The ascent at the beginning is definitely worth it: If you follow the narrow path over sticks and stones and past high fir trees, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view at the top, as well as the Gägger-steg, a boardwalk made of windthrow, which can only be reached by taking on the short hike. It is up to eight metres above ground and offers views of the forest surrounding it and the entire Gantrisch range, a mountain panorama that you won’t get enough of! Take a walk on the boardwalk and explore the beautiful Gantrisch Nature Park.
TO THE GÄGGERSTEG
Nomen est omen with this one: “Lueg” in Swiss German means “look”. The popular destination in Af-foltern 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. 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.
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. Give the TV an evening off and head over there!
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 im-pressive historic buildings such as the Erlinsburg Castle ruins and Neu-Bechburg Castle.
TO THE HÖLLCHÖPFLI
Unlike the more frequented routes around the Selibüel, the new Obergurnigel snowshoe trail takes outdoor fans to less known scenic points. If you get your timing right, the hike’s highlight also dou-bles as a perfect backdrop for Instagram pics: once you reach the top of Obergurnigel, you’re treated to a panoramic view of the Bernese Oberland and Lake Thun. Combined with a beautiful golden sun-set – unforgettable. Snowshoes can be rented conveniently at the Berghaus Gurnigel or the Berghütte Selital for CHF 30.00
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 Bal-lebüehl”: “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 joy-ful 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 high-est 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 park-ing lot at Restaurant Chuderhüsi.
TO THE CHUDERHÜSI
The Ahornalp above Eriswil is at 1,136 metres above sea level and located in the border region be-tween 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 pano-rama. The Ahorn (maple), as locals and regulars like to call it, is a great starting point for wonderful hikes such as the “Grenzpfad Napfbergland”.
TO THE AHORN
The Chutzenturm tower with its 45 metres is the highest wooden tower in the entire country. It takes a bit of courage to climb, even if you aren’t usually afraid of heights, but once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view. Can you see the mountains in the distance? Moléson, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, Titlis, and even Mont Blanc? There’s a wooden table at the base of the tower, perfect for a break and an energizing picnic. Our tip: combine your visit to the Chutzenturm with a leisurely e-bike ride through the region.
To the Frienisberg Scenic Route