The southern German town of Freiburg is the gate-way to the Black Forest and hovering above the town is the 1286 metre high Schauinsland. Reached easily by public transport including a 20 minute ride up the mountain by cable car and is an attraction itself.
All year round there are visitors enjoying activities such as mountain bike and hiking trails in summer or in winter there is plenty of skiing opportunities for families.
At the top of the cable car ride is a restaurant and beer garden with extensive views over the French Vosges mountain range and Rhine valley.
The lookout tower not far from the restaurant is popular with day trippers taking in the views of the Black Forest. On a clear day it’s possible to see the Swiss Alps poking up in the distance.
Inside Schauinsland there are approximately 100 kilometres of tunnels and passageways left over from 700 years of lead, silver and zinc mining. Production ceased in 1954 and since 1976 a mining museum has been open where tourists can enter the tunnels and take guided tours.
During the war years, Schauinsland was a military hospital site and interestingly the cable car access only operated at night to the hospital to avoid being seen by aircraft.
Schauinsland can be visited any time of the year. The best time I like to go is in Autumn when the trees change colour and the weather is still good.