Laugther, hiking and unique views over Lake Constance
Distance 8 km
Highest point807 m
Lowest point673 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.
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.
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
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.
From St. Margareten on the B7 to Rheineck, further left via Lutzenberg and Wolfhalden to Heiden