurers: Kayak to Platform Holly

There are plenty of outdoor and adventurous activities for people to explore in Santa Barbara from surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, rock climbing, and more. One that many people don’t know about is kayaking towards Platform Holly.

Platform Holly is a decommissioned oil rig sitting about two miles off Coal Oil Point just west of Isla Vista. Rent a kayak, pack a lunch, and pick a fair-weather day to kayak out to the oil rig. You will get amazing views of the Santa Barbara coast and cliffs and likely see some sea life along the way!

Kayaking by Isla Vista

Kayaking by Isla Vista

It is certainly a challenge and not something to do alone or if you don’t have plenty of water experience. Be aware of the currents and conditions of the day, stay your distance from the sea lions that lay on Holly, and practice utmost safety while on the open ocean water.


Santa Barbara has hidden gems to explore for every type of tourist whether you prefer to stay out in nature or want to explore the ins and outs of the city. There is so much to see and do in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas, especially when you get off the beaten path!

Hidden gems in Santa Barbara

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Joshua Tree National Park is one of California’s best natural attractions. With over 790,000 acres of rugged rock formations, towering Joshua trees, and desert landscape that seems from another planet – it’s hard to get enough of this place. Visiting Joshua Tree National Park but not sure which hikes you should do? There are 124 hiking trails in Joshua Tree that vary in length, intensity, and views. But if you’ve got limited time at the park, here are the 9 best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park.

1. Hidden Valley Nature Trail

The Hidden Valley Nature Trail is an easy 1-mile loop hike that takes you to a hidden valley that was once used by cattle ranchers to shelter their cows in the 19th century. The valley is enclosed by unique rock formations. If you look closely at the rock formations, you might see rock climbers making their way up to the top.

Through the trail, you’ll see Joshua trees, yucca trees, cacti, and more. Look for interpretive signs to learn about the flora and fauna in the hidden valley.

The hike requires climbing steps and scrambling through some rocks but the elevation gain is minimal so plan to spend about an hour on this trail.

If you can, hike this trail around sunset time. The sunlight on the rock cliffs displays a golden light on them; unseen anywhere else!

2. Cholla Cactus Garden Trail

Cholla Cactus Nature Trail

Cholla Cactus Nature Trail

The Cholla Cactus Garden Trail is a very easy 0.2-mile hike through the Cholla Cactus Garden. This trail is on a boardwalk so expect minimum elevation gain.

The garden is filled with cholla cacti that look like teddy bears but definitely do not feel like them! You might notice others straying from the boardwalk trail but it’s best to stay on to prevent accidentally touching the cactus spines.

When hiking this trail, wear long-sleeved clothes and pack essentials in case you brush up on the spines. On the hike, you can see 10 acres of cholla cacti; plan to spend up to 30 minutes here. This is another great sunset hike but if you prefer a less-crowded experience, come here for sunrise to see the cholla cacti spines shining in the sunlight.  

3. Barker Dam Nature Trail

The Barker Dam Nature Trail is an easy-to-moderate 1.1-mile hike that shows you the Barker Dam, a water reservoir that was used by cattle ranchers. If you’re lucky, you might see water in the dam and wildlife including desert bighorn sheep near the dam.

After hiking to the dam, the trail takes you to a view of hundreds of Joshua trees, creosote bushes, pinyon trees, and the San Gorgonio Mountain in the far back. Towards the end of the trail, you’ll see a cave-like ceiling with Native American petroglyphs. Since there are many unique things to see on this trail, you can spend 1-2 hours exploring it. 

4. Wall Street Mill Trail

The Wall Street Mill Trail is another easy-to-moderate hike that can take an hour. The well-preserved trail takes you through a path with rustic automobiles used in the past and the Wall Street Mill at the end.

The mill was used for gold processing and mining. Read the signs throughout the trail to learn about its interesting history.

On the trail, you’ll also see an old windmill with a water pump. This 2.2-mile trail is sandy in some areas and loose gravel in other areas so make sure to clean out your shoes after the trail. 

