Biking the Mittelland Route – Stage 1 Romanshorn to Wil (SG)

The Mittelland Bike Route (Route 5) is perhaps the easiest of the nine official Swiss National bike routes. Route 5 takes you from Romanshorn on the shore of Lake Constance (Bodensee) to Lausanne on the shore of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman). Totaling 375 km, it is broken into 7 stages (easy is a relative term) and my son and I are hoping to do all 7 stages this summer. (I love doing these multi-stage trails.) Stage 1 was 36 km and went from Romanshorn to Wil (SG). Mostly on paved paths, this stage took us through farms and orchards, and along the river Thur. Off to a good start!

Detail Summary
Where:Romanshorn to Wil (SG)
Canton Thurgau and Canton St. Gallen, Switzerland
Train:Zürich HB -> Romanshorn – 1 hr 7 min
Wil (SG) -> Zürich HB – 47 min
What:Mittelland Trail – Stage 1 Romanshorn to Will

Red cycle path signs with a blue number 5
Stats:Length 36 km (24 asphalted, 12 natural surface), Ascent 400 m, Descent 240 m

Additional Info

Photo Stories for All Stages

Getting There

This trail starts at the Romanshorn train station. We took our bikes on the train to the starting point and as soon as we found our trail, we were on our way.

Romanshorn is located right on lake Constance (Bodensee), but we did not take any time to check out the lake shore. Maybe I will go another time. (If I do, I will update the post with some pictures here.)

The Trail

The trail is well marked and it was pretty easy to follow. I am a novice biker and wasn’t sure how well I would do, but I found it to be quite reasonable. I did not take a lot of pictures, though as I haven’t gotten the hang of bike riding and stopping for picture taking yet. Anyway, the trail starts by going through Romanshorn on some side streets and then eventually it heads on to a country road through fields and orchards. It was rather pretty. We passed a strawberry farm that smelled absolutely amazing! And we also passed a lovely castle (Hagenwil Castle).

We took a lunch break in the town of Bischofszell at Restaurant Eisenbahn (german). I liked my veggie-burger but my son gave the beef burger a thumbs down. The fries, however, were excellent, the service was good, and it was a super convenient and relaxing place to stop. Then off we went on more paved paths and roads through fields and orchards.

When we turned on to a gravel path, the trail went through the forest alongside the Thur river. This area is a beaver habitat and there were information signs along the way all about beavers. The most surprising thing we learned is that the Catholic Church has declared beavers to be fish so they can be eaten during Lent when meat would normally be prohibited.

I really enjoyed the trail along the river. I know that as we continue on this route, we will be traveling alongside several different rivers and I am looking forward to it.

Getting Back

The last few kilometers before Wil included a bit of a climb, and it was hot, we were getting very thirsty, and our water bottles were empty. Thankfully, there was a water fountain at the top. Very refreshing!

When we reached the Wil train station, we locked up our bikes and took the train home. So far, so good. On to stage 2!

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