The tour starts by boat from Rorschach harbour via Alter Rhein and ends in the small town of Rheineck. The loop continues with the Rheineck-Walzenhausen mountain railway. After crossing the Ruderbach, the journey on the historic cog railway up the Hexenkirchli Gorge begins.
Once in Walzenhausen, you need to tighten the laces on your hiking boots as this is where the popular Witzwanderweg, or Joke Trail, to Heiden begins. Around 70 boards along the way tell the best jokes in Appenzell dialect, bringing a smile to the faces of hikers. In addition to these amusements, the impressive view of Lake Constance is a highlight. The Witzweg ends in Heiden. A short tour through the Biedermeier village is definitely worthwhile.
To complete the circuit, ride back to Rorschach on the Rorschach-Heiden mountain railway. Opened in 1875, it has one of the longest traditions of tourism in Switzerland. And if you aren’t totally exhausted by now, a walk along the shores of Lake Constance in Rorschach shouldn’t be missed.
Tips, hints and links
The Witzweg from Walzenhausen to Heiden is marked with blue signposts. There are many restaurants and inns along the way which have typical Appenzell specialities on their menus.
The route of the Witzweg can also be covered by PostBus. Because the PostBus line runs next to the Witzweg, hikers can jump on or off the trail any time. This is a big advantage, especially for families with small children.
You can also complete the trail in the opposite direction or in sections.