A different kind of nature experience
“Snowshoe tours on the Feldberg are a completely different kind of natural experience.” Martin Lipphardt tells. He is a forester and works in the Southern Black Forest Nature Conservation Center. “At no other event at the nature conservation center do you experience the forces of nature here at almost 1500 meters above sea level as closely as on a snowshoe tour. “Last winter we went on hikes and felt like we were on the verge of the North Pole with icy winds and blowing snow. On other days, thanks to the sun and inversion weather conditions, we were able to see as far as Mont Blanc. Because of the warm weather, the participants had taken off their jackets and rolled up their shirt sleeves.”
Since 2002 the nature conservation center of the southern Black Forest on the Feldberg has been offering a snowshoe tour every Sunday, which is a new experience every time. On an approximately eight-kilometer hike, the staff at the center show the special features of the mountain. Huge snow peaks, bent spruce trees that have defied climatic extremes for centuries and a cozy hut, from which the cows used to be driven up the Feldberg, lie along the way.
The conservationists on the Feldberg repeatedly point out that the tours can be quite arduous. A good basic physical constitution and one clothing adapted to the weather is absolutely necessary.
Snowshoeing is trendy and can be a burden for nature. Particularly when snowshoe hikers visit the quiet retreats for threatened animal species, which are particularly important in winter, this can lead to considerable problems for these animals. Isn't it a contradiction when the conservationists go on snowshoe hikes themselves?
Stefan Büchner summarizes: “That Snowshoeing is currently enjoying increasing popularity. It was particularly important to us to avoid uncontrolled spread, especially in the nature reserve. With our snowshoe tours and the creation of two beautiful snowshoe trails marked in the area, we try to steer this type of winter sport into nature-friendly paths. And when we borrow our snowshoes, we have the opportunity to point out the retreat areas for rare animals and to ask the tourers to be considerate.”
The snowshoe trails were signposted last winter with the support of the Southern Black Forest Nature Park. A leaflet enables Feldberg visitors who are not familiar with the area to find the trails.
In snowstorms and fog, the conservationists do not give out snowshoes. "The risk of getting lost is simply too great," says Martin Lipphardt. “In the past decades, there have been repeated incidents in which hikers got lost and froze to death on the mountain in fog. Of course we want to spare our visitors that! "
In addition to the tours that take place regularly on Sundays, groups can also register on their preferred date.
The Southern Black Forest Nature Conservation Center is open daily during the holiday periods, otherwise from Tuesday to Sunday between 10.00 a.m. and 17.00 p.m. Admission to the permanent exhibition costs 2 euros for adults and 1 euros for concessions, families pay a maximum of 5 euros. Prices for guided tours and more information are available on Tel. 07676 / 9336-30 at the Nature Conservation Center South Black Forest, Dr.-Pilet-Spur 4, 79868 Feldberg, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Internet at www.naturschutzzentrum-bw.de .