Even though this whole website is designed to help families find places to hike, I still get lots of questions from people about where they should go. So I thought I’d share some of the ways I find places to hike with my kids.
First, use the blog. I’ve done a lot of the leg work for you. Start with the Hiking Calendar for my top picks for each month. My Activity Map is also a good way to look for stuff to do in a particular area.
Ask your friends and stalk expats blogs. I find personal recommendations so much more useful than generic overviews on tourist websites.
Wherever you go, visit the Tourist Information Office and grab all the free maps and brochures on offer, especially those outlining family friendly activities and hiking options in a wide surrounding area.
Collect free summer hiking maps and tourist brochures available where you buy your gondola ticket to see other options in that area.
Beat the weather
Watch the mountain webcam channel (on SF Zwei from 7:30-8:30am) on weekend mornings to pick a hiking area with nice weather.
Don’t wait for the weather. Even if it’s cloudy in Zurich, it’s often sunny just an hour drive south or west. Check the precipitation map on Search.ch to see where it’s not raining.
Pick a resort. I find the best info on the mountain resort websites. I just pick a mountain and look at the websites for the cable cars in that area. Most promote family-friendly activities, including hikes. Study the trail map before you go. Look for short loop trails designed for families or trails that lead to picnic areas and playgrounds.
Browse online maps. I like map.search.ch that has little icons for cable cars and funiculars as well as attractions like waterfalls, restaurants, rodelbahns, etc.
Get inspired. I use tourist websites like myswitzerland.com to get ideas but I never rely on them to find detailed trail info. They rarely provide trail maps or detailed trail descriptions and more than once, I’ve gotten totally lost using their info.
Study official hiking routes. I use hiking websites like wanderland.ch to find official routes. But since many are too long or difficult for families, I usually get creative and make my own shorter version.
Don’t hold out for the Matterhorn. There are so many mountains and so many spectacular vistas in Switzerland, that you don’t have to go far or spend much to get a fantastic authentic Swiss alp experience.
Revisit favorite areas. Since you’ve already been there, you should already have the local maps, making it much easier to select an appropriate trail. Visit the same places during different seasons.
>>> Ready to hike? Get inspired with our current picks for this season.