Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is a wooded mountain range in southwestern It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the mountain Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 meters. The region is almost rectangular with a length of 200 km and breadth of 60 km.
Geologically, the Black Forest consists of a cover of sandstone on top of a core of gneiss and granites. Formerly it shared tectonic evolution with the nearby Vosges Mountains. Later during the Middle Eocene a rifting period affected the area and caused formation of the Rhine graben. During the last glacial period of the Würm glaciation, the Black Forest was covered by glaciers; several tarn lakes such as the Mummelsee are remains of this period.
The forest mostly consists of pines and firs, some of which are grown in commercial monoculture. Similar to other forested regions, the Black Forest has had areas damaged by mass logging. Due to logging and land use changes the forest proper is only a fraction of the size it used to be. The storm Lothar knocked down trees over hundreds of acres of mountaintops in 1999. This left some of the high peaks and scenic hills bare, with only primary growth shrubs and young fir trees.
The main industry is tourism. In addition to the towns and monuments noted below, the Black Forest is crossed by numerous long distance footpaths, including some of the first to be established. The European long-distance path E1 crosses the Black Forest following the routes of some of the local long-distance paths. In addition there are numerous shorter paths suitable for day walks, as well as mountain biking and cross-country skiing trails. The total network of tracks amounts to around 23,000 kilometres (14,000 mi), and is maintained and overseen by a voluntary body, the Schwarzwaldverein (Black Forest Society), which has around 90,000 members (figures from Bremke, 1999, p.9).
Source : wikipedia.org