This short, circular route in the canton of Schwyz leads through the largest primeval forest in western Europe, which also happens to be sitting atop the largest cave system of Switzerland: Hölloch (literally: “Hell hole”).
There is much biological and geological diversity to admire along the way, at least for those knowledgeable and attentive enough to notice (so not me).
- There does not seem to be a public transport option to get to the start of the route.
Mainly chosen as a relatively short and easy beginner’s route, Urwaldweg Bödmeren made for a nice forest walk on a sunny summer’s day for my hiking novice friend Fox and me.
Not far into the hike I got to enjoy a first “told you so” moment, when Fox sunk his “much better for walking” sneakers deeply into the mud near a cattle watering trough. At least we’ll let him continue to believe that was mud.
The poor guy then had to spend the rest of the hike with a wet foot and suffered more than one blister as a result. To his credit, he soldiered through admirably and was still able to enjoy the scenery. Great attitude 🙂
After a quick lunch in what Fox dubbed “guerilla valley”, presumably because it seemed like a perfect place for an ambush, we took a wrong turn, or rather missed a sign while following the clearly marked path and ended up on the wrong trail for a while.
While a bit shameful for me, and I do admit I tend to make such mistakes, especially when distracted by conversation, it did lead to some awesome views we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and a more interesting trail while getting back to our route.
Once back on track, we enjoyed idyllic glades, peaceful meadows, and for the first time on this “Urwald” trail: Something feeling like a primeval forest, mainly due to all the fern. To be fair, I’m sure the forest is special and very old, but the 500 year old firs don’t look all that different from the usual 100 year old firs to the untrained eye.
All in all a lovely stroll through the forest and recommended as a short, easy, family friendly hike.
Would you like to share your own experiences with this hike? Do you have any questions? Something to add? Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂
Route Report / Gallery
Don’t miss a hike 🙂
|Date of Hike:||2022-07-02|
|Technical Difficulty:||T2: Mountain Path (Partially)|
Our Failed Version
|Net Hours (Est.)||3.6|
|Net Hours (Act.)||3|
|Max. Alt. (m)||1716|
|Net Hours (Est.)||3|
|Max. Alt. (m)||1666|