Switzerland’s Dwarf Trail // Photos
Our Switzerland trip was so full of family-friendly activities, but one of our favorites was the Muggestutz Dwarf Trail. This family-friendly hike allows children to live out the Muggestutz stories while you enjoy a hike through the Swiss Alps. The hike is not suitable for a stroller. The Big Little (5) was easily able to hike on his own, the Middle Little (3) spent some time in the Tula carrier, and the Little Little (8 months) spent most of the time in the Ergo carrier.
To start the hike you’ll need to ride the lift up to the trailhead. We purchased an all day lift pass so we could ride the lifts all day, giving us maximum flexibility. You can purchase the Muggestutz books, available in several languages, at the gift store at the lift station. We purchased the one that told the same story as our hike and it really brought the trail to life for the five year old.
We dressed for the weather, because even in July the day alternated between bright sunshine and rainstorms. The start of the trail is clearly marked and decorated with beautiful fabric bunting. Opt to take the trail downhill.
The first stop is the pinecone sorting house, which really looks more like a fort! Here the kids were asked to use a wench to bring a bucket full of pinecones up to the first level, then fill sacks to bring them up to the top, where they put them down a hollow log back to the bottom.
This one stop alone might have been enough for them to enjoy for a half a day. The adults got in on the fun too, using the brooms to help tidy the fort and pack the pinecone bags. Each stop on the trail had a special purpose – I think the pinecones were dwarf food the kids were collecting.
Further down the trail we knocked on a neighboring dwarf’s house to see if he was home. The ladders helped us check all the little dwarf doors and entrances.
The trail is full of flowers, nuts, seeds, bugs and sticks. The trail encourages you to take a look at all these lovely objects as you pass through the trail.
We had fun making daisy crowns at one of the benches we stopped at for snacks. (At this stop there was also wood for the kids to chop with small axes! Obviously this should be a supervised activity.)
In part of the story the eagles carry the dwarves high into the sky, so we swung on the swings pretending we were flying on eagles. The swings look out onto a lovely field, full of cows with ringing bells, it could not have been any more perfect.
The kids fell in love with the little dwarf house on the route. The whole house is decorated to the hilt and set up as if you’ve come across the house just as the dwarves have left.
The boys set to work inside the house setting up tea and playing with all the lovely things inside the house. We didn’t even have to ask them to clean up when they were done. I think the idea that they had found this little house so clean motivated them to clean out the house and return everything to its rightful place before they left.
I couldn’t get over the adorable, knitted, dwarf laundry that was hung out to dry in the garden.
Throughout the trail, and the Swiss mountains in general, you will find these water basins. You are free to fill your water bottle and enjoy some of the most delicious cold water you’ve ever tasted. I literally wanted to fill up fresh with this cold water every time we passed one.
We stopped into a local cheese store along the path. This would be a perfect stop for lunch, as there are picnic tables out front of the store. They have ice cream too!
They’ve even filled their water tank with drinks to keep them cool. You can just pick one up and leave the coins in the jar and continue on your way.
We chatted a bit with the farm workers and watched them work with the vet to bandage a cow’s injured leg. Another worker continued to chop wood adding it to the wood pile. This should be a sign of how long and cold the winters likely are.
Shortly after we departed the cheese shop, the sky opened up and poured down on us. We took refuge in another Dwarf house and ate our actual lunch. We made sure to clean up our mess, using the broom in the house to clean out all the crumbs. (There were several picnic tables outside this house, had the weather been nicer!)
When we had finished lunch the rain had let up, perfect timing.
We took a small break to watch the pigs in a hillside field. (The Middle Little makes a very convincing piggy noise!)
Then there was a dwarf mine to explore.
A bird’s nest to check.
And a log bridge to cross.
The final obstacle is a labyrinth to find a lady bug!
At the end you are rewarded with your own dwarf drinking spigot.
It is still a bit of a walk after you finish the trail back to the lift, although you’ve now descended to the lower stop.
The trail is 5km and as you’ve seen it’s full of adventure.
There is a second trail with more advanced obstacles that leaves from Käserstatt, the neighboring lift. These lifts are also included in your all day pass. Our little ones were in need of a nap, so we opted not to do the second hike, but I sure wish we had time to check it out.
This is exactly the type of outing that makes for a lovely family vacation. The kids had fun and so did the adults. We felt like we got to do some hiking while the boys were emerged in their own little world of dwarf fun.
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