The Swiss Path, in its entirety, takes a total of 11 hours (without including rest stops) and journeys around an entire inlet of Lake Uri. Picking any of the 7 sections will give you a great taste of Swiss hiking complete with cow paddocks, hillside chalets and snow-capped mountain views.
I decided to start right at the beginning: Section A & B.
Location: Lucerne, Switzerland
Entrance fee: No
Altitude: 801 m
Trip duration: 3 – 4 hours
Sweat O’Meter: 💧💧💧
Before you go
Pack: Lunch, snacks and plenty of water, although there is a small grocery store in Seelisberg and a few restaurants in Bauen.
Wear: Usual comfortable hiking gear and sturdy shoes.
Getting to the starting point
You can get to Rütli via boat from Lucerne, they run hourly from the dock opposite the bus station. Tickets cost around CHF 25.
Alternatively, if you wish to skip Section A and start at Section B in Seelisberg, catch a train from Lucerne to Stans, then take Postbus #31 to Seelisberg Tanzplatz – there is a hiking trail signpost right as you step off the bus. Tickets cost around 10sf and the bus departure time syncs with the train arrival.
Getting onto the trail
Arriving by boat will take you directly to the Rütli meadow. This meadow has a great deal of historical significance as it was where the oath of the Swiss Confederation was sworn in 1291 and is therefore known as the “birthplace of Switzerland”.
Follow the paved path up through the meadow and past the restaurant, and into the forest. There is only one path up!
Section A of the hike will take around 1 hour up from Rütli to Seelisberg, and Section B on to Bauen takes around 2 – 3 hours depending on your ability and rest (and photo) stops.
Section A is at a steady incline through dense forest areas for it’s entirety, zigzagging from the lake up into Seelisberg. Once in Seelisberg, catch your breath and enjoy the view across Lake Uri before starting Section B by continuing along the road, past the grocery store and then turn left when you reach a playground.
Section B varies in terrain and background, winding you through dense forest, rolling green pastures and rocky paths alongside creek beds.
Reaching the destination
850 stone steps will take you down to Bauen, a small village on the Lake Uri.
The easiest way to return to Lucerne is by boat. These stop at Bauen regularly, and the journey back to Lucerne is gorgeous. Keep an eye out for Supersaver tickets on the SBB website which can reduce your ticket price by 50%.