Hiking the Trans Swiss Trail – Stage 4 Saignelégier to St-Imier

This past weekend, we continued our hike-through of the Trans Swiss Trail by hiking stage 4, an 18 km stretch with an ascent of 460 m and descent of 660 m going from Saignelégier to St-Imier. This hike took us up past “Energy Mountain,” where there is a solar farm, and several wind turbines. There aren’t many wind or solar farms in Switzerland (most of the renewable energy produced here is hydroelectric), so it was interesting to hike past both. This stage also proved to be an ideal spring hike as it passed through some absolutely gorgeous fields of blooming daffodils.

Detail Summary
Where:Saignelégier to St-Imier
Canton Jura and Canton Bern, Switzerland
Train/Bus:Zürich HB -> Saignelégier – 2 hrs 41 min
St-Imier -> Zürich HB – 1 hr 45 min
What:Trans Swiss Trail – Stage 4 Saignelégier to St-Imier
Yellow trail markers – Trans Swiss Trail Route 2
Skill:Medium – About 5 hrs
Length 18 km, Ascent 460 m, Descent 660 m

Additional Information

Photo Stories for Other Stages
Stage 1 – Porrentruy to St-Ursanne
Stage 2 – St-Ursanne to Soubey
Stage 3 – Soubey to Saignelégier
Stage 4 – Saignelégier to St-Imier
Stage 5 – St-Imier to Chézard-St-Martin
Stage 6 – Chézard-St-Martin to Neuchâtel
Stage 7 – Neuchâtel to Murten
Stage 8 – Murten to Laupen
Stage 9 – Laupen to Bern
Stage 10 – Bern to Worb
Stage 11 – Worb to Lützelflüh
Stage 12 – Lützelflüh to Langnau i.E.
Stage 13 – Langnau i.E. to Eggiwil
Stage 14 – Eggiwil to Schangnau
Stage 15 – Schangnau to Sörenberg
Stage 16 – Sörenberg to Giswil
Stage 17 – Giswil to Flüeli-Ranft
Stage18 – Flüeli-Ranft to Stans
Stage 19 – Stans to Seelisberg
Stage 20 – Seelisberg to Erstfeld
Stage 21 – Erstfeld to Wassen
Stage 22 – Wassen to Andermatt
Stage 23 – Andermatt to Passo del San Gottardo
Stage 24 – Passo del San Gottardo to Airolo
Stage 25 – Airolo to Osco
Stage 26 – Osco to Anzonico

Getting There

The Trans Swiss Trail is best done with public transportation as each stage starts and ends at different points. Stage 4 starts at Saignelégier and after getting to the train station, we were where we were when we left stage 3.

At the end of my stage 3 post, I had written that when I do stage 4, I’ll get a better picture of the train station in Saignelégier. Well, as you can see, that didn’t happen. Sorry about that.

The Trail – Up to Energy Mountain

The hike starts by going through the town of Saignelégier, but it rather quickly leaves the town behind as it heads through fields. The path here was paved and very easy walking, and on a nice day like this one, we saw quite a few other hikers and bikers on the trail. As you can see in the center picture, even from the near beginning of the trail, the wind turbines up on Energy Mountain can be seen.

When we passed Relais du Roselet» restaurant (french) at the Fondation pour le cheval (french), Horse Foundation – a retirement home of sorts for horses, we realized it was already lunch time. The terrace looked inviting and the menu looked interesting (it featured a number of local specialties), so we decided to stop. I am very glad we did – the spätzle with mushrooms was excellent!

Back on the trail, we passed through more fields and then hiked through the town of Les Breuleux. If we hadn’t already eaten lunch, I would have picked up something to eat here. There are several restaurants and take-out places in Les Breuleux, along with a Coop grocery.

After leaving Les Breuleux, the trail heads past several farms. I love the stone walls surrounding the pastures in this part of Switzerland. The next part of the trail took us through a forest of enormous towering pine trees. To get a sense of scale, you can see my husband and sons in the center of the first picture walking past the trees.

Hiking through the forest took us up the better part the ridge. Just as we left the forest, we came across a lovely surprise – fields of blooming daffodils! Every yellow dot in these pictures is a daffodil. So pretty!

After passing the best of the daffodil fields, we were at the top of the ridge.

The Trail – Energy Mountain

At the top of the ridge, we got a fantastic view of the windmills.

Then, with one last last look at the view on this side of the ridge, we crested the ridge and took our first look at the view from the other side. And from there, we had a fantastic view of the Chasseral summit, and of what looks like an evil villain’s lair at the top. But, spoiler alert – it’s just a radio tower (german).

As we continued our hike, we got a quick glimpse of the alps, got up close with a few of the windmills, and passed by an astronomical observatory (french) and a solar farm.

After this point, the hike was all downhill until we reached St-Imier.

The Trail – Down to St-Imier

On our way down to St-Imier we passed the top stop of the St-Imier Funicular (german/french). If you wanted to save your knees the stress of a steep downhill hike, you could take this funicular down to St-Imier or you could rent a scooter to ride down. See the the St-Imier Funicular (german/french) for details.

Even though it was quite steep and a bit rough on the knees, we enjoyed the hike down. I particular liked seeing St-Imier above, as it was a really nice way to view the typical multi-story architecture of the town. After we reached St-Imier and after just a short wander through town, it was time to leave trail 2 and go home.

Getting Back

After following the signs to the train station, we were on our way home.

This was a really nice hike, made much better by doing it in May when the daffodils were blooming. I feel lucky to have seen them. On to stage 5!

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