Hiking with kids: Alpiner Bänkli-Rundweg Aeschiried

The destination of our recent hike was a more challenging variant of the “Bänkli-Rundweg“, which we completed about three weeks ago. But this one has the adjective “Alpiner/alpine” in its name, which suggests that your legs will get a little busier. However, we postponed this route a bit because we were not sure how our youngest would manage the difficult climb. But after she had mastered the ascent to the Rabeflue viewpoint near Thun and the hike at Schwarzsee, it was clear to me that she could handle this one as well. And I’m glad I wasn’t wrong about it 🙂

Arrival

By car: the village of Aeschiried is located above Lake Thun. From the A8 motorway, take the Spiez exit, and then follow the signs to Aeschi, drive through the center and continue to Aeschiried to the local school. The paid parking lot is available here. Although it is two-story, plus there are some parking spaces at the school building, you’d better come here sooner than later. The parking fee for the whole day costs 5 francs.

If your destination is the Suldtal Nature Reserve, you will find several smaller car parks a few hundred meters away as you continue along Scheidmattenstrasse. But beware! The parking machine is only in the first parking lot, so don’t forget to pay, even if you park in one of the other parking lots (see photo below)!

By public transport: Take the train to Spiez, then the postal bus (lines 61, 62 and 66) to the Aeschiried, Schulhaus stop.

Start of the route – direction Suldtal valley

From the car park, follow the signs to Suld/Pochtenfall. Pass the Panorama restaurant and continue along the sidewalk along the above-mentioned Scheidmattenstrasse. At the entrance to the reserve, the path changes into a nature trail along the stream.

Fuchsgrabenhütte

After about two kilometers you will reach the Fuchsgrabenhütte. This barbecue place is right by the stream, next to it is also a small pond. Here you will find a large shed closed on three sides, with a generous seating area and a brick fireplace with a grate. You will find another sitting right by the stream and there are other fireplaces nearby. While parents are preparing something good, children can play in the water.

Pochtenfall

After about another two kilometers you will reach the signpost at the Restaurant Pochtenfall. Here you will also find plenty of places for barbecues.

Instead of continuing in the direction of Bänkli-Rundweg, I recommend taking a short walk (10-15 minutes) to the Pochtenfall waterfall. It’s uphill, but at least it prepares you a little for what will follow when you climb the Greberegg.

Climbing the Greberegg

It was very muddy at first, then a steep, seemingly endless and really quite challenging climb (fortunately in the shade of the forest), but the feeling on top was worth it.

Maybe now someone is thinking that it would be less difficult to go the route the other way around. But my husband and I have agreed that we do not recommend this – your knees will thank you.

From Heimwehbänkli, the route was mostly downhill and the views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz began to open up.

When we came out of the forest, we found ourselves at the top of the local ski slope – and currently on a pasture, from where we continued back to Aeschiried. We also came to an iconic bench (the one I complained about last time that we missed it). By the way: you don’t have to worry about it being occupied and you wouldn’t be able to take a beautiful photo – the bench is fenced and no one is allowed to sit on it 😉

Summary

  • The Alpiner Bänkli-Rundweg route is more suitable for more experienced little hikers
  • The part from Aeschiried to the Pochtenfall restaurant can also be completed with a stroller.
  • In the picture, you can see the elevation profile of the route.
Hiking with kids: Lake Schwarzsee from a different perspective
Hiking in the Emmental: From Hasle via Rachisberg and Oberburg

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