In 1822 the district was created under the name Erbach, subdivided into two Bezirke Breuberg and Erbach. The last of several modifications of the district was in 1972, when some municipalities from the Dieburg and Bergstraße district were added to the district. In 1972 the district also changed its name.
The oak tree of the coat of arms symbolize the forests of the district, which also gave the district its name (Wald = forest). The three stars were taken from the coat of arms of the Counts of Erbach, who once ruled the area.