Stumped for ideas on where to go & what to do with little mini me’s running around, we turned to our expert friends at Switzerland Tourism who know (and love) every green hill, mountain top and lake this gorgeous land has to offer to scope out the current Families on Tour itinerary connected to the Grand Tour of Switzerland.
Psyched for a hike (with the side benefit of exhausting the bouncing off the wall energy-laced kiddos), we were excited to try the tour stop: The Grimmimutz Trail.
The Grimmimutz Trail, a 3.3km wanderweg, is part of the Diemtigtal Nature Park, a beautiful 130km2 landscape with an abundance of farmland nestled in between the Seehorn, Spillgerten and Rauflihorn mountains, not too far from Lake Thun.
Pack the car, the kids & have fun Zuri Mommas!
In 2001, local author Peter Zahnd wanted to educate the younger generation in an effort to foster protection and ensure respect for Naturepark Grimmialp’s farm haven and pristine forest.
So, how exactly does one go about doing this??
Herr Zahnd published a series of stories and created an interactive hiking trail that leads children through the adventures of Grimmimutz, a shy old man who lives in the forest.
The story is told through the series of stations and adventures along the 3.3km hiking trail.
Zuri Girl Tip: The Collection of Grimmimutz Books & Book on CD’s are only available in the local Naturepark area – pick up a Grimmimutz themed souvenir at the small kiosk at the trail start or at the tourism office in Oey.
Depending on how well behaved your angels are in the car, the drive is a little more than 2 hours from Zurich and you could either route via Luzern or Bern…or mix it up and try different routes each way. The driving distance is about the same.
The car ride is breathtakingly beautiful as one would expect when traveling to the Swiss Mountains. 1 or 2 windy roads over mountain passes and eye candy lakes along the way. Next time, we’ll definitely stop for a picnic & swim at the gemstone green Lake Lungern.
Upon arrival, there’s ample parking (bring the rappens) not too far from the trail entrance.
Zuri Girl Tip: Stop for trail snacks and petrol / gas in Oey. It’s a small (adorable) village about 15 minutes before Grimmimutz. After that, it’s mostly farm roads and mountain restaurants.
The trail is more about doing than seeing with 13 stations along the trail for kids (and adults…hey we all love a zip line, don’t we!) to enjoy. Grimminutz’s story is shared along the trail, via German sign posts, and each adventure station encourages children to have fun while learning about the forest.
Highlights include sawing firewood, learning the story book characters via a life size memory game, climbing rocks, soaring on a zip line and coloring in a log house (a much needed rest spot to cool down).
While the trail could be walked in less than 1.5 hours, you could easily spend 6 when taking time to have fun at all the activity stations, rest for much needed snack time, cool off tiny toes in the running streams and snap photos of the stunning mountains soaring above you. Plus it is a “real hike” with a bit uphill (185m elevation difference to be exact) so take it easy and enjoy!
Zuri Girl Tip: Leave the stroller in the car, but if the kids aren’t used to long hikes, bring a hiking backpack to avoid cranky, tired monsters.
Along the trail, of course! Herr Zahnd doesn’t stop at story books and activity stations to push home the theme of connecting with nature. The trail intentionally does not have any restaurants or kiosks along the way (excepting this one at the trail start), but an abundance of fire pits for grilling.
Be sure to pick up in town (or at a local farm) goat and cow cheese produced not too far from the trail you’re walking along. Look for the label “Nature Park Diemtigtal” and try the Alpkäse Senggiweid-Nidegg and Ziegenkäse Alpetli. Both are only sold in this region so grab a few extra to share with Zurich friends.
Zuri Girl Tip: There is clean, drinking water along the trail, but it’s about ¾ of the way up so pack accordingly.
Exhausted from hiking, Zuri Girl was relieved to pull up to the Kurhaus Grimmimialp, a Hotel that welcomed us with a hearty dinner (loved the well-deserved super sized ice dream dessert), a lazy evening and morning breakfast filling our tummies with yogurt, bread served with jam & butter, 3 types of cheese and juice before hitting the trails again.
A German-speaking family owned hotel with adult prices starting at CHF 65, it’s a casual and simple Hotel (remember, we are in the somewhat remote mountains ladies), ideal for big groups and families that want a city escape and home base for exploring the area. There’s hiking trails direct out of the hotel’s entrance and fun kids activities like an indoor playroom (loads of puzzles, board games and toys), an outdoor playground, sand box, table tennis and plenty of space to run.
Zuri Girl Tip: We haven’t been, but hear the Alp Hösel offers cheese-making viewing experience in English and Alp Stierenseeberg is a 24-hour working farm that welcomes small groups to join them in the cheese-making process in between snoozing on the hay-made beds.
Experience sponsored by Switzerland Tourism