Black Forest (German: Schwarzwald), a mountainous forest region in southwestern Germany. It takes its name from the dark, thick stands of spruce and fir that cover its slopes. The Black Forest lies on the east side of the Rhine River in the state of Baden-Württemberg and extends southward from Karlsruhe to the northern Swiss boundary. It is about 100 miles (160 km) long and covers an area of some 3,000 square miles (7,800 km2). The highest peak is Feldberg, which rises 4,898 feet (1,493 m) above sea level in the south. Both the Danube and the Neckar rivers originate in the Black Forest. At Triberg the Gutach River plunges more than 500 feet (150 m) in a rugged fall.
Lumbering and wood processing are major industries in the Black Forest. Wine grapes are cultivated on the lower slopes. The region is noted for handicrafts, such as carved wooden figures, cuckoo clocks, music boxes, and toys. The beauty of the forest, the cool dry climate, and the many mineral springs make the Black Forest a popular resort area. Baden-Baden is the best-known of its many spas.
Since World War II, extensive damage has been done to the trees by air pollution, especially from automobile emissions.