Day Trip Ideas from Basel: Todtnauer Wasserfall

Living in Basel, we are fortunately wonderfully placed between the German and French borders and hence, the options of weekend getaways/day trips are plentiful. Just before we bid adieu to summer, last weekend we decided to visit the Todtnau Waterfall located in the heart of black forest. So, if you’re looking for day trip ideas for whatever that’s left of this summer 😉 and for autumn (of course!) then read on, this one deserves to make it in your list!

The Todtnau Waterfall: One of the highest natural waterfalls in Germany

Todtnau Waterfall is located in the heart of the Southern Black Forest and between the Feldberg and Belchen mountains. One of the Wiese Valley’s top attractions, Todtnau Waterfalls offers hiking, cycling, and mountain bike routes and is quite popular among adventure seekers, making it perfect for a weekend getaway with family and friends. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that you can actually hear the roaring of the water while hiking to the top of the waterfall…this truly  refreshes you and submerges you in nature.

Basel -> Todtnau waterfall

Since we live in Basel, the Todtnau waterfall area was just a 1-hour drive away from our place. Once you get there, access to the waterfall from the Aftersteg car park at the waterfall kiosk is barrier-free. The car park is located on the L126 between Todtnau and Kirchzarten in Aftersteg. After you park, you’ll spot a sign of the area, paths and an arc that marks the start of the hiking trail.

Here are some other ways to access the Todtnauer waterfall:

  • From  Todtnau (church): Via path markings (blue diamond) from the Black Forest Association; Distance: 2 kilometers
  • From Todtnauberg: Descent from the hillside parking lot to the waterfall; Distance 0.6 kilometers. From the centre of the village (Hotel Sternen) via the waterfall trail markings (Bollenhut symbol); Distance: 1.2 kilometers

Entry Fee:

Adults: € 2.00

Teenagers: 1.00€ (12-17 years)

Children: Free of charge (up to 11 years)

Weekend Getaway from Basel: Todtnauer Wasserfall | My Swiss Story Pic credits: http://www.europeanwaterfalls.com

Now, Let’s Talk about the hike:

There are two options to do this walk.

  1. From the top of the waterfall and then go down and up, or
  2. From below and then, you need no climbing whatsoever. If you start from below, it is a much more relaxed trip (20-30 minutes to/from the waterfall if you are walking really late with small kids)

You can walk from the top to the bottom in 15 minutes. The climb up can be a bit tough if you’re not fit, and the way down is a bit steep at the beginning but very doable.

The key here is wearing suitable footwear and weather appropriate clothing.

There are several aesthetic locations for you to stop by and get clicked, be it between the nature with bridges or in ideal locations, canopies, laid back chairs etc. At the waterfall base, there is a hut to provide shade, some wooden beds for sunbathing which surprisingly comfortable. Once you reach the base, you could get close to the waterfall and even wade through the shallow parts.

If you’re feeling adventurous, instead of taking this basic path to the waterfall, you can explore different hiking trails in the area. Here are a few you can look at:

  • Circular Tour: The circular route from Todtnau is ideal for walking to one of the highest natural waterfalls in Baden-Württemberg – the Todtnau waterfall. On the round tour, which is around six kilometers long, you also get the opportunity to visit the glass blowing yard in Aftersteg and explore the churches in the area too. So if you’re keen on getting cultural insights about the area with a blend of nature, you can opt for this one.
  • Connoisseur path – Wasserfallsteig: If you’re an experienced hiker, this hiking trail will take you through natural waterfalls and offer a varied nature experience, from alpine climbs to extensive herb meadows.

My Overall Experience:


Since we visited with friends and kids, I’d say this was a really pleasant hike. The waterfall is a very quick and easy hike from the main road and absolutely worth it. The place offers breath taking views of the Black Forest throughout the quick journey to the falls and is surrounded by lush green forest area. The fall itself is stunning. Absolutely worth the stop! 😉



Have you downloaded our free ebook – 21 Hidden Gems of Switzerland? If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to download it while planning your Swiss Getaway.

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