A Circular Hike Around Eglisau in Autumn
Circular Hike From Eglisau
The Rhine provides the backdrop to many beautiful and accessible walks, especially in the late autumn when the vineyards are clinging on to their autumn glory. One such walk is a circular hike from Eglisau which takes in vineyards, forest, open countryside and the banks of the river Rhine. It has spectacular views and a varied terrain. There are a couple of short climbs, at least one with steps and the route is not pushchair accessible, none the less it is a good option for children due to the constantly changing landscape, numerous official picnic spots and a playground in Eglisau for the end of the hike.
One of the many picnic sites
With a history dating back to 892, Eglisau dominated the river traffic along this section of the Rhine for centuries. These days you are likely to pass through it as you drive over the impressive bridge, or catch a train over the even higher viaduct, from Zurich to Jestetten in Germany.
Views of Eglisau and the vineyards from the bridge
It is a worthwhile destination in itself for this and other hikes that fan out from the pretty streets which host numerous restaurants and cafes.
Parking is available at Parkplatz Eglisau, Bahnhofstrasse 2, a large, unpaved lot just before the bridge as you drive from Zurich.
The car park entrance – not that well signposted
The hike starts from here and there is a helpfully placed underpass to enable you to cross the busy road and access the pedestrian walkway over the bridge. After crossing the bridge you turn right and climb slightly up through the town’s pretty streets. After passing the playground you turn right once more and quickly enter the vineyards.
Path along the Rhine and under the golden beech trees
You are on the ViaRhenana, which runs from Kreuzlingen along the Rhine to Basel, also marked as the Zurich Wanderweg route 60, and following signs Buchberg. After skirting the bottom of the first vineyard, the track climbs up a few bends though the woods before emerging now at the top of the vineyards. Easy walking along a broad path gives you a chance to admire the views and catch your breath before a climb up through the woods takes you finally into open countryside heading towards Buchberg. As you leave Buchberg and start to descend you will see Buchberg church with its beautiful tilled roof.
Here turn right, skirting the church and take the path that descends down through the vineyards and back towards the Rhine.
Rüdlingen am Rhein
You reach the Rhine at Rüdlingen am Rhein and turn right, heading back towards Eglisau. You now leave the Route 60 and return along signed footpaths, following signs for Töössegg and Eglisau. There is an interesting looking gelateria in the village, sadly now shut until May 2021, but could be a worthy stop on future visits.
The path along the Rhine becomes narrower with a varied landscape mixing between vineyards and woods. At the bend in the Rhine take care to take the turning on your right marked for Eglisau which takes you up a short climb before eventually returning to the river. All along this section are numerous official picnic sites, many with firepits. As you approach Eglisau once more you enter along a road lined with beautiful half-timbered buildings, many used in the local wine trade.
To finish your hike with the playground, don’t turn left down some steps back to the river, but continue along the street to the main road where there is a children’s playground. For everyone else, the route finishes with taking in the riverfront and an impressive view of the bridge, which you will finally cross before returning to the carpark.
This hike is also accessible on public transport with the Eglisau train station just above the carpark listed. Trains from Zurich HB take 32 minutes. We hiked this route in the autumn on a very overcast day. It would beautiful all year round – the winter when the trees show more of their skeleton, the spring when the buds return to the trees and the vineyards, and the summer when the grapes are ripening and the banks of the Rhine provides a shady place to play or relax.
Eglisau Circular Hike
Time: 3.5 – 4 hours
Photo courtesy of Switzerland Mobility Website
Article written by and all photos taken by Rhoda Richardson
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