To understand how our youngest is just like me, play the following scene in your head: It’s a holiday Tuesday at noon, we’ve just finished lunch, and I ask my daughter what she’d like to do in the afternoon. “Shall we go hiking?” Yes, I don’t hide that she made me very happy, especially since I know she had hockey practice in the morning, and she might as well say she’d instead rest. But fortunately, hiking is a form of relaxation for her, just as it is for me. So I quickly wondered what hike in the vicinity we could go on. And I remembered that part of the exhibition at Naturmuseum Solothurn, which we had visited the week before, was dedicated to the dinosaur footprints discovered in the nearby quarry in Lommiswil.
By public transport: take the S21 train from Solothurn to Oberdorf SO station.
By car: in the direction of Solothurn, then through Langendorf to the lower car park for the cable car to Weissenstein (Parkplatz Gondelbahn Weissenstein) – it will be on your left.
This easy 3.5km long loop trail starts at the lower car park for the cable car to Weissenstein. You head downhill along the forest, and after a few dozen meters at the tip of the forest, you turn right onto a wide gravel road (Geissfluestrasse).
After about 300 meters, take the underpass under the railway tracks and turn right at the nearest fork in the direction of this sign.
A wide gravel path leads very gently uphill through the forest. In less than 1.5 km, you will come to a rock wall.
As the sign says, turn right, and after a few dozen meters, turn left again to reach a wooden viewing platform.
Here you can see the dinosaur footprints on the rock before you. They are said to be best seen in the morning or afternoon when the light hits them at an angle. We had overcast skies on our trip and could see the footprints too. In addition, there are also information boards (in German and French) that tell you when dinosaurs lived here, how their footprints were discovered in the first place, and lots of other interesting facts.
You will then continue on a wide road with a gentle descent along the Weiherweg toward Oberdorf. You will then come to a tarmac road, turn right and follow the Weissensteinstrasse downhill toward the Weissenstein cable car station. Please be careful as the route is on the road, especially with small children. After about 300 meters you will reach the car park in front of the train & cable car stations. To get back to the lower car park, you must go to the station and use the pedestrian underpass under the tracks.
Variant for stroller
As there are steps leading down from the underpass and the path is narrow, the path goes over the roots, continuing with the stroller along the main road to the car park.
More dinosaur-related places in the area
If you would like to learn more about dinosaurs and their occurrence in the Jura Mountains, these two nearby museums are worth a visit. Check the opening hours before you visit, as they are limited.
More tips in the area
Since the hiking route is concise and won’t take you the whole day, you can also look around the area.