The newly built Gäggersteg, a walkway made of wood, takes hikers on a two-hour walk through the trees of the forest reserve by the Pfyffe, a local mountain. The beautiful panorama and seemingly endless rows of mountain peaks could almost make you dizzy – but you’ll be fine, the impressions and beautiful landscape will give you the energy boost you need to discover the entire family-friendly, themed path. It is built from local wood and stands at up to eight metres above the ground, leading visitors through the forest that was almost completely destroyed by storm Lothar in 1999. Old and young can learn how nature has been recovering by playing the game about "Wild Tüst" and his goats: at eight themed stations revolving around the topics of forest, wind and roots, runes must be collected and the codeword found in order to receive the reward at the end.
OFF TO THE GÄGGERSTEG
Nomen est omen with this one: “Lueg” in Swiss German means “look”. The popular destination in Affoltern in the Emmental lies at about 900 metres above sea level and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Emmental’s hills and meadows and the Bernese Alps. Whether you prefer biking, hiking or a relaxed excursion: Many paths lead up the Lueg and to the impressive monument erected in 1918 for Bernese cavalrymen that died from the Spanish Flu. And Restaurant Lueg nearby offers a large, sun-lit terrace, refreshments, and a pretty view of the Lueg. Don’t forget to choose your descent wisely: If you take the route toward Affoltern, you can stop at the renowned show dairy on your way down and experience up close how the world-famous Emmental AOP cheese is made. You will also see traditional farmhouses along the way and have the opportunity to buy regional delicacies at the quaint farm shops.
OFF TO THE LUEG
The easily visible television tower high above the town of Bolligen makes sure that the Bernese can enjoy their favourite TV series. But the mountain itself provides entertainment, too: The 360° view from the top at about 1,000 metres above sea level includes the rooftops of the federal city, the rolling hills of the Emmental, the Gantrisch and Jura ranges, and the world-famous peaks of the Bernese Alps. This gorgeous view is only a flight of steps away; it can be seen from the platform of the 30-metre tower, where panels help you recognize and name every mountain in sight. The loop trail that starts in Bolligen is an especially charming route up the Bantiger. And even spontaneous adventurers can get to the top in time for the pretty sunset after they get off work: it’s only a 30-minute walk from the parking lot at the “Cholgruebe” in Ferenberg near Stettlen. Give the TV an evening off and head over there!
OFF TO THE BANTIGER
Hällchöpfli, Höllchöpfli or Hellchöpfli – this peak in the first Jura range and highest scenic point in the Oberaargau region has no less than three different names. At 1,232 metres above sea level, above the town of Rumisberg, you’ll have a spectacular panoramic view of the Central Plateau, the Alps and the Jura. An especially charming way to reach the Chöpfli is by taking the loop trail from Wolfisberg. There are restaurants along the way if you feel like a break, and on your way down you’ll pass impressive historic buildings such as the Erlinsburg Castle ruins and Neu-Bechburg Castle.
OFF TO THE HÖLLCHÖPFLI
Gantrisch Panorama Trail
There are many panorama trails, but the one in the Gantrisch Nature Reserve is unique: The 20-kilometre trail offers views galore and can’t be compared to any other hike in the foothills of the Bernese Alps. The panorama trail can also be divided into stages and discovered one section at a time. On your excursion, you’ll basically see the “who’s who” of gorgeous Swiss landscapes: the Stockhorn range, the Napf region, the Bernese Alps, the Jura and the three-lake-area, the Schwarzenburg region... The list is long and promising. One of the highlights is the view of the Schüpfenflue between the Gurnigel and the Selital valley, which will leave you out of breath and lost for words. Benches and fire pits invite you to take a short recovery break before continuing your hike through panorama heaven.
TO THE PANORAMA TRAIL
You can see them from afar, guiding the way and reassuring visitors that they’re almost there: the two impressive, protected linden trees give the Ballenbüehl the feeling of grandeur that it deserves. From this popular spot, you’ll have a beautiful panoramic view of the Aare valley, the Chasseral and the Stockhorn and Niesen mountains – an absolute feast for the eyes! The gem can be reached in just one hour on foot from the Konolfingen train station. And while sitting by the nearby barbecuing pit and enjoying a picnic with a view, you’ll start to understand the person who sang “My Jutz vom Ballebüehl”: “I bi so froh u glücklech da, es isch es herrlechs Gfüehl, dass i di gäng ir Nechi ha, mi liebe Ballebüehl” (“I am so happy here, Ballenbüel my dear, and it’s wonderful to know that you are always near”).
TO THE BALLENBÜEL
In Röthenbach in the Emmental, you will find the 195 steps that lead to happiness: Stroll through the Gauchernwald (Gauchern forest) until you reach the Chuderhüsi tower, then climb up the steps in joyful anticipation. At the top, a breathtaking 360° view awaits – on clear days, you can see as far as the Black Forest. So how about planning your next Sunday excursion to the Emmental around a visit to this tower made completely out of silver fir wood? By the way: its 42 metres make it one of the highest wooden towers in Switzerland. Good to know: in the summer months, there’s a bus on weekends from the Signau train station to the Chuderhüsi, and the tower is only a short walk away from the parking lot at Restaurant Chuderhüsi. There’s also a large barbecuing area for relaxed picnics and laid-back afternoons.
TO THE CHUDERHÜSI
The Ahornalp above Eriswil is at 1,136 metres above sea level and located in the border region between the cantons of Bern and Lucerne. Thanks to this unique location, it offers stunning views: be it the Central Plateau or the Jura, Mount Pilatus or the Rigi, the Chasseral or the Bernese Alps – you can see them all from up there. Ahornalp is also perfectly suited for escaping the dull, grey lowland fog. And the quaint restaurant at the top will keep your belly satisfied while your eyes feast on the panorama. The Ahorn (maple), as locals and regulars like to call it, is a great starting point for wonderful hikes such as the “Grenzpfad Napfbergland”, a multi-day tour along the border of the canton of Bern that takes hikers from Langenthal to the Brünigpass in six stages. By the way: there’s a bus that departs from the train station in Huttwil and takes passengers up to Ahornalp in 30 minutes (reservation required).
TO THE AHORN
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