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  • Guides

    René Welti, Founder & Owner
    In 2011, while living in Lucerne, René discovered no one was offering individual “Guided Outdoor Day Tours” from Lucerne to the surrounding Lake Lucerne region mountains that provide the best scenic views of the Swiss Alps.

    René spent months scouting trails and planning the ideal hiking and biking tours for English speaking visitors. Then he put the tours on a website, a first couple from Dallas booked a tour and Echo Trails was started. Now René has guided hundreds of people in Switzerland with one mission in mind: “To Wow” them.

    With Echo Trails, René’s business adventure began: putting his passion into doing a job he loves.  

    René’s Swiss heritage stems from the 16th century and was born in the city of Basel. He immigrated to North America at the age of three and grew up in California, in the San Francisco, Silicon Valley Bay Area.

    When people ask René  where he is from his standard response is: “Swiss on the inside and USA on the outside. While he considers himself a native English speaker he speaks Swiss-German fluently like everyone else in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland.

     René received  his undergraduate Business Bachelor’s degree in California at San José State University and his MBA from the University of Connecticut. After a 12 year Trans World Airlines, sales & marketing career, he relocated to Florida and became the Assistant Director for the Florida Division of Tourism. With 20 years of corporate and public tourism experience he created his own America Live, Inc tourism marketing business.

    In 2010, René  left his USA based award- winning America Live, Inc. tourism marketing company and relocated back to Switzerland to be closer to his two children who were attending Grad School in Europe..

    Since René  represented many Swiss destinations & organisations in the USA and now back in Switzerland, he was soon hired by Swiss Trails, to assist in the  marketing of the company’s all inclusive tourism services on all of “Switzerland’s national, regional and local hiking & biking sign posted trails”.  

    René’s travel industry experience gave him the insight to develop adventure hiking, walking and biking tours to the surrounding Lucerne mountains.  René designed all the tours on  local public transportation: boats, trains, buses, and bikes.

    ECHO Trails is 100% GREEN.


    Peter Cummins
    UK, London raised, outdoor activity instructor in Scotland, Switzerland and Austria, Peter enthusiastically awaits to meet you and to be your guide.

    For over 20 years Peter has trained and is qualified to hike, climb, mountain bike and team build. Peter also loves history and geography and is pleased to share how the British were the first to discover Switzerland, the first to climb the Matterhorn in 1865 and provided the first wave of visitors to this Lake Lucerne region.

    Switzerland can thank the British for promoting Switzerland as one of the world’s most scenic places to visit.

    Eve Harpur, Office Manager
    Eve takes greats pleasure to share the Lucerne area with visitors and friends as she has explored the area wideley on foot, by bike, boat and bus.

    Originally from South Africa, now a Swiss citizen, graduated with a degree in History at the University of Cape Town, Eve also worked as a registered tour guide in Cape Town. Today Eve is very active in the Lucerne Anglo-Swiss club and has a passion for Swiss history.

    Dave Harpur
    Originally from South Africa, now a Swiss citizen, with a Phd. from the University of Cape Town in Biochemistry, Dave for the past 13 years has been sharing the Lake Lucerne region outdoors with friends and visitors.

    One of Dave’s specialties is Swiss natural history and enjoys describing the various alpine flowers to people. Dave’s background is within the petrochemical industry


    John Fraser
    John guides for ECHO Trails part time and receives “Outstanding” Trip Advisor reviews.

    He was formerly in the United States Air Force before coming to Switzerland in February 2013 to join his (now) wife who is Swiss.
    John currently works as an engineering program manager for Pilatus Aircraft, the only aircraft manufacturer in Switzerland, and is an avid skier and hiker, and spends much of his free time in the mountains. He is also a frequent traveler and amateur photographer, traveling the globe in search of new experiences.

    Michael Welti
    Graduated from the University of St. Gallen, International Affairs Masters. He is a former Swiss National Lacrosse team, Lucerne Rugby Club team member and recently completed his first Ironman Triathlon. Michael was born in Tallahassee, FL and is an Eagle Scout..

    Knows the Lake Lucerne region hiking and cycling highlights.

    He honed his cycling skill by biking solo from Switzerland to Aberdeen, Scotland.

    When not guiding for ECHO Trails, he works for Credit Suisse in Zürich in the foreign exchange department and offers interesting insights into the world’s monetary policies.

    Denis Aschwanden
    Dennis was born and raised in Uri, one of the founding Cantons of Switzerland; “Aschwanden” is a typical name of the area.

    Denis loves travelling and has seen 3 continents and visited more than 15 countries. He speaks English like a native as he enjoys traveling to the USA and attended the Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh in an exchange program this past fall.

    Switzerland has an “army reserve system” and Dennis is a squad leader within his “Alps training excercises” unit.

    As a passionate skier he enjoys the slopes of several resorts in Switzerland and Austria. In order to heighten his cultural experience he is a student of international management and works with incoming students from all around the world.

    In addition he is also an entrepreneur, provided market research, consultancy services and helped scout the various tours for ECHO Trails.

  • Recent reviews

    ECHO Trails ranked Top Guided Hiking Company in Lucerne