Bike Ride: Lorze River to Lake Zug

This delightful family bike ride follows the Lorze river from Neuägeri to Lake Zug, on easy dirt and paved paths. The path is mostly flat or slightly downhill, almost always separate from car traffic, with only a short section is on a low traffic country road. Along the way, you’ll pass the Höllgrotten caves, which are worth a short visit. There are several picnic areas along the river, at least one with a little playground. The path “ends” at a park and swimming area on the shores of Lake Zug.

Location:   Central Switzerland
Address: Schmidtli, 6314 Neuägeri, Zug CH
Parking GPS: 47°09’15.5″N 8°33’39.5″E
Trailhead GPS: 47°09’26.0″N 8°33’38.6″E
Car: ~40 mins from Zurich
Train: ~50 mins from Zurich
Trail: 4 km one way, about 1 hour
Condition: dirt, obstacle-free
Skill: easy, elevation gain 40 m
Open: best April through October
More info: www.veloland.ch

Overview

My map below shows the route we took, which is a small part of MobilSchweiz Seen-Route 9. We started the ride at the Neuägeri Schmittli bus stop. The bike route before this point is on the busy road. But right after this bus stop, the path leaves the road and becomes a dirt path along the river. That’s why we chose to start our ride here, instead of further back.

The path continues on the dirt path until you reach the Höllgrotten caves, which are worth visiting for an hour. There is a cafe here and nearby restaurant if you need some treats. From the caves, the path joins a paved road without a bike lane, but the traffic is very light. After about 1km, you’ll cross Baar’s main busy road to join a bike/walking path along the river and from this point, you won’t be on roads again. The path follows the river all the way to the lake, passing through pretty fields and forests. You can stop at the lake swimming area, ride east into “downtown” Zug or continue riding west along the lake.

Getting There

Get you and your bike to Neuägeri Schmittli bus stop.

There is a small parking area (shown below, no fee) for a few cars next to the bus stop. Do not park at the restaurant. There is also a dirt area near where the bike path leaves the main road that looks perfect for parking. But it is clearly posted “No parking” so don’t park here and get a ticket.

By bus, you can take the #1 bus from Zug. But I don’t know about taking bikes on the bus. It’s technically possible but I haven’t done it before. You would need a bike ticket and confirm with the driver that there’s enough room on the bus. After the ride, we parked our bikes in Zug, rode our bikes back to Neuägeri to pick up the car, then went back for the bikes. It’s a bit of hassle and time sink, but I didn’t want to fuss with all those bikes on the bus.

Bike Route Details

To reach the “safe” bike path from the bus stop, cross to the west side of the street and walk on the narrow sidewalk (shown below) along the river for a minute until you reach the bike path. You could ride on the road, but it’s busy with big trucks, so I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s only a short walk to the path. As noted by the sign below, the path is shared with hikers and service vehicles, so inform your children and keep an eye out.

The path starts on dirt by the river, slightly downhill most of the way.

You pass under a few big bridges. There’s a water fountain under this one.

There’s another water fountain near this building.

After about 3.5km, there is a big picnic area, with fire pits and wood.

After about 4km, you’ll reach the Höllgrotten caves, entrance fee Adult CHF 12, Child CHF 6. It takes about an hour to explore the caves, better and bigger than you might expect for this small operation. See my Höllgrotten post for details.

After the caves, the dirt path joins a paved road. No bike lane, but also low traffic. That big building in the distance is a restaurant if you want to eat out. There’s also a campground.

The road follows the river. There is a walking path on the east side of the river, no bikes. There are some picnic areas with fire pits on that side of the river that you can access by bridge.

The paved road section is about 1km, passing a little neighborhood before meeting the big main road in Baar. Cross this road at the crosswalk and continue on the bike/walking path shown below right. From this point, the path will be separate from car traffic all the way to the lake.

The flat path follows the river, through fields and forests. It’s a popular route, so expect a bit of a crowd on sunny summer weekends.

Occasionally, you’ll need to cross traffic roads. I trained my kids to get off their bikes at each intersection and look for traffic before crossing. Otherwise, they wanted to just ride across the road without looking. The cars are only going 50-60km but its fast enough that my kids might mistakenly think they ride across before the cars get there.

We passed this playground, right off the path, around 11-12 km. It also had picnic tables and fire pits.

Before you reach the lake, the bike path signs will point right and left. But to reach the lake, continue straight along the river, following the signs to “See” that have a little bike symbol or skating symbol as shown below. You’ll pass under a couple bridges.

Here’s your reward, a beautiful lake with a view of the mountains.

In summer, remember to bring your swimsuit so you can cool off. We brought a ball to kick around. There is a kiosk next the camping area just west of this swimming area. You can get ice cream there. There are fire pits and toilets here at the lake. We were there in April, so it wasn’t crowded.

To reach downtown Zug, ride east on the Chamer Fussweg (also labeled bike route 9 and skate route 66. You pass a big playground and various cafes. We parked our bikes in town, had some late lunch, then took the #1 bus back to our car, about a 17 mins ride.

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