At the beginning of this post, I have a confession to make. I went to Sumiswald several times, either by car or by train. And I always thought that the castle that is visible from afar, about one kilometer before Sumiswald, was the “Sumiswald Castle”. But what surprised me when I looked on our hiking map that Sumiswald Castle is somewhere else, looks completely different and the famous silhouette belongs to Trachselwald Castle. Yes, even the self-proclaimed Emmentaler-expert makes mistakes sometimes 🙂
Bänklirundgang – Bench route
In the vicinity of Sumiswald, there are two loop routes under this name, ie loosely translated as “Bench Route”. The benches along the route are ideal for relaxing as well as for great views. Bänklirundgang 1 is longer, it is about 12 kilometers long. We headed for Bänklirundgang 2, which is about 7.5 kilometers long. You can find their routes here. Even though we walked about a kilometer more, because we got out of the way twice (but I’ll get to that).
This route officially begins at the Forum Sumiswald Sports Center and along the route you will find 6 stops at points of interest or with beautiful views.
By train to Sumiswald-Grünen, from here by bus line 481 to Sumiswald, Forum (4 minutes by bus).
You can drive directly to the sports center, where you can park your car and set off on the hike.
We decided to join the route directly on the way from the train station and follow it counter-clockwise to get to the roasting place first. But we encountered a small problem. The route is only marked in a clockwise direction and the marking is somewhat insufficient. In addition, forget the “Bänklirundgang” signpost. You must follow this signpost:
Since there is “normal” hiking marking from the train station, we followed it, and after crossing the bridge over the Grüene River we followed the hiking trail towards the forest (well, we overlooked it before talking and we had to go back). After climbing steep and winding wooden stairs and a short section along the edge of the woods, the first beautiful views opened. Especially to the mentioned Trachselwald Castle.
After less than a kilometer we came to the bench at the Harendegg farm. This place has the right wow effect.
Even more wow was when we encountered a small herb plantation of well-known Ricola candies a few dozen meters away.
We hiked further to the Steiweid biotope with three small ponds. Not far from the ponds is a roasting place in the woods where we came across one nice surprise: instead of an ax, we found beer bottles here (we didn’t despise 😉 ).
Strengthened with cervelas and beer, we set out on our way to Sumiswald. And here I finally saw the above mentioned Schloss Sumiswald from a distance.
After a few hundred meters we reached the castle. It is not open to the public, there is an accommodation facility on its premises (if you ever look for accommodation in Emmental, you can find information here). But at least we peeked into the small courtyard.
After a few minutes, we reached the Forum Sumiswald where the official start of the Bänklirundgang is. We walked back to the train station by a pleasant walk along the Grüene River.
- The route is not suitable for strollers, I would recommend it for children 4+ (but of course, it depends on how savvy your little hiker is).
- After our experience, I recommend going clockwise. You do not necessarily start at the Forum Sumiswald. If you leave the train station, follow the hiking signs along the Grünenstrasse, before the Gasthof Sternen take the signpost to the right and then past the butcher’s shop on the Lauelenweg.
I highly recommend downloading the Wanderapp app on your mobile. This is no advertising, but if it were not for it, we would have wandered in Emmental to this day 😀
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