Mighty castles, green river banks and shady Jura forests characterise the Aargauer Weg. Over 105 kilometres (65 mi), you come across traces of the famous Habsburg dynasty which originated here. From the late Middle Ages, the princely dynasty ruled over a gigantic empire and remained in power for over 500 years. Only very few people know that the Habsburg ancestral castle is located in the Swiss canton of Aargau.
On six stages, the Aargauer Weg brings you closer to the history of the Habsburgs and leads you through the hilly landscape of the Jura Mountains. Starting in Frick, you hike over the green hills of the Jura Park Aargau enjoying magnificent panoramas as a reward for your efforts.
On the first stages, you climb a few metres in altitude and reach fascinating vantage points such as the Tiersteinberg and the Wasserflue. The long-distance trail runs through lush meadows and Jura forests to the old town of Aarau, which is famous for its unique roof gables. Afterwards, the species-rich floodplains along the Aare River await. On the way to the moated castle of Switzerland at the confluence of the Aare, Reuss and Limmat rivers, you’ll be impressed by the Wildegg Castle, Habsburg Castle and Königsfelden Monastery that date from the Habsburg era.
On the fourth stage, you climb high once again. The views from the Gebenstorf Horn and the Baldegg lookout tower compensate for the sweat needed to get there. The meandering Reuss accompanies you on the last two stages through romantic forests and lush meadows. In the Habsburg town of Bremgarten, you explore winding alleys before heading past the Flachsee lake to Muri. Famous for its Benedictine monastery, this town is the official end of the Aargauer Weg.
The Aargauer Weg is easy to follow without being an experienced hiker and is a great option for long-distance trail beginners. The second, third and fourth stages are a bit longer, so you need to have enough stamina. The journey to and from your long-distance adventure is easy to plan with trains. On the way, you also find train stations in the stage towns, so you can hike the individual stages of the Aargauer Weg as day trips too. This is a truly varied long-distance hiking trail that perfectly combines cultural and natural experiences.
The second stage of the Aargauer Weg starts in Wittnau. South of the village, the Gisletenweg leads you up a wooded slope to the open Altenberg plain. Past farms and fields, you have wide views over the undulating landscape with the watercourse. The short but sweaty ascent to the Burgflue is rewarded with an impressive panorama that extends as far as Germany.
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Brugg is the starting point for the fourth stage of the Aargauer Weg. The day begins with a detour to Königsfelden Monastery, if you haven't already visited it when you arrived in Brugg. Via the train station you walk into the old town directly on the banks of the Aare. You turn to the Reuss and at Vogelsang you come across the Limmat, the third river in the group.
The winding Reuss shows you the way on the fifth stage. From Mellingen you walk along the right bank of the river through the Risi forest reserve, which ETH Zurich uses for research purposes. It alternates between cooling forests and sunny fields along the water. Different resting places are ideal for a break or a short refreshment in the river.