During a recent contest on my Facebook and Instagram, I received a tip from one of my followers about a hike in the Jura Mountains, specifically the route from Ste. Croix – Baulmes via Gorges de Covatannaz. These gorges are located between Sainte-Croix and Vuiteboeuf and form a link between the Jura Mountains and the lowlands. The route is very varied and offers incredible views of the rock gorges through which the Arnon River flows. This 7-kilometer trail is ideal for hot summer days, as the wooded gorge provides pleasant shade.
Start of the route – Baulmes railway station
I recommend leaving the car at the Baulmes station (there is a car park across the tracks) and taking the train to Sainte-Croix. The train runs once an hour (9.02 and onwards) and the journey takes 19 minutes. The journey costs CHF 5.60, half that with a Half fare card. I have to say that the route is wonderful, and for a ridiculously low price, you can enjoy a literally panoramic train journey, where if the weather is good you can overlook the lakes area, Mittelland all the way to the Alps.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: There is a closure on the line until Saturday 20 August 2022 and an alternative bus service is in operation. Buses run every hour on the hour to Vuiteboeuf, gare, here you change to the next bus which will take you to Ste-Croix.
By train, you will arrive in the town of Sainte-Croix, world-famous for its music boxes and nickelodeons. In 1796 the Geneva-based watchmaker Antoine Favre invented the music box. From 1811 until the end of the 19th century, Sainte-Croix developed to become the world center for music box manufacturers and nickelodeons. The manufacture of these works of art was carried out to perfection here. * Today, these melodious crafts are represented by the Musée d’automates et de boîtes à musique (currently under renovation), which displays unique collections.*
Follow the signpost from the Avenue de la Gare towards Rue de l’Industrie, and in less than five minutes you will reach the museum. Then, at the junction with Avenue des Alpes, turn right and follow the pavement along the main road in the direction of Gorges de Covatannaz. After about half a kilometer, at the “V” junction, take the Vers-chez-Jaccard.
Gorges de Covatannaz
The trail leads first through pastures, then dives into the forest and follows the Arnon River.
The main attraction is the Arnon River, which meanders deep down between imposing rock walls and offers a spectacular spectacle with its water escapades.
At times you “peek out” of the gorge and a view of the landscape below appears before you.
If you’d like to shorten your trip, you can turn left at about this point and head to Vuiteboeuf, but we continued on a pleasant descent along the tarmac road to the pretty Baulmes.
End of the trip – Plage des Pins d’Yvonand
After the hike, you can relax on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel on the Plage des Pins d’Yvonand beach, about 20km away. I wrote about it on my blog here.
- The trail is 7.5 km long and is not suitable for a stroller.
- I recommend sturdy shoes and caution, especially at the top of the gorge.