Here’s a hike that couldn’t be more “Swiss”. The “Swiss Path”, also known as the “William Tell Path”, was created to celebrate the 700-Year Anniversary of the Confederation (1291 – 1991) and includes historic sites along the route. It’s a long hike (35 km / 22 miles) if you do the whole trail but can be accessed along the way in order to do just parts of the route. Either way, you’ll be overwhelmed by the breathtaking views!
Where to go: The official beginning of the path is on the Rütli Mountain (the birthplace of Switzerland) accessible by boat. It then leads around Lake Uri and ends in Brunnen. Since the path is accessible at various points, it’s easy to pick the portion of the trail that is most suitable for your hiking expectations and levels (some parts are steeper or rougher than others). If ending your hike in Brunnen, you can then take a short boat or train ride to Lucerne.
When to go: Hiking season for this path is April to November.
What to see/do: Notice the historic landmarks along the route – one of the most well-known is the William Tell Chapel. You’ll also see that the trail recognizes each of the Swiss cantons with markers announcing each canton along the route. The length of the trail between cantons is proportional to the population at the time the trail was built and the order follows the order in which the cantons joined the Swiss federation.
Interesting detour: If you pass through Brunnen, you can stop at the Victorinox Visitor’s Center where you can assemble your own classic red Swiss army knife and have it engraved with your name. Plan ahead if you want to do that though – reservations required!