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Dossier: Hiking

Seven stroller-friendly hikes

As there’s currently no list of stroller-friendly hiking routes for Switzerland, we went online to find some – and selected seven routes ideal for parents with pushchairs.

Text: Clau Isenring

Flumserberg

Route: Prodalp–Panüöl–Prodalp
Walking time: 3 hours
Ideal season for hiking: Summer and autumn
Cable car: Cable car from Tannenheim to Prodalp
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions:From Flumserberg Tannenheim take the cable car up to Prodalp. From here, the trail leads across the Prodriet plateau up to the meadow at Alp Panüöl. During the ascent you get great views across the Schils valley and up to the striking Spitzmeilen mountain. You can stop for a bite to eat at the Panüöl restaurant. If you fancy a pizza, you’ll find great places to eat back in Flumserberg Tannenheim.

Melchsee-Frutt – Tannalp

Route: Melchsee-Frutt–Tannalp–Melchsee-Frutt
Walking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Ideal season for hiking: Summer and autumn
Cable car: Cable car from Stöckalp to Melchsee-Frutt
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: From Stöckalp the cable car glides over a spectacular mountain landscape up to the Melchsee-Frutt summit station. From here the trail heads quite steeply up to Melchsee, via the chapel and up to Distelboden. Here you head past the valley station of the Bonistock cable car to the Tannensee Lake. At the end of the lake, the trail leads down to Tannalp. In summer, the Fruttli train takes you back to the Melchsee-Frutt summit station. If you fancy a shorter walk, you can take the pushchair around the Melchsee Lake in about an hour. There are plenty of places to take a break on this walk, for example the Stöckalp valley station, Tannalp restaurant, Distelboden hotel or the Frutt resort near the Melchsee-Frutt summit station.

Around the lake at Schwarzsee

Route: Schwarzsee (circular trail)
Walking time: Approx. 1 hour 15 minutes
Ideal season for hiking: Summer and autumn
Cable car: –
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: Schwarzsee lies at around 1,000 metres above sea level in the area by the Sense river in Canton Fribourg. This varied circular walk about the Schwarzee lake is flat, making it ideal for parents with pushchairs. The nearby mountain lake and breathtaking mountain setting ensure  this short walk is a unique experience. The terrace of the Gypsera restaurant in Schwarzsee is the ideal place to take a break with wonderful views of the lake.

Disentis–Fontanivas–Disentis

Route: Disentis–Fontanivas–Disentis
Walking time: 2 hours
Ideal season for hiking: Summer and autumn
Cable car: –
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: This varied walks first leads from the Disentis station west towards the Sontga Gada chapel (follow the signs). From the chapel the path heads off right down through the forest and towards the Rhine. Here you cross a small bridge and walk along the Rhine up to the main street and across the next bridge down to the right down a few shallow stairs (easily managed with big wheels). Here, the Fontanivas natural lake is the perfect spot for a swim in the summer. By the lake there are places to BBQ, a play park and a restaurant with a terrace serving hot and cold meals. From here you continue down the Rhine and turn left at the signpost up towards “Disentis/Mustèr” and back to the Disentis station.

From Bettmeralp to Riederalp

Route: Bettmeralp–Riederalp
Walking time: 1 hour
Ideal season for hiking: Summer and autumn
Cable car: Betten cable car to Bettmeralp,
cable car from Riederalp to Mörel
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: This short walk starts at the Bettmeralp cable car top station (restricted service during off-season) and heads along a tarmac path through a beautiful mountain forest. Then you get a wonderful view of the Mischabel Group, the Matterhorn and Weisshorn, down into the Rhone valley and across to Riederalp West. When you reach Riederalp you take the cable car down to Mörel and then the bus or Matterhorn-Gotthard train back to the Betten valley station.

From Montreux to Villeneuve

Route: Montreux–Villeneuve
Walking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ideal season for hiking: All year
Cable car: –
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: This flat walk takes you along the bank of Lake Geneva from Montreux to Villeneuve. Highlights include beautiful views of Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountain scenery and the world famous Château Chillon, which you reach after approximately 4.5 km. Once you reach your destination, you can explore the historic town of Villeneuve. There are plenty of places to rest if you’re hungry or thirsty. The return journey to Montreux takes around 10 minutes on bus 201.

Around Lake Robièi at the foot of the Basodino glacier

Route: Robièi Lake (circular trail)
Walking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ideal season for hiking: Summer to autumn
Cable car: Cable car from San Carlo (Val Bavona) to Robièi (observe operating times)
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: The canton of Ticino also offers plenty of trails for adventurous parents with a pushchair. This circular trail through a spectacular alpine landscape is easy to do with a stroller. Around 4 km long, the trail leads from the top station around the Robièi lake. With a little luck you’ll see marmots, chamois and ibex on the rocky slopes (don’t forget your binoculars!). On completing the walk, why not make a stop at the Robièi top station restaurant which offers local specialities (observe opening times)?