Submitted by scott on Sun, 11/28/2021 - 22:53


Baden to Forbach direct. 12 M., Forbach to Schönmünzach; Schönmünzach to the summit of the Hornisgrinde; down to the Mummelsee, Seebach, Ottenhofen, and thence over the hill to Allerheiligen.

Conveyances may be hired at Gernsbach, Forbach, and Schönmünzach: two-horse carr. for 4 pers, from Gernsbach to Schönmünzach 6 fl. 45 kr., Forbach to Schönmünzach 4 fl. . Schönmünzach to the Eckle ( 3 |4 hr. from the Hornisgrinde) 5 fl. 36 kr. ; the carriage-road ends here. — From Gernsbach to Schönmünzach post-omnibus twice daily in 4 hrs. (fare 1 fl.). and Freudenstadt in 6 ½ hrs. (fare 1 3/4 fl.).

July 24, 1878: The Clemens party started out on a three-day carriage trip through the Black Forest. They stayed at inns along the route.
Stopped at Forbach at noon—trout under a grape arbor, & 3 Germans eating in general room.
The village assembled to see a tinker mend a tin boiler.
School where they sang—something like our singing geography—one monotonous tune of ½ doz. notes.”

 The Footpath from Baden to Forbach (12 M.) diverges to the r. from the carriage - road to Ebersteinschloss at a finger-post 3/4 M. beyond Oberbeuren, being at first a broad track; 3/4 M., Geisbach, then (1 1/2 M.) Schmalbach, where the road to the 1. must be followed ; 1 1/2 M. farther the broad path diverges to the r. from the road and leads for 1 M. along the E. slope of the hill , passing a meadow. At the end of the meadow turn to the 1; at a cross-way, 1/4 M. farther, ascend the hill in a straight direction; in 1/4 M. more the main road is reached and is followed for 3/4 M.; at the fingerpost turn to the 1. to Bermersbach (l 1/4 M.). The path now ascends to the r. by the village-well and 1 1/4 M. farther reaches Forbach. The first 9 M. are chiefly through wood.

Forbach (* Krone , conveyances; *Hirseh and Lowe, by the bridge), a thriving village , with a church picturesquely situated on an eminence, is the finest point in the valley.

The next leg led to Schönmünzach.
Through fine gorge scenery by a brook to Post-inn at Schonmünd or some such name. Nice pictures on walls, nice paper, hand crocheted counterpanes.
How can they have such nice inns in the woods.

 The * Murgthal between Gernshach and Schönmünzach is wild and beautiful. The slopes are richly clothed with wood, often enlivened by green meadows and cottages in the Swiss style. As far as Schönmünzach the rocks consist of granite, huge blocks of which lie scattered about; beyond it the formation is gneiss, whence the smooth, rounded aspect of the slopes. Variegated sandstone also occurs. The valley then widens and loses much of its peculiar charm. It is seen to the best advantage in descending.

The Murg rises on the Kniebis from three springs which unite below Baiersbronn. After a course of 45 M. it falls into the Rhine below Rastatt. The inhabitants of its banks are almost exclusively engaged in the timber-traffic. The wood felled in winter is carried down by the spring floods to the Rhine, and crowds often assemble to witness the vast masses precipitated into the stream.

Beyond Forbach the Murgthal, although more deserted, continues grand and beautiful, resembling some of the wildest Swiss valleys; below dashes the torrent over scattered rocks, while dark, overhanging pine-clad hills rise on either side.

About halfway to Schönmünzach the Rauhmünzach falls into the Murg; 1 M from the confluence the former is augmented by the Schwarzbach, which forms a waterfall (insignificant in dry weather). A new road leads through the valley of the Schwarzbach to (10 1/2 M.) Herrenwies.

July 25, 1878: Likely began in Schönmünzach:

 Schönmünzach (*Glashutte, or Post; Waldhorn), the first village in Wurtemberg, consists of a few houses. The brook of the same name falls into the Murg here. (Bathing-place in the latter on the 1. bank, 1/4 M. above the Post.) To the Hornisgrinde.

To the Hornisgrinde and Mummelsee the most frequented road from the Murgthal ascends from Schönmünzach (see above) to the W. on the r. bank of the Schönmünzach (and there is also a new road on the 1. bank) to Zwickgabel (3 M.). crosses the brook, and ascends to the r. along the Langenbach, which at Zwickgabel unites with the Schönmünzach; passes (1 1/2 M.) Vorder-Langenbach, where there is a timber sluice, and at (2 1/4 M.) Hinter-Langenbach (Zupfle), ascends to the 1. Guides for the Hornisgrinde and Mummelsee may be procured here.

