These words describe the Appenzel region in eastern Switzerland.
The idyllic emerald hills, now immersed in flowers, are instantly replaced by incredibly steep rocks, making the local landscape simply magical.
Therefore, it is not surprising that we decided to spend our little Easter haik holiday here.
Appencelerland (this is also called this region) offers countless opportunities for hiking tours of any complexity, as well as several panoramic sites, which can be reached by lift, without special physical exertion – for those who want to simply admire the views.
The starting point of the trip, we chose the city of the same name – Appenzel. Firstly, this town itself deserves a visit, and secondly, thanks to the well-developed network of Appenzell railways, you can quickly reach most of the local sights (or places where these sights need to go on foot).
This place was the first on our “must visit” list, as well as – this is one of the Highlights of the Appenzel region and an incredible beauty and energy place..
Distance and difficulty
About 10 km. The route is circular: first you climb from the Wasserrauen station to the lake (about 500 m), and then, on the other side of the valley, go down. The first 500 meters are not easy, as the road is always up and quite steep. However, we were not the only ones who came here with the children, therefore, it is not so difficult. The road back, despite the fact that you go all the time down, can be a little dangerous because of the rockfall and the stretch of path that passes through the gorge. Good shoes are required.
Awesome landscape change, from the pastoral soft slopes, now covered with snowdrops (here spring is just beginning) to wild, completely naked and sheer cliffs hanging over the valley. And like a cherry on the cake – a small lake lying at the foot of the mountain, at any time of the year topped with a snow cap.
The way back is perhaps even more interesting: an absolutely wild landscape with huge boulders scattered here and there, with a mountain waterfall descending into a very narrow valley. And the views of the whole Appenzel below!
Picnic on the lake is pleasant, but not obligatory – on the lakeside there are 2 restaurants, each with a nice terrace and a small playground in front of it. There is no other entertainment for children here, but most of them don’t need it – where it’s more interesting to climb small and very interesting rocks near the lake.
And in good weather, on weekends, an alpine-horn musician rises here — it is such a long instrument by which shepherds summon herds and could give a signal to other shepherds in the valley.
The clear and sonorous sound of the horns spreads through the valley and, reflecting from the rocks, leaves an echo above the lake. This is a terrific impression – to admire the undisturbed nature of the Alps, accompanied by music!
What else can you do? ⠀
For those looking for a “real” haik, the trail goes further through a mountain pass and leads to 2 more lakes. But this is a full day tour, and since there is still a sea of snow in this area, this path is still closed.
In summer, you can go boating on the lake. Rent a restaurant on the beach. It is also allowed to fish, but whether a license is needed, it is better to clarify there. Local trout, by the way, belongs to the regional “specialties”.
Going back to Wasserrauen, you can still visit the tiny museum of the Apennzelsky trains. Children may be interested to see old cars. And if the visit does not have the strength or desire, then right at the station there is an incredibly cute cafe “Loki”, which is, in fact, one such car. Children can go into the driver’s cab and touch it all.
Incredibly charming bartender, excellent coffee, Italian ice cream and wonderful music will help to complete the walk on a beautiful note!
I can recommend this route to anyone who wants to get to know Appenzellerland better and get acquainted with its beauty. And I will write about further walks in the region with the following articles!
Maria Meier, organizer of hiking tours in Switzerland
Instagram of the author: meiermaria.switzerland, more interesting: #хайкинг_с_ребенком_meier.
Photo made by author