5. Skull Rock Nature Trail

Skull Rock Nature Trail

Skull Rock Nature Trail

The Skull Rock Nature Trail is an easy 1.7-mile hike that starts at Jumbo Rocks Campground and takes you to Skull Rock. The Jumbo Rocks Campground is filled with huge rocks and has 124 individual campsites. It’s a great place to camp since it’s centrally located in the park.

On the trail, you’ll see Mojave desert plants including cat’s claw acacia and desert almond and California plants including California oak woodland and California buckwheat. You’ll see interpretive signs along the way.

In the end, you’ll see Skull Rock, a granite rock that’s been shaped by erosion to look like a skull. The Skull Rock attraction can be crowded so plan to spend up to 2 hours for this entire hike.

6. Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail

The Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail is a moderate 6.8-mile trail that can take up to 4 hours. Even though this is longer than the other hikes, it’s secluded and provides panoramic views.

Expect elevation gain but overall the trail isn’t too challenging. Joshua Tree National Park once had lots of mines including the Lost Horse Mine. Used in the 19th century, this mine was used to process gold.

There is no shade on this trail so it’s best to avoid hiking it during the summer. Visit during the spring to see the trail’s edges covered with wildflowers. 

7. Arch Rock Nature Trail

Arch Rock Nature Trail - one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

Arch Rock Nature Trail

The Arch Rock Nature Trail is an easy 1.2-mile hike that starts out leveled and sandy and then you’re surrounded by rock boulders of different sizes. You can spend half a day here climbing up the rocks but if you’re just doing this hike, plan to spend an hour.

The main attraction is the Arch Rock and you’ll know you’re near when you start to see crowds around it. It’s a popular photo spot so expect to wait in line to take a photo with the Arch Rock.

There’s also a rock that’s shaped like a heart, that’s located around the area. There are no signs to hike to it but you’ll see hikers walking to or from the rock. Use Google Maps to guide you to the area. 

8. Ryan Mountain Trail

The Ryan Mountain Trail is a strenuous 3-mile hike that’s popular for its landscape views of the park, especially at sunset. There is an elevation gain of more than 1000 feet so plan to spend up to 2.5 hours on the trail.

Plan to hike this trail only in the spring, fall or winter but if you’re at the park during the summer, only hike this trail early morning or late evening and bring enough water for the entire hike.

9. Keys View Trail

The Keys View Trail is a very short 0.1-mile hike up to Keys View. From Keys View, you’ll get gorgeous views of the Salton Sea, Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, the San Jacinto Mountains, and Mount San Gorgonio.

Come here for sunset but if you prefer fewer crowds, hike here during sunrise. If it’s a clear day, you can see the Mexico border and Mount Signal. Spend up to an hour enjoying the views at this park’s highest viewpoint. 

Conclusion: Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

Have a blast hiking in Joshua Tree National Park

Have a blast hiking in Joshua Tree National Park

Whether you’re hiking with your family, out on an anniversary trip, or just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life – Joshua Tree National Park is the ideal place to do it.

The variety of hiking trails in this national park is great, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, choose from these 9 best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. Be safe, leave no trace, and have fun!

The Best Hikes in Joshua Tree

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While hiking in Antalya, Turkey, you’ll experience spectacular landscape views of beaches, mountains, canyons, lakes, and national parks. The Antalya province is home to the Tarsus Mountain range and the Mediterranean coast, making it a hiking lover’s dream.

No matter which hikes you choose, you’ll have dramatic mountain views and the sparkling blue water of the Mediterranean at every turn. We created the guide to hiking in Antalya to share the best hiking locations on the Mediterranean coast in Turkey.

The best time to hike in Antalya is March to May or September to November when the weather is mild. You will find the summer months in the Mediterranean region are hot and humid with the winter months bringing the rainy season. For optimal conditions, Spring and Fall are the best times to enjoy hiking in Turkey.

Next, we’ll look at some of the most popular hikes in Antalya.

Lycian Way

Breathtaking views on the Lycian Way while hiking in Antalya

Breathtaking views on the Lycian Way

The Lycian Way is one of Turkey’s most popular long-distance hikes through the mountains in Turkey just inland of the Mediterranean coast. It’s a 540-kilometer cultural trail from Antalya to Fethiye and can take around 30 days to complete in its entirety.