* Hornisgrinde (3825 ft.) , the top of which is marked by a massive stone Signal, supported by stakes. The bare and marshy summit commands a very extensive view, which however is frequently shrouded in mist : to the E. the Swabian Alb, the Achalm at Reutlingen , the Hohentwiel, and other peaks of the Höhgau ; S. the heights of the Black Forest, Feldberg, Belchen, Blauen, and beyond them even the Alps; S.W. the Kaiserstuhl, and Vosges ; W. the vast plain of the Rhine; nearly opposite rises the spire of Strassburg, and on a mountain in the foreground the extensive ruins of the Brigittenschloss; N. the mountains around Baden, the Mercuriusberg, and even the Thurmberg near Durlach.

From the Hornisgrinde the new path descends in windings to the S.E. in 1 hr. to the Mummelsee (3385 ft.), agloomy little lake, surrounded by pine-clad mountains , and popularly believed to be inhabited by water-sprites. By the Seebach, the brook issuing from the lake on the S. , is a hut which affords shelter in bad weather. Excellent water issues from the rock at the N.W. corner, about ten paces above the lake, near the path from the Hornisgrinde.

From the Mummelsee a steep footpath descends in l/2 hr. to the new Murgthal road, reaching it at the inn *Zum Adler. On this road Seebach (lower part 1174 ft., upper 1623 ft.) (Krone; Hirsch) lies Ufa M. farther. From Seebach two routes lead to Allerheiligen, one an uninteresting path over the mountains (in 1 1/2 hr., guide 36 kr.) ; the other and more attractive follows the valley as far as (2 1/4 M.) Ottenhöfen; thence to Allerheiligen.

The carriage-road from Ottenhofen to Allerheiligen ascends the Unterwasser-Thal towards the S. to the (2 1/2 M.) Neuhaus (Erbprinz). Here the new road describes a wide curve in the valley towards the l., while the old road ascends the steep slope on the r., on the summit of which the roads again unite. Fine retrospective views from the new road: 1 1/2 M. from the Neuhaus a way-post indicates the way to the Edelfranengrab by Blöchereck.

From the top of the hill (from which a short cut descends by steps to the r.) the road descends in windings to (2 1/4 M.) * Allerheiligen (1968 ft.) the first glimpse of which is very striking. The grand ruins of the Premonstratensian Abbey founded by the Duchess Uta of Schauenburg in 1196. secularised in 1802 and partly occupy almost the entire breadth destroyed by lightning in 1803 of the wooded dale. Travellers should use the utmost caution in exploring them, owing to their unsafe condition. A Prussian gentleman lost his life here in 1862. Mittenmaier's Inn (D. I fl. 12 kr.) travellers should therefore arrive early as is often full in summer they may have to continue their journey the same evening.

July 26: Return to Baden from Allerheiligen. Openau to Appenweier & change - then to Ofenberg & change. There was a direct rail route from Appenweier to Baden-Baden, but Twain evidently intended to include Offenberg in the tour and take the train to Baden-Baden from there.

Immediately below the monastery is a rugged cleft in the rocks, formed apparently by volcanic agency, through which the Grindenbach is precipitated over blocks of granite in seven falls, termed the 'Sieben Bütten' (Seven cauldrons), or * Büttenstein Falls, some of them 50 ft. in height, into the valley beneath. A good path, cut through the rock at places, or supported by ladders descends by the falls to the (20 min.) bottom of the valley, 300 ft. below. From the second 'Rondel', or platform, the double fall is best surveyed. The waterfalls which are chiefly remarkable for their picturesque accessories, are seen to the best advantage in ascending from the valley below.

At the finger-post by the bridge beyond the falls the carriage-road from Allerheiligen is reached and it now follows the bank of the Lierbach (as the Grindenbach is now called) high on the slope of the hill. At the Kreuz Inn, near Oppenau the road to Freudenstadt and Antogast diverges to the r. At (6 M.) the busy little town of Oppenau (*Stahlbad ; Post) 'Kirschwasser' is largely manufactured.

There are no notes, I've found, indicating how Twain's party departed Oppenau but it is likely they took the train.

The Rench Valley Railway's first section, between Appenweier and Oppenau, was opened on 1 June 1876 by the Rench Valley Railway Company (Renchthal-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft). It was taken over by the Grand Duchy of Baden State Railways on 31 May 1909, who had in any case operated the line from the outset. The Deutsche Reichsbahn extended the line on 28 November 1926 to Bad Peterstal and on 23 May 1933 to Bad Griesbach.