Tüfels Chilen Hike

This is a short forest walk to an abandoned quarry taken over by nature – very unique! I wonder if anyone who reads this blog will do this hike, because it’s a little odd and not a mountain top. But you should! It’s so interesting and very different from anything else I’ve seen here. Tüfels Chilen (I think it means “Devil’s Church” – spooky!) is an old quarry, abandoned in 1873 and now taken over by nature. Underground springs feed a small stream that pours over the mouth of this formation and topples down the “steps”. It’s beautiful in a strange way. We had a lovely hike through the forest to get there, grilled up lunch, then played in the stream awhile before heading back home.

Location:   Zurich Region
Address: Parking: Nussbergstrasse 8, 8483 Zell
Tüfels Chilen: 47°27’49.5″N 8°48’03.7″E
Car: ~20 mins from Zurich
Train: ~25 mins from Zurich
Trail: 2 km each way from parking, about 1 hr each way
3 km each way from train station
Condition: dirt road and path, strollers possible most of the way
Skill: easy
Open: year round, best April through October
Prices: free
Services: picnic area with fire pits
More info: www.zell.ch – www.prokollbrunn.ch

Overview

This is an easy 3 km walk from the train station, through a quiet neighborhood, past a cemetery, through the forest along a stream, then up some stairs to reach the Tüfels Chilen formation. Generally you will follow yellow trail signs to Tüfels Chilen or Nussberg, which is a little further than Tüfels Chilen. You can return on the same path or take one of the Nussberg hill trails and walk through the forest north of the road. Some trails that pass through this area, includnig Züri Oberland Höhenweg.

You can use strollers on the whole path except the short section right at the Tüfels Chilen formation, which has some stairs. Just leave your stroller at the bottom of this section and retrieve it after exploring this area.

There are picnic areas with tables and fire pits below and above Tüfels Chilen. There is usually plenty of wood, but bring firestarters.

The trail is open year round (not maintained in winter), but probably best April through October. We went in late April, before the trees and flowers were out. I suspect this place is prettiest in May and June.

This hike is in the Zell Gemeinde (county). Their website has a description of the hike in German and a hiking map.

Getting There

By car: Drive to Nussbergstrasse 8, 8483 Zell and parking the cemetery parking, shown with the “P” below. This is 1 km closer to your destination than the train station. There is additional metered parking at the Kollbrunn train station.

By public transport: Take a train to Kollbrunn, then follow hiking signs to Tüfels Chilen.

Trail Details

From the Kollbrunn train station, walk east, taking your first left on Bolsternstr., then right on Bückliweg, which will meander through a neighborhood.

When you reach the cemetery, follow the Nussbergstrasse road north. After a few minutes, the road will fork to the left and the trail will fork to the right. Stay on the trail to the right and follow it through the grassy fields before entering the forest.

The path continues through the forest, along a stream.

Follow signs to Tüfels Chilen.

After about 2.5 km, signs for Tüfels Chilen will point to a trail on your right where another stream joins up to the stream you have been walking along. The pic below on the bridge is on the last part of the trail that leads up to Tüfels Chilen, which gets narrow and lumpy with lots of steps.

At this point, leave strollers below and continue the rest on foot. This last part is short so small kids can do it on their own or you can easily carry them the rest of the way.

Walk up this trail a couple minutes and you have arrived at Tüfels Chilen, which you can view and explore from above and below.

Here is the “monster mouth” of Tüfels Chile. You can’t climb on it but you can climb up the side on the slippery mud and get quite close to the mouth.

A stream trickles down over the entire formation.

This sign (in German) explains the origin and formation of Tüfels Chilen.

After admiring the formation from below, follow the stepped trail up to the top of the formation and eventually you will reach a clearing with picnic tables and a grill pit.

From the picnic place, you can find the source of the stream and follow it down to the top of the main formation. My kids had a lot of fun throwing rocks and sticks in the stream and playing around in the debris.

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