Typically, hikers will start in Fethiye, but you can start the hike from whichever place you want to. The route connects Lycian ruins, coastal beach towns, nomadic footpaths, and ancient Roman roads. From Antalya, the trail starts in the mountains at Geyikbayiri.

In addition, the trail has 17 segments that you can hike individually. You’ll find some of the best partial hiking routes of the Lycian Way around the beach towns of Patara, Kalkan, or Kas. Hiking the Lycian Way promises breathtaking views and great adventures along the way.

Termessos

"Visit

One of the best hikes in Antalya is up to the ancient city of Termessos at the top of Mount Solymos. Access the trail at the Gulluk Dagi National Park, about 30km from the Antalya city center. Drive up to the trailhead to park, then you can take off up the path to the top.

The trail is steep and rocky and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the 1,000-meter mountain top view. You’ll have views of the Taurus Mountain range and get to explore the archeological site with an impressive great theater that boasts views of the sea and mountains. There are trails all through the ancient site and along the mountain. Plan on 4 to 5 hours to hike and explore the site. Be sure to take water and snacks with you.

Tazi Canyon

Tazi Canyon, also called Eagle Canyon, is a hike in Antalya in Koprulugu Canyon National Park that you do not want to miss. The hiking path is difficult in some places, being rocky with some larger boulders to climb over.

Along the 11km hike, you’ll see plenty of wildlife and many different species of plants. You’ll have breathtaking views from the top of the canyon with the cliffs dropping a steep 400 meters. Be sure to bring water, snacks, and your camera.

Goynuk Canyon

Hiking in Antalya isn’t complete until you’ve visited Goynuk Canyon where you can enjoy hiking or canyoning. The trail is 3km long with the highest point being 1km into the hike. It’s a beautiful hike surrounded by pine trees and the sound of the river. There is a lake at the end of the trail where you can take a break and enjoy the ice-cold water, especially on a hot day. This is an easy hike for beginners with stunning views of the mountains, canyon, and river.

St. Paul Trail

The St. Paul Trail is thought to be one of the oldest paths for hiking in Antalya, stretching over 500 km taking approximately 27 days to hike. The trail is made up of old Roman roads and forest trails.

The hike starts in the Perge and follows the footsteps of the Apostle Paul to the ancient city of Antioch. The trail is marked along the way with options for village houses or pensions to stay in. Subsequently, on longer stretches of the hike, you will have to camp.

Kas to Limanagzi Bay

This is about a 2-hour hike of the Lycian Way that takes you to Limangazi Beach which can only be reached by hiking or a water taxi from Kas Harbor. As you’re hiking on the trail, you’ll come up to a split in the trail leading to the beach.

If you take the cliff route, it’s steep and would not be safe if you’re carrying a heavy pack or if you had rough weather. The views from the cliff path are fantastic and well worth the winding path along the cliffs. Alternately, if you take the inland path, you’ll pass by ancient ruins along the way to the beach.

Most importantly, bring your swimsuit to swim in the sea once you arrive. There are local cafes on-site where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch before heading back. If you do not want to hike back, you can catch a ride back to Kas on a shuttle boat.

Mt. Tahtahli (Olympos)

Snow-capped Mt. Tahtahli in the distance. One of the best hikes in Antalya

Snow-capped Mt. Tahtahli in the distance

Mt. Tahtalhli is the steepest trek in Antalya along the Mediterranean coast. Start the hike from Kemer and head straight up the mountain to the 2,365-meter summit. The hike is challenging and takes a little over 7 hours to complete, so start early and bring plenty of food and water.

From the top of Mt. Tahtali, enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Antalya mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Afterward, you can hike down the mountain or take a 10-minute ride down to the mountain base in a cable car.

Saklikent Gorge

Other-worldy Saklikent Gorge

Saklikent Gorge near Antalya

Saklikent Gorge is an hour from Fehtiye in Saklikent National Park in the mountains of Turkey. The gorge is in the Tarsus Mountains and is considered the 3rd largest canyon in Europe, stretching 18km and 300m deep.

