10 Safe Places to Bike with Kids in Switzerland

It’s a bit difficult finding biking paths in Switzerland that are suitable for small children. Most official routes are too long, too difficult, and too much on busy roads with narrow or no bike lanes. But after a little exploration, we’ve found a nice collection of bike rides that are just right for little legs. All these rides are under 25km, away from busy roads, and most flat with only gentle hills. Enjoy!

1. Greifensee

The bike route around the Greifensee is a great choice for families, with clearly marked paths separate from car traffic. Much of the land surrounding the Greifensee is a nature preserve, so its very lush and pretty, especially with all the flowers in springtime. It’s an easy ride, without any big hills but long enough to qualify as exercise. There are many picnic areas with grill pits and swimming areas. It’s a delightful recreational area close to Zurich that we plan to visit again and again. Read more…

2. Sihl River

If you live in Zurich, the Sihl river is an easy choice for family biking. The path starts right next to the skate park across from SihlCity and follows the river all the way to Zug. It’s mostly on smooth dirt paths away from traffic, along open fields, through the forest, and along the river. It’s also mostly flat, making it easier for smaller kids to keep up. It goes parallel to the train tracks, so you can stop anytime if your kids get tired and take the train back instead of riding. There are lots of green places on the river to stop for a picnic and even make a campfire. Read more…

3. Pfäffikersee

The Pfäffikersee is a beautiful lake near Zurich with a protected nature preserve along much of the lakeshore. There is a great path around the lake for walking or biking, with lots of fun distractions for the kids, including Jucker Farm, swimming in the lake, and a lakeside playground in Pfäffikon. We’ve also been camping at the Pfäffikersee a couple times and we always bring our bikes so we can ride over to Jucker Farm for meals. We’re ridden there in all seasons and it’s always pretty. Read more…

4. Reuss River

While the official bike route is on the busy main road, families are much better off biking on this dirt service road the parallels the large Reuss river that leads to Bremgarten and beyond. The path alternates between hugging the river bank and veering off into forests and beautiful nature preserves. The path is flat almost the entire way, which is great for younger children that don’t have the strength or endurance for tougher terrain. There are many places to stop and picnic and enjoy the river and environs. Read more…

5. Bodensee

The Bodensee near Konstanz, Germany is a very popular area for bicycling, particularly for families. It’s mostly flat, well marked, mostly away from busy streets, with lots of playgrounds, cafes and other services along the route. I’m not quite ready to bike around the whole lake (~268km), but our family has gone on a few day trips to bike different sections of the complete route. We particularly like the stretch between Romanshorn-Rorschach route that had lots of playgrounds and more sections right on the lake. Read more…

6. 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 Hölligrotten 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, a nice reward for your kids’ hard work on the ride. Read more…

7. Lauterbrunnen Valley

This private road from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg is popular with walkers, bikes, and kids on scooters and rightly so. You pass through lush farm fields teaming with wildflowers, admire numerous waterfalls falling from sheer cliff faces on each side, and look up to snow-capped peaks above. The path is easy going, mostly flat and paved, with very little traffic. It parallels the bus route, so you can ride the bus back into town when you get tired. About halfway down, you can detour to the Trummelbach Falls, then continue all the way to Stechelberg where you could ride up to the Schilthorn. This is a great option if you want to spend time around the alps, but the mountain trails haven’t yet opened for summer season. Read more…

8. Aare River

After visiting the Frey chocolate factory, we biked along the nearby Aare river to work off some on the all-you-can-eat chocolate bar. The path is flat, easy and mostly away from car traffic, very good for families. The path is often in the forest, passing many picnic and grilling spots along the way. Although it follows the river, the path is on the other side of embankment, so you actually can’t see the river, which was a little disappointing. But we still liked the ride would definitely recommend it. Read more…

9. Glatt River Valley

This biking/skating path is part of a much longer skating route that circles the airport. But this 11 km section in the Glatt river valley is rural and quiet, secluded from the nearby hustle and bustle. The path is almost exclusively on a wide, paved path along the river, away from car traffic, great for families with little kids. It’s designed for skating but bikes are allowed. Read more…

10. Tösstal River

This is another good family-friendly bike ride in the Töss valley east of Zurich. The bike/skate route follows a small river on paved path, mostly separate from traffic in fields and forests, with a few sections in quiet neighborhoods. The path parallels the train line, so you can easily cut your ride short if the kids are too tired. There are a few picnic areas with fire pits, a couple playgrounds and even some geocaches along the route. It would be nice in all seasons, but I recommend going in late spring when the trees are green and the flowers are out. Read more…

See also Biking with Kids in Switzerland for more general information.

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