The Schwarzwaldhochstraße begins in Baden-Baden and rises quickly to the main ridge of the northern Black Forest, reaching the top at the Bühlerhöhe. At the top is a luxury hotel, also named the Bühlerhöhe. A small chapel with notable stained glass windows, known locally as the Adenauerkirche, sits perched on an outcropping on the height. When the weather is clear, there is a wide view over the Rhine plain toward the Vosges Mountains.
From the Bühlerhöhe the Hochstraße stays between 800 and 1000 meters above sea level past several mountain hotels (Plättig, Sand, Hundseck, Unterstmatt, Mummelsee, Ruhestein, Schliffkopf). At one of the several ski areas along the route, on the Mehliskopf by Sand, is a year-round all weather bob track. Here is also where the road branches off to the Schwarzenbach dam and the Herrenwies Nordic ski center.
Other ski lifts and restaurants can be found at Hundseck and Unterstmatt.
The Naturschutzzentrum, (Nature Protection Center) at Ruhestein has information about the Middle/North Black Forest Nature Park, one of a series of parks throughout Germany that aim to protect natural and cultural features of an area. The information center is also responsible for the Lotharpfad, an interpretive trail showing the effects of the 1999 storm Lothar. In addition to ski lifts and cross-country trails Ruhestein has a ski jump.
The road then continues over the Schliffkopf and Kniebis ranges, past Zuflucht and Alexanderschanze to its end in the city of Freudenstadt.
The name Schwarzwaldhochstraße was first used in 1930 after the completion of the section of road between Hundseck and Untersmatt made access to the high Black Forest easier. In order to draw the emerging automobile tourists to the mountain hotels, the roads in the high valleys were together labeled as a scenic drive. Under the Third Reich, further construction was done for strategic reasons, including finishing the uncompleted stretch between Ruhestein and Alexanderschanze through a nature preserve between 1938 and 1941. The entire route from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt was completed in 1952.
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