The path is narrow and follows along the river. At times there will be times that you will walk through the water on your hike, so wear footwear that can be submerged in water along the way. If you want to take the high road, there are boardwalk routes available to stay above the water.

The best views are past the first river crossing. Sometimes that path is wide, sometimes so narrow you must climb over boulders to pass through. While hiking you’ll see the natural beauty of the canyon as it climbs up to 720 meters tall, icy cold mountain water, waterfalls and pine trees that cover the mountain range above. This is a great hike during the summer when it is hot outside. You can enjoy the cooler air in the canyon and take a dip in the water.

Eternal Flame of Chimaira

In the village of Cirali, you’ll find a well-known trail for hiking in Antalya, the eternal flames of Mt. Chimaira. There are several places where flames burn straight from the rocks up on the hill.

The hike starts at the ruins of Yanartas at the bottom of the mountain. You can drive back to the entrance or walk from the beach. You will pay a minimal entrance fee to hike up to the flames. The 2 km trek has a nice dirt path but is steep in places with places to stop and rest as needed.

You’ll have great views of Cirali beach and the Mediterranean Sea as you make your way up the trail. You’ll need about 2-3 hours to hike in to explore and then back down to the entrance.

Sapadere Canyon

Sapadere Canyon Waterfall

Sapadere Canyon Waterfall

The Sapadere Canyon hiking trail is in the mountains of Turkey with rewarding mountain views, waterfalls, and natural pools at the end of the trail. It’s an easy 30-minute hike to reach the village of Sapadere, where you’ll see plenty of wildlife, local plants, mountains and the river.

When you reach the end of the trail, you can jump into the ice-cold water of the waterfall pools to cool off. There are several cafes where you can enjoy tea or have a simple lunch.

Final Thoughts on Hiking in Antalya

Ultimately, you cannot go wrong hiking in Antalya with the picturesque views of the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy hiking through canyons, Antalya mountains and the coastal trails to experience the culture, history and beauty of Turkey.

Hiking in Antalya: Best Hikes in Turkey

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Hiking in Antalya

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The Black Forest is an expansive area of lush green mountains in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the southwest of Germany. The Black Forest is known for its dense forests of dark fir trees, picturesque villages and traditional spa towns. It’s one of the most scenic regions in Germany, giving inspiration to many of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales.  

Setting off on foot is the best way to experience the Black Forest and there are many hiking trails to explore. Whether you’re a novice hiker or prefer challenging multi-day hikes, the Black Forest has plenty of beautiful places for everyone to enjoy.  

Before you set foot on the hiking trails, here are a few things to know before you go to help you plan your trip to Germany’s beautiful Black Forest. 

Where is the best place to stay in the Black Forest?

There are many beautiful locations within the Black Forest that make great places to base yourself to explore the area. 

Baden-Baden in the north of the region is one of the most popular areas to stay in the Black Forest. Here you’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants, spas and high-end hotels. Another popular place to stay in the Black Forest is the city of Freiburg im Breisgau. Freiburg is a vibrant university town in the south of the Black Forest, with lots of accommodation options to suit all budgets. 

If you’re looking for a more peaceful visit to the Black Forest, there are many smaller towns and villages throughout the region. Popular choices are Wolfach, Triberg, Rottweil and Calw, where you can find traditional German guesthouses and plenty of holiday apartments and cottages to rent. 

A top tip for choosing where to stay in the Black Forest is to plan which hiking trails and activities you want to do first. Then you can choose an area to base yourself, which is close by to the sights on your itinerary. While traveling in Germany, the best way to find accommodation is with booking.com, which has different types of accommodation ranging from guest houses, to private apartments, to hostels. The site has filters for budget, guest rating, and amenities so that you can find something that fits your specific preferences.

Getting to and around the Black Forest

By plane – If you’re arriving into Germany by plane, the closest airports are Karlsruhe, Stuttgart or Frankfurt. From there, you can rent a car and drive to the Black Forest. Use Skyscanner to compare flights and find the best deal.

