Bike Ride: Ägeri Lake

In the middle of June, we biked around the beautiful Ägerisee, a bit southeast of Zug and really enjoyed our day there. One side of the lake has a quiet hiking/biking path next to the lake, with a nice picnic areas, fire pits and swimming areas. The other side requires you to ride on the main road, which is not so nice. So it’s 50/50, but I liked the quiet side so much that I can recommend it.

I’ve been looking for more kid-friendly bike rides and it’s hard! Most are too long, too difficult, too much on narrow busy roads. Perhaps the message is that my family needs to improve its bike riding ability so we can expand our options. We were happy to find one more kid-friendly trail that’s worth sharing with y’all. It’s not perfect, but it has charm.

Location:   Central Switzerland
Address: Wilbrunnenstrasse 112-118, 6314 Unterägeri
GPS: 47°07’28.4″N 8°35’29.6″E
Car: ~40 mins from Zurich
Train: ~25 mins from Zurich
Trail: 14 km loop, about 2 hours with kids
Condition: half dirt, half paved
Skill: moderate
Open: year round, weather dependent
More info:
Car: ~40mins from ZH Trail: ~14km loop Restaurant: yes
Train/Bus: easy Stroller: yes Fire pit: yes
Cost: free Theme: no Playground: no

Overview

The bike path is not difficult to find. Just ride towards the lake and stay on the road/path closest to the lake. You can start this bike ride anywhere along the Ägerisee lake. The southwest side of the lake is the nicest, with a dirt path following the lake shore. On northeast side of the lake, you’ll be riding on the main road, which does not have a bike path. It’s not horrible, but it’s not relaxing either.

If you choose to ride all the way around the lake, I’d recommend riding clockwise, so you will be on the lake side of the road when you are on the main road, which has a bike lane, unlike the other side. There are also more sidewalks on that side that you could ride on if you felt unsafe on the road (not strictly legal, but I saw other bikers doing it).

If you want to avoid the main road, you can just ride back and forth on the southwest side of the lake. In this case, either start on the northwest in Unterägeri or on the southeast side in Teufi or in one of the campgrounds.

Getting There

By car: Drive to Unterägeri, which is southeast of Zug, just before you reach Sattel. This puts you on the northwest end of Ägerisee. From Unterägeri, we followed signs to the campground. Just beyond the campground is a very small free public parking area, room for about 4-6 cars. Otherwise, you could park in town in metered parking or at one of the two Strandbads along the lake, which have large parking lots.

By transit: Simply take the bus to Unterägeri and follow the road to the swimming areas and campgrounds which will get you on the correct path.

Trail Details

 

Now for some pictures. As I said above, we parked just past the Unterägeri campground in a small parking area (shown below left). We started down the southwest side of the lake. It starts on a paved road through a quiet neighborhood, then turns into a dirt path that leads into the forest. The path is mostly flat and easy.

The lake and surrounding area is really pretty, even if it’s not completely wild and isolated.

After a few minutes, the paved road turns into a dirt path and hugs the shore of the lake. Just before you enter the forest, there is a Feuerstelle (shown on the right in both pics) next to a small public access to the lake where you can swim.

We came across the Feuerstelle and swimming area too early in our ride, so we continued riding, hoping we come across another good picnic spot or fire pit. We didn’t find one. Most of the lakefront property is private and this is really the only spot to have a picnic. After we finished riding around the lake, then rode back to this Feuerstelle and had our lunch.

This was a lovely little spot. We built our fire next to the lake, in a well-used, if not official, fire pit. There’s a small flat grassy spot, enough for a few picnic blankets but not for a soccer game. There is a tiny sandy beach and shallow water where you can splash around. It’s very shallow for a couple meters out, but then it dropped off quick. My 9yr old and I were surprised when we swam out not very far and tried to touch bottom, but couldn’t. Alternatively, you could swim at the official Strandbad Lido in Unterägeri at the west end of the lake.

There are lots of “Privat” signs around the lake, so look but don’t settle in. There are two campgrounds on the southwest side and you might be able to pay to picnic and swim there. There are two big lake swimming areas on the north side of the lake, one in Unterägeri and the other in Oberägeri, which could be a good motivation for your kids.

According to this sign, kids under 14 can fish without a license without “widerhaken” which means barbs. I don’t know much about fishing, but it seems that barbs might be necessary to catch anything. Otherwise, you can obtain a permit at the locations listed on the sign.

The dirt path through the forest is a little lumpy, but mostly wide and easy to manage. We saw several families with strollers enjoying this path.

When you reach the south side of the lake, the dirt path turns into a paved road again. At Hauptsee, you’ll join the main road, which annoying doesn’t have a bike lane on the east side, where we were. I didn’t like riding on the main road, getting passed by lots of cars and buses, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever. I didn’t take any pics of this part of the trip because I anxious to finish this leg and didn’t stop. There were a couple bike detours off the main road, which put us on quieter roads for short segments. The pic on the right shows the pedestrian zone in Unterägeri where we stopped for picnic supplies for heading back to the fire pit.

Swimming

There are two official swimming areas on the lake. Both have the normal “badi” features, like a restaurant, grassy areas for lounging and sports, roped off swimming area, diving platforms, etc.

Strandbad Lido in Unterägeri on the west end:


(photo from Strandbad Lido website)

Strandbad Oberägeri on the north shore:


(photo from Mathias Böbner, found on Google Maps)

We swam spontaneously next to our little picnic area on the south side of the shore. Most of the shore is marked private and you can’t swim there. But swimming is allows in this small area next to the Feuerstelle.

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