Hiking Switzerland

Hiking with kids: Schynige Platte

With the upcoming end of the hiking season, I was in a mood for a special hike. Something that has long been on a must-do list. Well, my list is quite long, but we´ve chosen a historic cogwheel train ride to Schynige Platte. The site offers a number of hiking trails, we have set off to the shortest (albeit not the lightest) loop trail Oberberghorn Panoramaweg.

Getting there

The starting point is the town of Wilderswil south of Interlaken. Almost immediately after getting here, you will see the signpost that will direct you to the metered parking lot behind the railway station.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Cogwheel railway

The return ticket for the historic cogwheel train is 64 francs (half with Halb-tax). Trains depart from the station every 40 minutes, with two trains (each with two wagons). You can find the timetable here.

You will enjoy the views mostly in the second part of the ride because at fir, t the track leads through the forest and short tunnels.

Mid-station Breitlaunen 1 542 m.a.s.l.

Daube viewpoint

After less than an hour’s drive, we reached the upper station, where we were welcomed by the sounds of the alpine horns. After checking out the return times of the train, we set off in the direction of the hotel. On the way, we stopped at the information boards describing the history of the construction of the mountain railway and the hotel.

The trail Nr.2 Panoramaweg Oberberghorn, which we have decided to take, runs through the terrace of a self-service restaurant (there are also children’s high chairs). Behind it, there is a playground, so be sure you (or to be precise: your kids) will spend some time here on the swings. But in the meantime, you can enjoy the views of Lake Thun and surrounding peaks.

Then we set out on the trail. Although it seemed that the huge cloud that swept over us will swallow us, fortunately, it remained behind the rock.

The elevation to the viewpoint of Daube is first downhill, but then the trail rises and is quite steep, following a narrow, rocky path with many natural stairs. The view is a bit busy place, as everyone heading for Schynige Platte will probably be here. When you find a place among other tourists at the metal fence, you will see Niesen, Lake Thun, Niederhorn, Interlaken, Lake Brienz and other peaks whose names I do not know yet.

However, the crowds of tourists will be redeemed if you continue hiking to the Oberberghorn.

Oberberghorn

The trail runs along the ridge, where you can still see the Brienz Lake on one side, on the other side, you can see the views of the majestic “triumvirate” Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

After about 15 minutes you reach the fork to the lookout – this detour is really a challenge for little hikers.

I’m not gonna lie to you – the last couple of meters up the steep, narrow wooden stairs, were tough even for me. Besides, with our littlest on my back, I was pretty scared. 

But those views were worth it again. We saw a continuation of the ridge trail leading up to the top of Faulhorn, and then proceeding to First. If you want to take the longer loop trail to Faulhorn, read the details of the hike in this post by Tanya.

Then we took the same way down to the signpost and continued our hike following the panorama trail.

When we reached the foot of the Daube rock again, we didn´t turn up to the Alpine Garden, but we continued on because the kids were asking more and more often when we would finally have lunch.

Picnic place

In sight of the railway station, there is an official fire pit with cute cottages in the shape of mushrooms, where children can rush while waiting for food. There are three fireplaces, equipped with grates and wood.

“Naturkino” loop trail

Refreshed, with our batteries charged, we set off on the last leg of our hike. We walked up a few dozen meters to the railway station and further up the “Natural Cinema” trail. If you want to have great photos in your family album, pose in the wooden photo frame with the famous peaks behind you.

A little further, kids can get “play” the cowbells.

You will also find an alpine garden here. But to admire the blooming alpine flora, you must come before September.

My tips:

  • At some points, the trail leads through quite challenging terrain (especially to Daube and Oberberghorn viewpoints) and is not suitable for strollers. I would recommend this hike for kids with hiking experience (5 years old will do quite well).
  • The official site of the Jungfraujoch region lists the length of the route as 1h15 min, but it took us about 3.5 hours (incl. snack and grilling breaks). When you add 2 x 50 minutes of the railway ride, driving to and from Wilderswil, take it as a day trip.
  • Apropos train: Even though two trains (each with two wagons) are dispatched up and down, we just didn´t manage to get into the train we wanted to leave with (even if we were at the station in advance). We had to wait another 40 minutes for the next train. Which can be a complication with small, moreover tired children. I recommend taking something to entertain the kids in case of waiting and also during the train ride (to avoid constant inquiries “Are we there yet?”)

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Dawan
    28.9.2017 at 17:46

    Schynige plate has aswell been on our list ever since we moved to Bern but it takes an hour to drive there and another hour on the train ride…and then an hour down again…huh so long. And if I remember correctly the last train down is at 5pm which is quite early I think. But it does look beautiful up there and a lot fun for the kids!

    • Reply
      Hanka
      29.9.2017 at 15:17

      Yes, you´re right, the train ride might be boring for small kids and it´s really a struggle to keep them calm not to disturb other passengers :O

  • Reply
    Ashley
    29.9.2017 at 21:59

    Looks beautiful, it’s also on my “to-do list”! 🙂

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