You will probably agree with me that everyone likes spring mainly because everything in nature finally starts to bloom after winter (ok, those of you who suffer from hay fever are probably cursing me under your lips, but maybe you won’t stop reading the following lines for that 😉). Blooming spring can be celebrated in many places in Switzerland, I have already written about a few on the blog here, here, and here. I’ve known about this spring trail for some time now, and I was very happy when we were able to complete it with younger kids (a bit unplanned, but that’s a different story). I’m talking about a trail full of flowering cherry trees “Chriesiweg” in Jurapark Aargau.
The route starts in the small village of Gipf-Oberfrick in northern Switzerland, which lies almost in the middle of the road between Basel and Zurich. It is 95 km from Bern (first on the A1 motorway, then the A2 – Sissach exit). It is 50 km from Zurich (motorway A1, then take A3 – exit Frick), from Basel 45 km along the A3 motorway. Free parking is available behind the local Volg supermarket (Landstrasse 38, 5073 Gipf-Oberfrick) or at the town hall on Gemeindeplatz.
If you decide to take public transport, take the train to Frick, from there take the bus “Postauto” line 136 to the stop Gipf Oberfrick, Brücke. From here, it is a 300-meter walk to the local town hall (Landstrasse 43, 5073 Gipf-Oberfrick), where the Chriesiwäg route officially begins.
To begin with, there are two routes: a shorter one and a longer one – both loop trails. The shorter one, which we took, is 4 km long (although the official leaflets claim 5 km) and is suitable for strollers. The longer route is 9 km long and goes around the Alt-Tierstein ruin, for example. The start is at the local town hall, where you can pick up a map of the route from a stand. It is well marked with arrows (how else but with cherries).
On the short route, you will find 9 information boards with interesting information about how cherries are grown, the local landscape, the history of cherry growing in Fricktal, different cherry varieties, bees, and the importance of orcharding for nature, etc. The text is in German only.
At the town hall, you can also take a card to collect stamps along the way (like the ones used in orienteering) – there are clips at the five stops and you can then use the completed card as a discount at local shops or send it in for the annual prize draw.
The best time to visit is roughly mid-April to mid/late May, but of course it depends on the weather that year. We went here exactly in mid-April, and as with the crocuses in Emmental, we could have easily waited another week to visit.
There is also a grilling spot with all facilities (including a toilet) on the route. It is at this point that you can turn right onto the longer route (Zusatzroute). But we comfortably returned to the village.
- The route is 4 kilometers long and suitable for strollers.
- You can find a 3D map with the elevation (which is not very high) on the Tourenplaner page of Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ.
- You don’t have to go on the route only in spring, but also when the cherries are ripe (from about the beginning of June to the end of July).
Enjoy your Chriesi adventure – but in such a way that the cherry lovers after you can still enjoy it*:
- Leaving the path is forbidden, do not enter fields or the tall grass next to the path. Grass that has been trampled flat can no longer be mowed by farmers as fodder. Along the trail, there are resting islands, mowed-out patches of grass where you are welcome to enjoy your picnic.
- Trees and branch piles are not for playing. The high trunk trees and branch piles along the path are home to various species of birds, hedgehogs, and weasels. They are maintained by the farmers with great care. Let the animals have their retreat and do not climb trees or jump on branch piles.
- The cherries belong to the farmers. The cherry trees and their fruit belong to the farmers. No cherries are to be snacked on from trees. Fresh cherries are available in the village during harvest time. Alternatively, there is the possibility to sign up as a picking helper at Jurapark Aargau. Various farms are looking for diligent helpers for the cherry harvest. Of course, you can also take part of the harvest home with you. In addition, there are various pick-me trees in the Jurapark from which you can take a bite. An overview of the locations of the trees can be found on the Jurapark website. There are NO more pick-me trees on the Chriesiweg.
- Take your trash with you. Litter left in the landscape is a deadly hazard to wildlife, as well as farmers’ cows. Animals eat the trash and get sick from it.
- Discover other cherry tree-rich regions of the Jura Park landscape. During the blooming time, there are many hikers on the Chriesiwäg. What many people don’t know: you can also admire blossoming high trunk fruit trees on other hiking trails. The stage on the “Flösserweg” from Mettau to Hottwil or the “Evolutionspfad” can easily keep up with the “Chriesiwäg” and are real insider tips!
*information provided directly from Jurapark Aargau