Alchemists and apparitions, ghosts and goblins, nefarious kings and needy water nymphs – these are just some of the characters that have tramped through the Black Forest over the centuries. Not your usual tourist demographic, granted, but then Germany’s source of myths and legends is not the kind of forest you’d bring home to meet your mother. Or at least it wasn’t a couple of hundred years ago.
These days, the most dangerous thing about the forest is the amount of famous gateau it serves up. And the only thing dark or mysterious about award-winning campsite Müllerwiese is the brooding bulk of its 1970s shower block at night; though the automatic lighting sort of ruins the dark part...and kills the mysteriousness a bit, too.
No, Müllerwiese is a family-run (and family- friendly) oasis; a small-but-perfectly-formed operation that’s been running since 1972, headed up by the laid-back but efficient team of Friedrich Erhard, his wife Susanne and his father, Hans. In the last 30-odd years they’ve perfected the art of running a campsite with the vital two Ps: professionalism and passion.
The site can be found at the edge of a picturesque German village called Enzklösterle. Most of the 75 pitches are past the house and beyond the main gate, along the border of a burbling mountain brook (actually the River Enz). This section of Müllerwiese is devoted to caravans and large tents, but campers needn’t go that far. You can just turn left and pitch in a grassy, car-free area that’s purely for tenters. Two small holiday apartments as well as two log cabins are also available nearby.
The area resembles nothing so much as a pretty – and pretty spacious – garden. The Enz gurgles its way past here too, and fir trees provide shelter and scenery. Though the site isn’t huge, it’s large enough to accommodate around 30 tents (pitches range from 60 to 80 sq. metres) without it feeling like Glastonbury or The Big Chill on a Sunday morning.
The facilities are modest but adequate. A playground is built into the garden and includes table tennis, a swing and one of those small springy-bouncy thingies that young children adore springing and bouncing on. The brook makes for a nice, clean, natural distraction, and you get your own bathroom and shower (and washing-up sink), located in a brand-new block. You can also use the main shower block – it looks a lot less menacing in the daytime – which is less modern, but better equipped, with everything you could possibly need for personal and clothing ablutions.
Enzklösterle, situated between 600 and 900 metres above sea level, contains just 1,200 souls – the diametrical opposite of a sprawling metropolis. But like all small German towns it illustrates startling efficiency when it comes to services. There are local butchers selling tasty Schwarzwälder Schinken, cafés hawking eponymous gateaux, food shops, restaurants, a chemist and an extravagant two hairdressers – and a tourist office over the road from the campsite.
Beyond the town lies the Black Forest ‘proper’: a shimmering universe of shade and light defined by proud firs, rustling woodlands, crystal-clear water, tinkling brooks, expansive lakes, flowery meadows and untouched moors. Within this wooded wonderland are over 1,800 miles (3,000 km) of hiking trails and 500 miles (800 km) of cycling tracks, all very well signposted. Black Forest towns such as Bad Wildbad (63⁄4 miles/11 km), Freudenstadt (17 miles/ 27 km) and others offer spas, sightseeing and relaxation opportunities, and are accessible for free by bus for those staying on the site. The brand new free-to-enter Black Forest National Park is also reachable within 30-45 minutes by car (1.5 hours by bus).
Be careful, though. You might not see any ghouls or goblins en route, but there’s a slice of cake around almost every corner just waiting to get you.
Good clean shower block in the main camping section; brand-new facilities for campers near the main house. Onsite playground and a (shallow) stream for splashing around in. Wi-fi available throughout the site (€6 for 24 hours).
Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs – yes.
Just 800m away nearby the red deere park there is a new tree climbing garden with free fall jump and a 400m long high-wire over a valley. If you really feel like pampering yourself, check out the incredibly indulgent spa experience at the lavish Palais Thermal (0049 7081 3030) in Bad Wildbad. 3–6-year-olds can visit the Enzklösterle kindergarten free of charge, which is just 200 metres from the campsite. Three miles (5 km) away in Poppeltal is one of the longest mountain slides in Germany (0049 7085 7812), a really long thrill ride guaranteed to make the surliest child beam. Throughout August the tourist office also organises entertainment programmes for children in nearby villages and woods.
Food & Drink
There’s nothing onsite, but Enzklösterle has a bakery and a butcher’s as well as cafés, beer gardens and restaurants. A short drive away, Kaltenbronn’s Hotel Sarbacher (0049 7224 9339) offers a wide range of regional dishes, often involving local game. There are also farmers’ markets in Altensteig 91⁄4 miles (15 km) away (Saturday mornings) and Bad Wildbad (Saturday mornings) .
April - October
The Owner Says
If you want to camp in The Black Forest this is the place to be! Our lovely little campsite is located in the middle of a breathtaking scenery, quiet and peaceful, infact most mornings the only sound are the neighbouring mountain brooks “Enz” and “Hirschbach” and a local church bells. In our both sanitary houses we like to offer clean showers and washing facilities.
For families but also for all others the car-free tent field is perfect. It is accessed over a little wooden bridge that crosses a crystal stream. Being completely free of cars it is an excellent place for small children to run around without worrying about them. There is also a small play area at the bottom of the tent field where children can play safely. The little brook and its nice spot to play is no more than a few inches deep. If you don't want water slides etc. but prefer nature, this is the one for you! Otherwise the area with caravans, campers and few tents is well laid out and spots defined by small hedges and shrubs. Furthermore there are 2 apartments at the campsite and three wooden cabins if you should have lost your tent or caravan.
As for the village and surrounding area it's wonderful, excellent bakery, beer shop with a large selection of beers and wine, a butchers, a well equipped mini market and plenty of other shops and good restaurants within walking distance (100 – 300 m). Make sure you visit the nice cafés in Enzklösterle for some Black Forest Gateau, best cakes you will EVER have!
The hiking and biking trails start from our campsite and extend for hundreds of miles (literally!). Our area is beautiful, there are so many things to see and do, especially when you love nature. We would like to give you a whole heap of leaflets for things to do in the northern Black Forest, at no time you should not think what to do next. There are numerous possibilities of leisure-time activities nearby e.g. the spa gardens with adventure mini golfpark (400m), forest climbing garden (600m), red deer park (800m), primeval forest (2 km), giant toboggan run (5 km), nature park information center and high altitude moors (8 km). With your free obligatory travel pass (the Black Forest guest card) you can easily reach Bad Wildbad (12 km, with thermal spa, funicular, tree top path), as well as Freudenstadt, Karlsruhe and even the new Black Forest National Park along the Black Forest Panoramic Mountain-Road nearby Baden-Baden.
Great value for money at our campsite, you will get one night free as you stay for 6 nights in low season.
Don't think twice – the Müllerwiese is worth a visit.
From the north, take the A8, coming off at exit Pforzheim-West and then follow the B294 to Calmbach. There you turn right and drive through Bad Wildbad. If you take the A5 from Basel or Frankfurt the campsite is reached most easily from the exit Rastatt, along the romantic Black Forest Valley Road through Freudenstadt – or take the mountain pass Gernsbach–Reichental– Kaltenbronn. From Munich take the A99 towards Stuttgart/Augsburg/Dachau follow the A8, then follow the directions as from the north.
You can catch a train from any main German station to Bad Wildbad, 63⁄4 miles (11 km) from Enzklösterle. Ten buses a day run from Bad Wildbad to a stop just 300 metres from the campsite.
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