Hiking with kids: Schwingerweg, Naturpark Diemtigtal

The Schwingerweg (Schwinger Trail) is an easy loop themed trail in Naturpark Diemtigtal, where you will learn a lot of interesting facts about one of the Swiss national sports. And of course, you will enjoy the beauty of the Swiss mountains.

Before we moved to Switzerland I had never heard of Swiss traditional sports. Although I had come across the Hornussen as the first, (no wonder, the pitches are almost in every village in our neighborhoods), it´s the Schwingen I find more attractive (and not only because of the “athletes” who are such handsome guys 😉 ). Although the history of this sport dates back to the Middle Ages, Schwingen is still popular. For generations, it has been part of traditions and culture not only in Diemtigtal.

Schwingen (also called “Alpine wrestling”) resembles a Greco-Roman wrestling. However, here the opponents are wearing special jute pants over long trousers. They wrestle in a circle pitch covered with sawdust. The goal is to get the opponent on his both shoulder blades within the circle using the combination of special throws (resembling judo).

Getting there

Schwingerweg is located in Naturpark Diemtigtal in its part called Springenboden. From Bern it is 50km and the journey takes about 40 minutes. Take A6 from and then take the exit Zweisimmen, then turn left towards Oey / Naturpark Diemtigtal. After about 4 km, turn left towards Springenboden. You will also see the “Schwingerweg” signpost here. From here you can expect a steep climb on a narrow road full of serpentines, so whoever likes some adrenaline, enjoys it here. The parking lot is marked and is free of charge.

 

Trail

The Schwinger trail is 2 kilometers long and is open from May to October (depending on the snow conditions). It is not suitable for strollers. Its start is right next to the parking lot, where you will find the first information panel on this themed trail. You will find another twelve along the trail.

At each post, you will learn some interesting facts about this typical Swiss sport. For example, a “glossary of terms”, demonstrations of throws and grips, but you can also read about the traditions and customs associated with it. Did you know, for example, that as a sign of respect for the opponent each winner wipes the sawdust from the shoulders of the loser? Of course, some active Bösen (“wicked ones” – the best wrestlers) come directly from Diemtigtal (Kilian Wenger and others), and local people are very proud of them.

At the third post, the trail turns to the right and the tarmac changes to the gravel path.

Before you reach the wooden stairs at the edge of the forest, you will enjoy beautiful views. Spring in the mountains, it’s just great! While in the valley the children blow the dandelion seeds off, there were the yellow beauties still in full bloom. And together with them a lot of others.

As you climb the wooden stairs, you will reach the narrow forest path.

If you want to make a picnic along the way, turn left at the crossroads to get to the Brätelstelle, a roasting place.

If you have filled your belly or just refreshed with crystal clear water from a wooden fountain, you have to go back a bit back the same way to get back on the trail. Then you cross the bridge over the roaring mountain stream.

When you leave the woods at the wooden cabins, beautiful views are waiting for you again.

Before you reach the Springenboden Restaurant (see below), you will come across the “Pavillon der Schwingerkönige”. In a small wooden cabin, you will find a picture gallery of the winners of national competitions dating back to the 19th century. I admit that I was pretty much scared of life-size wooden statues :O

Restaurants

Before reaching the pavilion, you will walk along Gasthaus Gsässweid. They have a nice playground here, but we decided to rest a bit further in the Restaurant Springenboden.

Here our children enjoyed their reward and spent some time on the swings.

It´s really a chocolate on the top 😀

Back to the parking lot, it was about 400 meters down the hill on the tarmac road.

Where in the neighborhoods?

As we managed the trail quite quickly, we drove to the children’s playground “Gwunderwasser” (20 minutes drive). As the title suggests, kids will enjoy plenty of water fun here. More in this post!

If the easy and short Schwinger trail was not enough and you would like to go for another hike (or you stay in the Naturpark Diemtigtal for longer and look for a tip for the next day), try the Panorama-Bergwanderung in the Grimmialp area. Part of the trail that we hiked last year is a children´s themed trail “Grimmimutz“.

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Dinner at Café Fischer, Ersigen
Water playground “Gwunderwasser”, Naturpark Diemtigtal

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