Climb 234 steps and look at almost half of Switzerland in nice weather? It is possible when you ascend to the 45-meter-high Chutzenturm lookout tower near Aarberg. From the upper plateau of the lookout tower, which was built only in 2010, you will see Lake Biel, the Jura Mountains in the north, looking at the south of the towering Alps.
By car: the village of Frienisberg, the starting point of the hike, is a 20-minute drive (16 km) northwest of Bern. If you would like to shorten the route to the lookout tower, you can use the car park in the forest at the Sauerhorn “Postauto” bus stop.
By public transport: By “Postauto” bus line no. 105, which runs between Bern and Lyss, to the stop Frienisberg, Dorf. Again, if you would like to shorten the hike, there is a Sauerhorn bus stop on the same bus line near the car park.
We started our hike in the small village of Frienisberg. Here around 1130, the Cistercian monks founded a monastery, but then came the Reformation and the place became the seat of the local bailiff. Today, the renovated buildings serve as a retirement home and nursing home. From Frienisberg, a hiking trail leads (follow the “Klosterweg” arrow) to the Schafrein complex. The Tera Vecchia Foundation, which specializes in social therapy, is based on a farm that dates back to the 16th century.
After about a kilometer and a half you will reach to the above-mentioned bus stop and parking lot on the edge of the forest. The trail continues slightly uphill through the forest, and then along a wide forest path.
About half a kilometer before you reach the lookout tower there is the Chutzenhütte hut. It belongs to the association that contributed to the construction of the lookout tower. When we went here, there was a stall with a small snack (hot dog, cake, sweets). If someone just doesn’t have the hut rented for an event (which is possible, take a look here), you can sit here and have a picnic. From here it is less than half a kilometer to the lookout tower.
Chutzenturm lookout tower
The construction of the lookout tower is built of fir-Douglas fir wood, the stairs are made of oak wood. A total of 154.9 m3 (91 tons) of wood was used for the construction of the lookout tower and the upper edge of the roof is located at a height of 863.5 m above sea level.* As you climb 234 steps to the highest viewing platform, you will enjoy magnificent views of the Alps from Säntis to Mont Blanc, overlooking the cities of Bern and Freiburg, Lake Biel, Neuchâtel and Lake Murten, and the Jura Mountains. The view of the colorful meadows and fields of the Bernese Oberland is also fascinating.
Directly on the lookout tower, on three platforms, you will find picnic tables, and you will also find a fire pit next to the lookout tower.
- The route measures less than 7 kilometers and is suitable for strolles and smaller kids.
- When you start your hike from the Sauerhorn car park/stop, you will shorten the route by about three kilometers.