A Short and Scenic Hike Along The Rhine Falls
(With Option To Extend To A Longer Hike)
If you’re looking for a short but scenic hike along the Rhine Falls, we have not one but two options for you. Whether you’re arriving by train or driving , the starting point is the same – the railway station at Dachsen. If coming by car you can park at the station car park for a reasonable price and then set off.
Starting Point at Dachsen Railway Station
From Dachsen station you turn left and take the underpass under the railway line, then the first right into Hindergartenstrasse and then the first left, Römerweg. By now you are already passing the meadows and fields (which were full of red poppies when we walked in mid May) and heading straight ahead to the banks of the Rhine.
A Walk Along the Waters Edge Along the Rhine
At the end of Romerweg, you turn right onto the riverside path. Five minutes’ walk along the path and you get to a foot bridge over the Rhine (Rheinbrücke bei Laufen), don’t cross here but carry on along the riverbank.
The path gets closer to the river now and you can really see how fast the flow is. Keep walking along the river for around a quarter of an hour and will arrive at a viewing platform just before the Falls themselves. Across the river you can see Schlössli Wörth, a former castle which is a now a restaurant and which also offers spectacular views of the falls.
From the viewing area head back to the path and take the steps up to the bottom of the lift in the cliff (or you could alternatively walk up the steps all the way to Schloss Laufen).
If possible, take the left-hand lift (this has the best view towards the falls) and you arrive at the Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall.
The castle dates to the year 858 when it was the home of the Barons of Laufen. It is a pretty castle with some good views over the Rhein and Falls. However please note that at the time of writing, Spring 2020, the main viewing point is not open due to the Covid measures).
Take In The Views From the Railway Bridge
Walk through the small castle keep, and as soon as you are outside the castle walls take the path to the left, this then doubles back on itself for a few metres and then you are on the bridge across the Rhein to Neuhausen. This bridge carries the railway and has a walkway on either side of the tracks. Take the path under the track and then down the left-hand side of the railway. You can get great views of the Falls from the railway bridge and again from the opposite side of the Rhine as you continue your route back towards Dachsen.
Along the Riverbank on the Opposite Side of The Rhine
Once across the bridge, take the path on the left towards Nohl and after about 5 minutes you come to Café Mühlenradhaus, and a multiplicity of stunning viewpoints towards the Falls. Take the steps down the riverside, with more great views of the Falls. This leads to Rheinfallquai. You can have a snack, an ice cream or even a meal at the various establishments along Rheinfallquai. After about 10 minutes’ walk you arrive at the bridge to Schlössli Wörth, a small castle on an Island. Just after the bridge, turn left onto the footpath along the riverside.
Walk along the riverbank, where you pass numerous boats tied up at the side.
After fifteen minutes’ walk you arrive at the other side of the Rheinbrücke bei Laufen. Cross the bridge and then simply retrace your steps back to Dachsen station.
There are a few steps, up and down but nothing too difficult. Some of the paths are dirt so might be muddy after rain, sensible footwear advised but hiking boots are not essential. Take a hat and sunscreen if sunny and of course a camera! This walk is about 6km.
Option 2 For a Longer Hike
Turn Right Over the Railway Bridge
If you prefer to go for a longer hike, then once over the railway bridge take the turning on the right hand side (instead of the path to the left as above) and walk down the right hand side path, all along Rheinweg, then Mühlenstrasse Rheinweg until you come to the Gründenstrasse Bridge.
Cross The Bridge and Head to Flurlingen and onto Dachsen
Slightly past this bridge you will come to another crossing and take this. (Please note if this crossing is temporarily closed then simply double back to the railway bridge near Schloss Laufen and the Rhine Falls and retrace your steps back to Dachsen). At the end of this bridge turn right and walk along Gründenstrasse then turn right into Philppenweg towards Flurlingen. From Flurlingen follow the signoist to the Rhine Falls. From the Rhine Falls you simply retrace the earlier part of your hike back to Dachsen.
This second option is significantly longer than the first hike so do set aside a good three hours to tackle it and more if you stop to take lots of photos. You can see more about this second hike option here.
Article written by Richard Fryer
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