If you want to introduce hiking to your children, the tour around Grenchenberg is quite an ideal place. No dramatic climbs or descents, beautiful views and a place to roast. And all this is enhanced by two mountain restaurants with children’s playgrounds (and even a jumping pillow).
If you drive along the A5 motorway from Biel or Solothurn, take the Exit 30 toward Grenchen / Arch / Büren a.A. In Grenchen, watch the brown “Grenchenberge” signs – they will take you to Grenchenberg street (we have it under the Bergstrasse in the navigation). Then, after a few kilometers of driving uphill, you get to the car park by the Untergrenchenberg restaurant. It has sufficient capacity and surprisingly you don´t have to feed the parking meter here (in comparison with others parking lots in Switzerland).
You can also get here by bus no. 38 from Bahnhof Grenchen Süd – the timetable here.
The original intention was to follow the trail I´d found here. But the circumstances wanted us to modify it and to shorten it a bit, but I will get to it soon.
So, from the parking lot, we followed the yellow sign pointing to Obergrenchenberg.
After about 250 meters of the forest path, we have come across a signpost that said we could go either past the pasture or around the transmitter. Since on the pasture we saw what was like a herd of huge menacing big black cows, we chose the way towards the transmitter. It was not a big detour, we just had to manage a bit more difficult (muddy and stony) forest terrain.
We came out at the end of the pasture, and we follow the signs. We walked another hundred of meters before we headed towards the first viewpoint. For a moment I thought I was staring at the cliffs in southern England.
After we had enough of the views of the rocky cliffs, we read interesting information, where was the sea level in the Pre-historic times. Then we continued hiking. After a few dozen meters, we didn´t turn to the restaurant, but we went over the stony fencing and got on a narrow path just off the edge of the cliffs (here I recommend to really watch the children and their steps). Following this trail, we reached the next viewpoint on the Obergrenchenberg (the violet arrow on the map – see below).
If we had had more luck with the weather conditions, we would have probably seen the peaks of the Bernese Alps at a distance, but at least we could see the Mittelland (or the Swiss Plateau), and we could see how the Aare River curls the landscape.
The children have begun to whimper when we were going to have a barbecue, so we went on. According to the original trail, we were supposed to turn right behind the Obergrenchenberg restaurant. But the sign to the fire pit was pointing left, so we went along the asphalt road in that direction. And here we didn´t avoid contact with cows – fortunately, they were very peaceful.
1.6 km from the restaurant (where points the blue arrow on the map) there is a large fireplace with a grill and a supplies of wood.
After a hearty lunch and rest in the grass, we set out on our way back to the car. The last few tens of meters were fairly challenging – again in a forest, following narrow path to a steep hill over damp stones and roots. We came out from the forest to the pasture, where the view of the Chasseral peak and Jura mountain range has spread out in front of us. I hope we will get to Chasseral near in the future.
The whole hike from (car) door-to-door took about 3.5 hours. We probably would´ve managed it even faster, but our littlest one no longer wants to be in the baby carrier and wants to walk. Of course, we are happy about this because we were afraid that she would become lazy from constant carrying her.
So, in my opinion, 3yo children could make the hike (despite the last leg may be a bit challenging), the trail is not suitable for strollers.
Have you ever hiked to Grenchenberg? What was your experience? Or do you have any tip for newbie-hikers trails? Share in the comments! And don´t forget to pin this for later!