Biking: Timber bridges on the river Emme

Did you know that in Switzerland you can find over 300 covered timber bridges? Probably the most known is the Kapellbrücke in Lucerne (I wrote about it here), but as the figure suggests, there’s plenty of other not so famous timber bridges. On my recent biking trip, I discovered four of them, which span across the river Emme. Just ride a few tens of kilometers in the Emmental region and you will feel like in the movie The Bridges of Madison County.


Switzerland, like the Czech Republic, is interwoven with bike trails. I followed the number 24. The entire route runs from Biel to Lucerne, but I rode through parts of the first and second legs (a route map here)

Start and finish point: Kirchberg (BE)

Total distance: 29km

Condition: an easy ride through forest along the river Emme; a bit dangerous stage between Hasle-Rüegsau and Lützelflüh due to traffic

Neumattbrücke (Burgdorf)

The first bridge, which I came across during my cycling trip, was Neumattbrücke. It is the longest freely suspended arched wooden bridge in Switzerland. On its one hundred tons of wooden construction, 200 trees have been used. * The bridge was built in 2013 to allow better access for visitors to Schwingfest, which took place on a nearby meadow between Kirchberg Burdorf. Don’t you know what is Schwingen? So you must read my article on traditional Swiss sports and you will know more (link here).

Wynigenbrügg innere (Burgdorf)

The bridge from 1776 is the second oldest on my route. Here you can look at the panorama of Burgdorf with its medieval castle on the hill, or you can relax in a large meadow Schützenmatte, where are various events being organized. For example, last year’s Swiss hot air ballons championship (link here)

Winterseybrügg (Hasle-Rüegsau)

About five kilometers further you encounter another wooden bridge that connects the villages of Hasle bei Burgdorf and Rüegsau. Less than 70 meters long bridge was built in 1839. Not far from it there is a large playground (more information below).

Gohlhausbrücke (Lützelflüh)

The oldest bridge on the route comes from 1584. ** This is where I ended my biking trip for covered timber bridges and rode back the same route.

Playground at Hasle-Rüegsau

As I already mentioned, near the bridge Winterseybrügg you can find a large playground, which is also a great place for a picnic. Not far from it at the river, there is a fireplace where you can roast something for lunch. On the playground, there are several tables where you can eat your goodies.

My tip

  • If you go on a cycling trip with small kids, finish off your route at the bridge in Hasle-Rüegsau and don´t follow the trail to Lützelflüh. There is relatively high traffic between these villages.
  • When your kids are tired and don´t want to return back on the bike, it is possible to take the train in Hasle-Rüegsau (timetable here).
  • Along the way, you can make a stop in Burgdorf. You can go to explore its medieval castle, or have a picnic in a meadow Schützenmatte with the view of the rocky foothills.

And what about you? Do you have any favorite cycling route? Would you recommend any? Tell me in the comments!

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Categories: Switzerland
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Hana Hurábová

12 Comments. Leave new

  • Nice bike trail!
    Don’t you love the fact that infrastructure is being built for a Schwingerfest?

    • It´s something that I find really crazy 😀 Unfortunately we moved in one year after this fest, so I could see only from the pictures what a huge event it was :O

  • I don’t know what it is about covered bridges, but they are so beautiful and interesting. What a nice trip. Great tip about missing that busy street section. And so wonderful that it’s easy to hop onto public transit if you get too tired.

    • You know, these bridges are something that we don´t have in my country and what I thought existed only in the movie 😀 The infrastructure of public transport is great in Switzerland, so you can hop on even with your bike 🙂

  • Such an awesome trail! Your post has made me want to go along this trail!

  • Thanks for the tip. I’m definitely adding this one to my list. I noticed on the map that there is a path near the river on that section that you said was on a busy road. Would it be at all possible to take that path instead?

    • Yes, it is, I´ve done it. It´s not “the first category” road, where is much heavier traffic (23), and it´s used maybe by locals.

  • Ohh last wednesday as my husband is free on wednesday we went to Burgdorf to rent bikes to do this so called “Cheese route”. Unfortunally we found the bike waaaay to expensiv to rent so we just walk around Burgdorf…a cozy little town! We will borrow bikes from a friend and hopefully do this aprox 40km loop cheese route. Have you done it?

    • Well, I haven´t yet the courage to do this “Cheese route” on the bike – we prefer visiting the cheese factory in Affoltern by car. But it´s on my to-do list this year (despite the fact I´m not a hill rider 😀 ).

  • […] is no train connection on the route as on our previous trips to Solothurn or along the Emme river (if you would find the route too long and you wanted to shorten […]

  • […] all started last fall. I went jogging my favorite route along the Emme River and saw a colorful pebble the size of a five-franc. I didn’t pay attention to it and kept […]


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