By bus /train – The cities of Baden-Baden in the north and Freiburg im Breisgau in the south can be reached by train or bus from elsewhere in Germany, however once you arrive, it is best to rent a car to explore the Black Forest. When traveling by train or long-distance bus, you can use Omio to compare different options and find the best one for you.

By car – Having your own car is by far the best way to explore the Black Forest. Public transport is extremely limited, especially when reaching some of the hiking trails and having your own car will give you flexibility to explore at your own pace. Plus, the roads in the Black Forest are really scenic, making for a beautiful drive. 

Top tips for hiking in the Black Forest

  • Take a map and plan your route! This sounds obvious, but not all trails are clearly sign-posted, so make sure that you have a good map and decide on your route before setting off 
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots – the ground on many of the trails can be uneven in places and may be slippery close to waterfalls, or after rain
  • Wear layers! Even on a sunny day, the temperature in the Black Forest can often feel cool, as the thick forest of tall trees blocks out the sun’s rays
  • Take plenty of water and snacks –  there are not many places to buy drinks or snacks out on the hiking trails, so be prepared and bring your own – just remember to leave no trace

5 Great hikes in the Northern Black Forest

There are so many beautiful places in the Black Forest and plenty of scenic hiking trails to discover. This post will focus on 5 great hikes in the northern Black Forest, however if you are heading to the south of the region on your trip too, make sure that you visit the Triberg waterfalls – the tallest waterfalls in the Black Forest, and take a trip to Lake Titisee, where you can try out windsurfing or sailing. 

1. Mummelsee to Hornigsrinde hike

Looking down to Mummselsee from the Mummselseeblick viewpoint

Looking down to Mummselsee from the Mummselseeblick viewpoint

The views on the hike from Mummelsee to Hornigsrinde are some of the best in the Black Forest, making it a popular route. You won’t be the only ones hiking this trail, but the scenery is really beautiful and this hike is worth adding to your Black Forest itinerary. 

  • Distance: 4km 
  • Duration: 1-2 hours (depending on how many stops you take along the way) 
  • Type: Loop trail
  • Difficulty: Easy

Mummselsee is a small lake, conveniently located off the Black Forest high road in the north of the region. It’s one of the most popular attractions in the Black Forest and whilst there are several hiking trails around the lake, one of the best routes is from Mummelsee to Hornigsrinde. The Hornigsrinde is the tallest mountain in the Black Forest. There are several trails which incorporate both Mummelsee and the Hornigsrinde, but one of the easiest is the 4km loop trail, starting from Mummelsee car park. 

The route: 

From the car park at Mummelsee, take the trail past the Berghotel behind the lake towards Mummelseeblick – a viewpoint with gorgeous views down to the lake. From this viewpoint, the trail continues to Hornisgrindeturm, an observation tower sitting next to a small cafe where you can enjoy lunch or a drink with panoramic views. Leaving the cafe behind, continue on the path through the moorland towards the ridge of the Hornigsrinde.

Spanning for 2km, the ridge of the Hornigsrinde creates a plateau of pretty meadowland on top of the mountain. Climb the small Birmarck observation tower in the centre of the plateau for beautiful 360 degree views over the surrounding landscapes. From here, you can return the same way you came, or to complete the full 4km loop, follow the trail along a wooden boardwalk through the forest to Dreifurstenstein – a historic triangular border stone. Continue to follow the path through the woodland until you eventually emerge back at the Black Forest high road and alongside the lake. 

2. All Saints (Allerheiligen) waterfall to All Saints Abbey hike

Allerheiligen Waterfall in the Black Forest

Allerheiligen Waterfall

The All Saints waterfalls are one of the best things to see in the northern Black Forest and it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours. This is a great hike for families too, just be careful as some of the boardwalks can be slippery. 

  • Distance: 3km (total)
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Type: Out and back trail
  • Difficulty: Easy – moderate (due to the number of steep steps)

With a drop of 90m, the All Saints waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in the state of Baden-Württemberg and a must-visit when in the northern Black Forest. On your hike here, you will pass the 7 cascades of the waterfall and follow the stream to the ruins of an old monastery. 

This is a short hike and is a great way to spend the morning or afternoon and combine it with a visit to another area of the Black Forest.

