Or farmhouses in der Schwarzwald (the Black Forest region), more specifically. If you're German or if you're familiar with the area, I need to hear from you. So. Let's say you're hiking in the Black Forest in late April/early May. As you come out of the trees you see below you, spread out on the mountainside, an ancient farmstead in reasonable repair, with its house, outbuildings, and all. No people are visible. What would you look for to decide if the place is occupied or not? Cars and animals, yes, but anything else? Would the inhabitants be running the stove(s) at that time of year (I'm making it a chilly spring in my novel)? Would it make any difference if the year is 1983? Next question: How do the hiking trails in Germany interface with private property? When I lived in Great Britain I got familiar with the ancient rights-of-way that ran along the perimeters of the farmers' fields. I learned to close gates behind me and hop over stiles. But does Germany have anything similar? Or, at least, anything an inexperienced foreigner would think was similar? Thanks for any help you can give. A major plot point is riding on the answer to these questions.