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«Witzweg» - joke trail

· 1 review · Hiking trail · Vorderland
Responsible for this content
Appenzellerland Tourismus AR Explorers Choice 
  • Erlebnisrundfahrt
    / Erlebnisrundfahrt
    Photo: Daniel Ammann, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Auf dem Witzweg
    Photo: Daniel Ammann, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Der Dorfplatz Heiden
    Photo: Marcel Steiner, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Witztafel am Wegesrand
    Photo: Christine Egli, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Die «Witzchistä»
    Photo: Urs Berger, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Blick auf Wolfhalden
    Photo: Kurverein Heiden, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Erlebnisrundfahrt
    Photo: Martina Basista, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Walzenhausen Rheineck Bergbahn
    Photo: Appenzeller Bahnen, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Witzweg-Postauto
    Photo: Martina Basista, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
  • / Erlebnisrundfahrt
    Photo: Martina Basista, Appenzellerland Tourismus AR
m 850 800 750 700 650 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 km Heiden, Post Feuerstelle Eichenbach Heiden Feuerstelle Klus Feuerstelle Gmeindli JUST Welt Wolfhalden, Post
Laugther, hiking and unique views over Lake Constance
Distance 8 km
2:25 h
213 m
332 m
For over 20 years, this trail has been putting visitors in good spirits. And there’s a good reason for that. The «Witzweg» or «joke trail» starts in Heiden and passes through Wolfhalden, ending in Walzenhausen. The trail charms hikers with stunning panoramic views over Lake Constance and the Appenzeller Vorderland. «Joke stations» along the way invite them to have a break and a chuckle. So what’s Appenzell humour all about? You’ll find out on the trail. It’s a Swiss classic.

Author’s recommendation

The hike on the joke trail quickly becomes a leisurely and inexpensive adventure tour: you can explore the unique Appenzellerland above Lake Constance with two mountain railways, a post bus and a boat. The round trip by boat is possible from May to mid-October.
Highest point
807 m
Lowest point
673 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Zur Fernsicht guest house
Hotel Heiden
Café im Glück
Linde Hotel cooperative, Heiden
Feuerstelle Gmeindli
Klus fire pit
Eichenbach fire pit
Gambrinus pizzeria and guest house
Meyerhans bakery and pastry shop

Tips and hints

Detailed timetables and travel suggestions on


railway station Heiden (791 m)
2'758'207E 1'257'119N
47.445828, 9.536424
47°26'45.0"N 9°32'11.1"E
32T 540441 5254848


railway station Walzenhausen

Turn-by-turn directions

The joke trail is cleary marked with the well-known yellow rhombus of the Swiss hiking trails and an additional green marking on the signpost.

The hike begins in Heiden on the village square. It is advisable to take your time and walk through the village. Every afternoon between May and October, when the weather is fine, the church tower can be ascended. The ascent is worthwhile because you can enjoy a magnificent view over the entire Lake Constance region. On the first section of the trail you walk on wide paths all the way to Wolhalden. This part is mainly on hard surface and gravel and is suitable for (sporty) prams. Shortly after Heiden, you can enjoy a clear view of Lake Constance for the first time. In Wolfhalden you cross the village and pass the small local museum and the Gasthof Krone. Now follows a section in the shady forest of the Klustobel. Leaving the forest again, the path crosses the main road and climbs up to the Sonder, the so-called "Chistenpass". Here, the Restaurant Harmonie with its home-style cooking and a beautiful hall attracts visitors. Always with a view of Lake Constance, you first take the road for a short stretch and then the gravel and meadow paths via Sommersberg and Hostet in the direction of Walzenhausen railway station. In Walzenhausen, the team of the Restaurant Bahnhof with its own pastry shop is looking forward to your visit.

The way back to Heiden follows either directly by post bus or as an adventure round trip with the rack railway to Rheineck, from there by boat to Rorschach and finally with the second rack railway back to Heiden.

On the way, it is possible to change to the post bus in Wolfhalden or at the Hueb.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Take the train from Rorschach to Heiden railway station.

From Walzenhausen, the mountain railway runs to Rheineck, from there by train to St. Gallen or Chur, or by boat to Rorschach. Or you can also take the Postbus back to Heiden.

Getting there

From St. Margareten on the B7 to Rheineck, further left via Lutzenberg and Wolfhalden to Heiden


Parking at Heiden railway station


2'758'207E 1'257'119N
47.445828, 9.536424
47°26'45.0"N 9°32'11.1"E
32T 540441 5254848
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Comfortable hiking boots or trainers, weather-resistent clothes

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

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Urs Aebi
June 01, 2020 · Community
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When did you do this route? June 01, 2020
Photo: Urs Aebi, Community

Photos from others

8 km
2:25 h
213 m
332 m
Public-transport-friendly Scenic Refreshment stops available Family-friendly Linear route Cultural/historical interest


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