The route: 

The walk starts from the main entrance car park of the All Saints waterfall and parking here is free. Opposite the parking lot, you will see a large wooden gate with the sign ‘Allerheiligen Wasserfälle’ – this is where the trail begins. 

You will only have to walk about 400m before you get your first glimpses of the waterfall. The path through the forest is paved and there are several sections of steep wooden stairs to climb up as you ascend alongside the waterfall. 

Once you arrive at the top of the waterfall, you will leave the forest behind you and find yourself walking towards the small landscaped garden of the All Saints monastery. On the opposite side of the path is a war memorial, dedicated to all those who gave their lives to the first and second world war. 

Just a short distance ahead, you will arrive at the ruins of the old All Saints monastery. The monastery was built in the early 13th century and was lived in by monks up until it was destroyed in 1804 when it was struck by lightning. Now, only ruined sections of the monastery walls and tower remain. 

Next to the monastery is a small cafe, as well as toilets. Break up your walk with a refreshment stop in beautiful surroundings. To get back to the car park, simply retrace your steps back down past the waterfall. 

3. The Baden-Baden Panorama trail  (Panoramaweg)

Views over Baden-Baden from the Weisser Stein viewpoint on the edge of the town

Views over Baden-Baden from the Weisser Stein viewpoint on the edge of the town

Hiking the Panorama trail is one of the best things to do if you are staying in the area of Baden-Baden or in the north of the Black Forest. The great thing about this hike is that you can tailor it to suit you. Either complete all 4 sections, or take just 1 or 2. Children will love exploring the ruins of Hohenbaden castle and the Battert nature reserve, making the stage 1 of the Panorama trail great for families too. 

  • Distance: 45km (split over 4 stages)
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Type: Loop trail
  • Difficulty: Moderate (depending on how many stages you complete)

The Panorama trail is a long distance hike around the town of Baden-Baden in the north of the Black Forest. It’s one of the most beautiful long distance hiking trails in Germany with stunning landscape views along the way. 

If a 45 km hike sounds like a bit too much, simply complete any of the 4 stages as individual point to point trails instead:

The route:

Stage 1 – Baden-Baden Kurhaus – Merkur cable car station (9km / 3 hours)

Stage 2 – Merkur cable car station – Forellenhof (9.1km / 3 hours)

Stage 3 – Forellenhof – Geroldsauer Mühle (14km / 4 hours)

Stage 4 – Geroldsauer Mühle – Trinkhalle (13km / 4 hours)

One of the most popular sections of the Panorama trail is stage 1, which begins in the town of Baden-Baden. This is a great section of the trail, with stunning views over Baden Baden town and the chance to explore the ruins of Hohenbaden Castle, with origins that go back to the 12th century. 

The ruins of Hohenbaden Castle on the Panorama trail

The ruins of Hohenbaden Castle on the Panorama trail

To start stage 1 of the Panorama trail, set off from the Kurhaus on the edge of Baden-Baden town and head towards the large park opposite. Walk to the Weisser Stein viewpoint on the top of the hill for lovely views over Baden-Baden town. From here, follow a track through a small forest leading up to Hohenbaden Castle. Take some time here to enjoy a drink at the cafe and explore the castle ruins, climbing the tower for gorgeous views of the surrounding area.

At Hohenbaden Castle, you have the option to head back down into Baden-Baden town for a shorter hike, or to complete the full 9km of stage 1, follow the trail through the dense forest of Battert nature reserve. Stop at Ritterplatte and Felsenbrücke observation decks in the nature reserve for beautiful views over the Baden-Baden landscape. Leaving the forest behind, you will pass Wolfsschulucht, where you can stop for lunch in one of the restaurants, before arriving at Merkur cable car station and the end of stage 1 of the Panorama trail. After you have finished your walk, you can take the funicular from Merkur station to the peak of Merkur mountain to get one of the best views in the region. 

4. Ruhestein to Wildersee hike

The thick forest of the Wildersee - Hornigsrinde nature reserve, near Ruhestein

The thick forest of the Wildersee – Hornigsrinde nature reserve, near Ruhestein

The Ruhestein to Wildersee hike is best enjoyed in the spring and summer months, when the ground is drier. The descent down to the lake is quite steep and narrow, so caution and good walking shoes are recommended. 

