10 Free hikes in the Canton of Bern

Probably I don´t have to give many reasons why is Switzerland hikers paradise. Wonderful mountains, crystal clear lakes, lovely towns … However, many well-known hiking trails in the mountains are available only by cable-cars and funiculars that are unfortunately not free of charge. A family of five can spend hundreds of francs just for the cable-car ride to the top and back in the most famous parts of Switzerland (such as Jungfraujoch, Titlis, etc.). Some of the money can be saved, of course, by having local discount cards (I will get to them later), but sometimes you do not even have to pay hundreds of francs to enjoy great views. And sometimes you do not have to just travel to the mountains to enjoy a nice walk and see something amazing. So in my today’s post, you’ll find my 10 tips for hikes in the Canton of Bern, which are free of charge. *

* Well, you may have to pay parking fees, but that’s nothing compared to how much you would be paying for a cable-car ride for the whole family 😉

NOTE: All headlines are clickable. Clicking on them you will get to my previous posts with detailed descriptions of the trail.

1. Flüeweg

Flüeweg is the trail that leads through the forest above the town of Burgdorf – on the rocky cliffs that are so typical of this beautiful town, which is also called the “Gate to the Emmental”. It is definitely worthwhile to climb to the castle because the views are worth it. From here, you can also take a trip to the village of Affoltern im Emmental (ca 11km away), where famous cheese is produced (there is also free entrance 😉 ).

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 3.5km

Loop trail: YES

2. Chuderhüsi Lookout Tower

Less than 30 km from the capital of Bern, in the beautiful hilly countryside of Emmental, you can take a trip to the Chuderhüsi Lookout Tower, from which you can enjoy views of the surrounding area in bright weather. In addition, there is a restaurant that has a beautiful mission.

Suitable for strollers: YES

Length: approximately 1.5km

Loop trail: NO

3. Napf

Napf, which is with its altitude of 1 406m.a.s.l. the highest peak between the regions of Emmental and Entlebuch lies on the border of the Cantons of Bern and Luzern. For a reward after this hike, be sure to stop in nearby Trubschachen, where traditional Kambly cookies are made.

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 6km

Loop trail: YES

4. Schwingerweg

The Schwingerweg is an easy loop theme trail in Naturpark Diemtigtal, where you will learn a lot of interesting information about one of the Swiss national sports. The walk is quite short, so you will have plenty of time to stop with the kids on the beautiful Gwunderwasser water playground.

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 2km

Loop trail: YES

5. Grasburg

The starting point of this hike is Schwarzenburg on the edge of Naturpark Gantrisch. The path leads to the ruins of Grasburg Castle, which is particularly impressive due to its location in the wild greenery. On the way, you can learn more about the local flora through the nature trail.

Suitable for strollers: YES

Length: approximately 5km

Loop trail: partially (about 2.5km nature trail)

6. Taubenlochschlucht

An easy walk through the Suze River Gorge is very suitable for introducing hiking to your younger kids. At the end of the trail, there are quite steep stairs, but your children will be for their effort rewarded in meeting interesting animals at ZOO Biel (free admission).

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 5km

Loop trail: NO

7. Eriz

Eriz is a beautiful place on the border of Emmental and Berner Oberland, which has so far been spared mass tourism. Part of the route runs through Rotmoos – wetlands, where dozens of rare plant species grow, and there are several dozen bird species here.

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 7km

Loop trail: YES

8. Adelboden

Idyllic mountain village Adelboden is a famous resort in the Bernese Alps. When hiking north of Adelboden, you can enjoy great views of the valley of the Allenbach Creek, but also the Engstligenalp Massif.

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 8.5km

Loop trail: YES

9. Simmenfälle

Walking from the Simmenfälle waterfalls to the springs of the Simme River, despite its steepness, it seems to be a popular destination for family trips because we have met countless. On the way back, do not forget to stop in Lenk near the small lake Lenkerseeli, where there is a beautiful children’s playground with a small steam rail.

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 7km

Loop trail: NO

10. La Neuveville

La Neuveville is located near Lake Biel just on the border between the cantons of Bern and Neuchâtel but still belongs to the canton of Bern. You will feel like in France – strolling through the vineyards and the lake will resemble the sea. The local theme trail invites not only to discover the secrets of a medieval town by the lake, but also the secrets of plants, trees, rocks, and water. It takes you to the woods and scenic walks through the vineyards and leads you to secret waterfalls.

Suitable for strollers: NO

Length: approximately 4km

Loop trail: YES

How to save on cable-cars

As I mentioned at the beginning, you do not have to limit yourself, of course, only to hiking trails that are free of charge. You can also save on the cable cars by purchasing SBB Halb-fare card. For an annual fee of 185 francs, you have a half discount on cable cars, local trains, buses, and boats. For tourists, the Swiss Travel Pass is the equivalent. You can buy it for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days. For an adult, for 3 days (2nd class) it will cost 216 francs. You will also get a 50% discount on most mountain railways and cable cars, as well as unlimited travel by train, local buses, and lakes.

Children up to 6 years of age travel free of charge. For children from 6 to 16 years of age, I recommend buying the SBB Junior Card. It costs 30 francs a year and gives the child the right to travel free on public and mountain transportation when traveling with a parent. The card is available to both locals and tourists.

I hope you like my list of 10 free hikes in the Canton of Bern. If you have your favorite, where the price of cable cars won´t ruin a budget of a family of 5, please send me a comment! And do not forget to share this post with others or save it on Pinterest!

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