William Tell Swiss Path Hike & Cruise – Itinerary
The 2 to 3 hour Swiss Path hike follows the # 99 “Weg Der Schweiz” signposted path.
After a brief introduction, we begin our tour by boarding the Lake Lucerne steamer and enjoy the sunrise alpine scenic beauty. On some mornings you see the sun’s alpenglow on the surrounding snow peaks.
We disembark in Treib, walk across the platform and step into the “family owned” funicular. This brings us to the resort of Seelisberg at 800 m/2400 ft. We then start our hike with a super panoramic view of the surrounding alps.
Begin the Hike
At the beginning we walk along the sidewalk that parallels Lake Uri with great views of Ruetli. This is the place where Switzerland started in 1291.
Views of the small village of Sisikon, the Tell’s Chapel on Lake Uri and further away places like Brunnen & Fluelen.
Local Cheese Dairy
We cross the road and turn into the local Aschwanden Family run cheese dairy. We enter and speak with the counter attendant who explains to us the cheeses they make and sell.
It’s usually late morning and they are normally cleaning up by the time we enter the store.
The cheese making process begins at 5:00 am. The morning cheeses are placed in a brine to solidify.
This is a great place to buy locally made “Alp” cheese. Upon request, they will vacuum pack should you wish to take cheese home.
For Transcendental Meditation fans, we walk past the Maharishi European Research University founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the organization.
If the entrance is open one can enter and ring the bell of enlightenment.
The Pine Forest
After about 30 minutes we enter the “Tannwald – pine forest” where verses of the “Lord’s Prayer” are on signs along the way.
The trail is level on hard packed dirt with protruding rocks and roots yet very pristine with a special spiritual feeling.
At the end of the forest, we come to one of the most picturesque overlooks of Lake Uri and the Ruetli.
We stop for lunch and break out what we have in our packs. There’s also a nice public grilling area for those who want to roast sausages and eat something warm.
It is recommended you bring along a sandwich since it will be around 12:00 to 1:00 pm.
We continue on the level # 99 signposted gravel path that continues on a country road and takes us up an incline with steps leading us to see a small 16th century castle of Beroldingen.
Afterwards the dirt packed gravel # 99 path trail leads us to the country road and we walk past farm houses and continue until the end of the paved road.
This is a good rest spot as there are restrooms and great views of Lake Uri and surrounding alps. We have now completed 75% of our hike.
During the next 45 minutes we descend from our 800 m / 2400 ft summit level down to the 440 m./1320 ft
Lake Uri level on gravel, stone, dirt packed path with 900 steps leading us down to the village of Bauen. There are many benches for great vista rest stops along the way.
Bauen – End of the Hike
In Bauen there is time to relax, enjoy the rustic Zwyssig restaurant where Switzerland’s national anthem composer lived.
This is a very authentic restaurant, worth a visit to walk into and see. The ceilings are low so be careful when you enter. The balcony overlooking the lake and the Central Swiss Alps is a great place to indulge in an afternoon snack. (Zwyssig closed Mon & Tues; Yes, other eating facility available for those who want to eat something on those days.)
For swim enthusiasts there is a public swimming area with changing room facilities and time for a dip into Lake Uri with summer water temperatures up to 20 C / 68F. We depart this idyllic setting by boat with ports of call at the Ruetli and a number of Swiss villages before arriving back at the Lucerne train station.
The Swiss Path was created in 1991 to commemorate Switzerland’s 700-year anniversary. The rationale to why and how it was built provides an interesting snapshot into Swiss life.
The 35 km trail recognizes each of the cantons making up Switzerland with markers announcing each canton along the route. The length of route for each canton is proportional to the population at the time of building and the order is determined by the order in which the cantons joined the Swiss federation.
The Swiss Path is built so that every 5 millimeters represents one Swiss citizen and also shows the 26 different cantons in chronological order. One literally walks through the history of the country.
On our hike we will see the stone plaque of the Canton of Zurich with the 1351 date when it joined the Swiss confederation. Also you will hear the 13th century historical context of how the opening of the Gotthard Pass, then and still today, the shortest North-South European trade route affected the local farmers in the valley and the relationship with the then Holy Roman Emperor, The Habsburg monarchy.
Map for William Tell Swiss Path Hike