  • Distance: 8km 
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Type: Loop trail
  • Difficulty: Easy

The area between Ruhestein and Wildersee sits in the centre of the Wildersee – Hornigsrinde nature reserve and is a very popular area within the Black Forest for hiking. This hike starts at Ruhestein and will take you through the protected forest of the nature reserve before arriving at Wildersee – one of the most beautiful cirque lakes in the north of the Black Forest. 

The route: 

Start at the National Park centre at Ruhestein, here you will find several large car parks, toilets and cafes. (In the winter, there is also a ski slope which runs here). To start the hike, you will need to walk up and over the ski slope (if you’re in luck, and the chair lift is running, you can save your energy and take the chair lift to the top!) Once you’re at the top, you will have pretty views down over the valley, continue to follow the gravel path round to the right and get your first glimpse of Wildersee through the trees. The path then forks and turns steeply right again, guiding you through the thick, protected forest, down towards the lake. Stop here for a rest by the edge of the lake and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Leaving the lake, you can either continue following the path round the edge of the lake and up to Falzhütte and Bannwald before completing the full 8km loop back at Ruhestein. Or, if you prefer, you can retrace your steps and go back the way you came. Whichever route back you choose, you can detour to the Darmstädter Hütte – a rustic hotel which has a restaurant and bar open to visitors. 

5. Sankenbachsee and Sankenbach Waterfall hike

Sankenbachfall - photo by Stefan Kuhn

Sankenbachfall – photo by Stefan Kuhn

This interesting and easy trail is one of the best family hikes in the Black Forest. Combined with the facilities around the lake at Sankenbachsee, it makes for a great day out for families and those looking for a more laid back walking trail.

  • Distance: 7.5km (total)
  • Duration: 2 hours (allow for longer to enjoy time around the lake)
  • Type: Out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Sankenbachsee is a beautiful cirque lake in the Black Forest. Unlike other cirque lakes in the area, swimming is permitted in Sankenbachsee and surrounding the lake is a playground, barbeque area, a deer park and also the Sankenbach waterfalls, making it a popular place for a family day out in the Black Forest. 

Sankenbachsee - photo by Stefan Kuhn

Sankenbachsee – photo by Stefan Kuhn

You can walk to Sankenbachsee from either Baiersbronn or Freudenstadt. This route follows the more straightforward trail from Baiersbronn. 

The route: 

Starting at the Sankenbachtal parking lot, near the ski lift in Baiersbronn, follow the signs for Sankenbachtal. A few minutes after starting, the gravel path will fork – keep left here and follow signs for Sankenbachsee. The path will guide you alongside a small stream and after about 1km, you will arrive at the Wildghedge car park for the deer park and nature reserve. (You can of course park here to shorten the walk if you wish). 

Continue following the path straight ahead through the nature reserve and after 1.8km you will arrive at the edge of Sankenbachsee. To reach the Sankenbach waterfall, follow the edge of the lake for about 15 minutes. At the base of the waterfall, you will find a barbeque area – the perfect setting for a picnic lunch! To get back to the start of your walk, simply retrace your steps and go back the same way.

5 Great short hikes in the Northern Black Forest, Germany

Pin 5 Great short hikes in the Northern Black Forest, Germany

Seoraksan National Park in Korea is one of the most impressive sites to visit, both for its nature and its hiking possibilities. Considered the best national park in Korea by many, there are a range of trail options from beginning to advanced. Keep reading to learn all about the best hiking trails in Seoraksan.

Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail: The Easiest Hiking Trail in Seoraksan

Exploring the summit of Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail in Seoraksan National Park

Exploring the summit of Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail in Seoraksan National Park

The name of this place and trail is confusing – there is no actual fortress. The rocks along the Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail themselves are meant to create the image of a fortress. And it certainly is beautiful!

You can get a view of Ulsanbawi (the most famous ridgeline consisting of 6 peaks in the park) in the distance from this trail.

