Hiking the Zürichsee-Rundweg Trail – Stage 1 Bürkliplatz to Adliswil

Ever since moving to Switzerland one of the things I have wanted to do was hike (in stages, of course) around Lake Zürich. And wouldn’t you know it – there’s a trail for that! Trail 84, the Zürichsee-Rundweg is a ten stage trail that starts in Bürkliplatz and makes a complete loop around lake Zürich (including the Obersee). I hope to do all ten stages, but for now I am starting with stage 1 – Bürkliplatz to Adliswil.

Detail Summary
Where:Zürich, Bürkliplatz to Adliswil, Canton Zürich, Switzerland
Train: Zürich HB -> Bürkliplatz – 10 – 15 min
Adliswil -> Zürich HB – 23 min
What:Zürichsee-Rundweg Trail – Stage 1 Bürkliplatz to Adliswil
Skill:Easy – About 2 hr 15 min
Length 9 km, Ascent 130 m, Descent 90 m

Additional Info

Photo Stories for All Stages
The Zürichsee-Rundweg is a ten stage trail that starts and ends in Zürich, Bürkliplatz and makes a complete loop around lake Zürich (including the Obersee). Photo stories for each stage here:
Stage 1 – Zürich, Bürkliplatz–Adliswil
Stage 2 – Adliswil–Horgen
Stage 3 – Horgen–Richterswil
Stage 4 – Richterswil–Pfäffikon SZ
Stage 5 – Pfäffikon SZ–Schmerikon
Stage 6 – Schmerikon–Rapperswil SG
Stage 7 – Rapperswil SG–Stäfa
Stage 8 – Stäfa–Meilen
Stage 9 – Meilen–Küsnacht ZH
Stage 10 – Küsnacht ZH–Zürich, Bürkliplatz

Getting There

This trail is best done with public transportation as each stage will start and end at different points. Stage 1 starts at Bürkliplatz, a 15 minute walk from Zürich main station, or you can take a tram for a few stops. Several trams stop here, so it is very easy to get here.

The Trail – Along the Lake

The trail starts in Bürkliplatz, where the ferry docks. If you are looking for a lazier way to spend the day, a ferry ride on Lake Zürich is a lovely thing to do. From here, there are beautiful views across the lake to the alps. After snapping a few pictures, we headed right, going along the shore of the lake, enjoying the view as we strolled.

This trail goes past the Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich (Succulent Plant Collection). These greenhouses hold a very impressive succulent plant (cactus, agaves, aloe, etc..) collection and it is free to visit. We didn’t stop this time, but we have gone before and can recommend it. The trail then goes past the entrance to Strandbad Mythenqui, a very popular swimming area. In the winter, you can freely walk through it along the lake, but in summer there is a fee.

The trail goes around it anyway. On the other side is a pretty lawn area. Just past the lawn, the trail goes up a set of steps and continues along on an elevated path. The gardens on the elevated path appear to be untended at the moment. On the map, there is an area that looks like it loops out over the lake. We thought this was a mistake, but it isn’t. The path takes a turn onto a wooden walkway over the lake.

The view from the wooden path is one of the best views of Zürich city.

The Trail – Up Through Town

Shortly after leaving the wooden path, just past the Seerose restaurant, the trail turns inland and backtracks a bit on Seestrasse. After crossing the street, the trail goes under the train tracks and heads up the hill through the town of Wollishofen. It wanders past the local museum, Ortsmuseum Wollishofen (german only). We have not been to this museum, so can’t recommend it one or another, but I find it interesting that almost all of the towns around here each have their own small museum dedicated to the history of the town. The path then continues up through residential areas, and through a field with beautiful apple trees.

As the trail continues up the hill, it passes the Wollishoferplatz tram station. On the corner here is the Turkish Specialty shop and butcher, Metzgerei Demet (the white building on the right in the first picture). On Fridays and Saturdays, they sell their own house-made döner kebab (seasoned meat spit-roasted and then shaved, served pitabread-sandwich-style with lettuce, tomato, onion, and yogurt sauce), which according to my son is the best around. They only make a limited quantity and when it’s gone for the day, it’s gone, but while they still have any for sale, the line for it stretches down the street. I’ve only tried it once, and it really is excellent and definitely better than the typical train-station kebab shop. It is no surprise they have such a following. Continuing up the hill, we passed a lot of new-construction residential buildings before the trail entered the woods.

The Trail – Through the Woods and Over the Ridge

After the trail entered the woods, there were several areas with picnic tables and fire pits. The tall trees provided some nice shade as the trail crested the hill and continued down the other side in a series of switchbacks. Here, we felt as though we had completely left the city behind.

The Trail – Along the Sihl River

At the bottom of the hill, the trail flattens out and meets up with the Sihl river. The path follows alongside the river with several picnic areas and benches along the way.

As we continued along the path and came into Adliswil, we were met with this lovely view.

Getting Back

Not too long after taking the above picture, we spotted the train station parking lot on the other side of the river, signaling that we had come to the end of stage 1. We left the trail, crossed the bridge and in a few minutes we were back at the train station and headed home.

We really enjoyed stage 1 of this hike, and we are looking forward to stage 2 – Adliswil to Horgen.

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