Around 300 years ago, with the local population steadily growing, the people of the ‘Murg’ valley in the northern Black Forest were in need of more land for farming and livestock. They decided to cut down the forests in the steep side valleys of the Murg and thus created meadows. Local soil conditions and the steepness of the slopes meant that it was impossible for animals to graze on this land, which is why it was then used to make hay.
Up until today, traces of this land use can be discovered in the area in the form of wooden huts, which were built by migrant workers from Tyrol in Austria who imported this Tyrolean tradition to the Murg valley. Back in the days, hay was stored in these huts until winter, when it was carried down to the valley on wooden sleds or in baskets on the backs of labourers to feed animals.
Today, the few remaining meadow valleys of this kind are considered to be amongst the most precious man-made landscapes in the whole Black Forest. Numerous trails, such as the ‘Goats Trail’ (‘Ziegenpfad’) in Forbach-Bermersbach and the ‘Hay Huts Circular Trails’ (‘Heuhüttenrundwege’) in Forbach-Gausbach, take in this beautiful piece of agricultural heritage.
Further information: www.murgtal.org (Google-translated website)