Gwongeumseong is part of a 1.5 km path (one-way) which you can take the cable car up to or down from. This makes it a very flexible option and great for families with small children which might have just begun learning to hike. It’s considered the easiest hiking trail in Seoraksan and should be fairly easy for most hikers.

From the top, there are also views of Sokcho, a beachside vacation city that’s a great place to base your trip out of.

Biryong Falls Trail

Biryong Falls at the end of the hike in Seoraksan

Biryong Falls at the end of the famous hike in Seoraksan

Difficulty: A Small Challenge 

So, I would not say these are the most impressive waterfalls in Korea. However, if you are used to the typical Korean hike, then these falls suddenly become very impressive indeed. When hiking in Korea, you’re not often faced with a big reward at all at the end of your giant trek (simply more trees)!

Luckily, the Seoraksan hiking trails all feature great views and experiences.

Even if the falls are not necessarily Instagram-worthy, the journey to them is absolutely beautiful. Your value for views is maxed out on the Biryong Falls trail, especially if you can visit during the autumn season.

Do note, the end of the trail is technically Towangsang Falls Observatory (expect an additional 600 stairs beyond the falls to get here).

The Biryong Falls Trail is a 2.9 mile in & out path. For someone fairly new to hiking in Korea, this trail should be a small challenge, but for the experienced individual, it will be a simple walk in the park.

Ulsanbawi Trail: The Most Popular Hike in Seoraksan

Exploring the 6 granite peaks of Seoraksan on the Ulsanbawi Trail

Exploring the 6 granite peaks of Seoraksan on the Ulsanbawi Trail

If you want to see the iconic 6 granite peaks of Seoraksan, the Ulsanbawi Trail is the path to take. Even though it is the most popular hiking trail in Seoraksan National Park, it is one of the more difficult ones. It’s essentially all stairs.

The beginning will take you through easy wooded paths and over beautiful carved bridges. You will pass some small temples and shrines along the way. Once you reach Heundeulbawi, with a view of the iconic Ulsanbawi, your real challenge begins.

Make sure you are wearing shoes that have good grip, the stairs are made of a variety of materials (uneven stone or slippery metal). However, the stunning views of the countryside once you complete the 3.8 km – one-way – will have been worth the effort!

This hiking trail in Korea is challenging, and you can expect it to take around 4+ hours to complete. There will be many others on the same path, so if you are expecting peace and quiet, then the Ulsanbawi Trail is not the trail for you.

Daeseung Waterfall Trail

Difficulty: Challenging 

If you want to hear rushing water while you hike, the Daeseung Waterfall Trail is a fantastic option. Daeseung Waterfall is the third-biggest waterfall in Korea, so it’s certainly a step up from the Biryong trail.

It is important to note that the waterfall is not always impressive due to its dependence on seasonal rainfall. Make sure you check whether the hike will be worth it before going, or make sure you’re going during or just after the rainy season.

An absolutely stunning place to hike, the Daeseung Waterfall Trail was a favorite of Korean kings throughout history. Getting there, however, is going to be a challenge. The path is very steep and can take the average hiker around 6 hours.

It’s an 11.3 km round-trip and not recommended for beginners. It’s important to note that Korea is over 85% mountainous, so if Koreans consider something to be difficult to climb – it really is! But the path will go by fascinating rock formations, burbling streams, and lingering ponds, making it well worth the effort.

Daecheongbong: The Highest Peak in Seoraksan

View over the landscape from Daecheongbong

View over the landscape from Daecheongbong

Incredibly Challenging (Consider turning it into a multi-day hike) 

If you like heights, consider giving the tallest point in Seoraksan a try. It’s also the 7th highest peak in South Korea, so if you’re planning to tackle more, then this is a good warm-up. There is a shelter to stay in overnight called the Heeungak shelter.

This is the only multi-day hike option in Seoraksan National Park, but it can be done in one day if you are highly experienced.


And those are the best hiking trails in Seoraksan that you should consider on your next vacation in South Korea! Interested in living or working in South Korea? Check out my post on Why Teaching English in South Korea is a great opportunity!

The Best Hikes in Seoraksan National Park in Korea

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