This is one of my favourite hikes near Basel. It is fantastic any time of the year, but from December to the end of February (conditions permitting) the whole area becomes a winter wonderland. Streams, waterfalls and caverns, surrounded by snow draped trees and the peaceful quiet of the forest.
The Teufelsschlucht (Devil's Gorge) series of hiking trails were created in 1901 to promote health and well-being and have been maintained by volunteers for over 120 years! Forest pathways wind back and forth over numerous bridges in a spectacular canyon. There are several areas to grill along the way as well as caves and waterfalls. From December to March dress for snowy conditions and be mindful of slippery paths.
There are many different routes from the starting point in the Coop parking lot. This one takes you up the Teufelsschlucht gorge and loops back through a farmers field, a residential neighbourhood in Hägendorf and back to the starting point. There is a more detailed description and pictures (though very snowy) of the turning points below. As always know your physical limits and backtrack your steps if you lose your way.
Caves , canyons, gorges and waterfalls!
Nearby parking at the Coop Supermarket in Hägendorf (right next to the starting point)
Suitable for beginner hikers and children
Bathroom facilities - public bathrooms are available in the Coop parking lot
Many areas for picnics and grilling
Firewood available at the start of the hike - make sure to bring a lighter, some kindling and newspaper if you want to start a fire
Nearby restaurants and cafes:
Vögeli Beck Backerei Bachstrasse 36, 4614 Hägendorf
Gasthof Teufelsschlucht Kirchrain 1, 4614 Hägendorf
The hike begins in the parking lot of the Hägendorf Coop. From here there are several trails to choose from. All are well-marked with the yellow diamond symbol, but to make sure you find your way back, note the GPS location of the parking lot on your phone. This particular loop takes about 3.5 hours at a leisurely pace with a stop for lunch.
Start by going down the narrow pathway behind the recycling area at the end of the parking lot. At the end of the short narrow path take a left and follow the residential street until you reach the start of the trail.
At the start of the trail you will see an area for grilling and a large pile of firewood. Feel free to take a few pieces if you wish to have a fire on your hike. The hike then continues into some stunning scenery with winding streams, waterfalls and caves.
When you reach the sign that warns of more difficult terrain, turn right across the bridge and head up the steep and winding forest path. This will eventually take you to a road, which you follow to another small parking area. Here you will see a green sign indicating other hiking routes; turn right at this sign, through to the end of the parking lot and turn left after you walk by a house on your right.
This part takes you across a large field which is parallel to the highway. Continue to the end of this field and you will see a road going down to your left continuing under the highway.
From here you will see the trail continue into the forest along a Vitaparcours course. It will then change into a residential neighbourhood and eventually past a school, which will take you back to the starting point.
I hope you take a day trip to enjoy this winter wonderland. If you go please leave a comment, I'd love to hear about your experience!
Happy hiking! glückliches Wandern!