Hiking the Trans Swiss Trail – Stage 25 Airolo to Osco

Stage 25 of the Trans Swiss trail is 18 km long with 760 m ascent and 760 m descent and goes from Airolo to Osco. This stage was higher up on the side of valley than I had anticipated, but we were still well below the snow line. There was some lovely golden autumn foliage and really beautiful views views of the Leventina and Val Bedrettotal mountains, the tops of which were covered in a powdered-sugar dusting of snow. I am so glad that we managed to get through the Gottardpass before the snow set and we could continue hiking in November with this stage. This was an enjoyable hike.

Detail Summary
Where: Airolo to Osco
Canton Ticino, Switzerland
Train/Bus: Zürich HB -> Airolo – 1 hr 57 min

Osco, Paese -> Zürich HB – 2 hr 57 min
What: Trans Swiss Trail – Stage 25 – Airolo to Osco
Red and white trail markers – Trans Swiss Trail Route 2
Skill: Medium – About 5 hrs 10 min
Length 18 km, Ascent 760 m, Descent 760 m

Additional Information

Photo Stories for All 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
Stage 27 – Anzonico to Biasca
Stage 28 – Biasca to Bellinzona
Stage 29 – Bellinzona to Tesserete
Stage 30 – Tesserete to Lugano (Comano)
Stage 31 – Lugano (Paradiso) to Morcote
Stage 32 – Morcote to Mendriso

Getting There

The Trans Swiss Trail is best done with public transportation as each stage starts and ends at different points. Stage 25 picks up right where stage 24 left off, at the Airolo train station.

After arriving at the train station, the hike leads through the town of Airolo and then heads along the left side of the valley.

The Trail

This stage was a pretty straight forward hike offering gorgeous views up and down the valley. In particular, it was interesting to look back at the Gotthard pass area and see it now completely snowed over (picture 3 below).

Another name for the trail here is the Alta Strada or “high street” in Italian. Had I realized that before we went, it would not have surprised me to see how far above the valley floor the trail was. The higher altitude made for really lovely views from the trail. Unfortunately, though, they were often marred by high tension wires.

As we hiked, we passed through several small towns along the way. These towns were very cute with cobblestone streets and timber and stone houses. The trail also put us on the road more often than I prefer, but if you like what you see here and aren’t up for the hike, many of the views and towns are accessible by bus.

With the snow covered mountain tops, we got some very classic Swiss views like the one above, and the final picture below with the cows.

At 18 km this wasn’t the longest leg, but it was less varied than other longer sections. Lots of great views, though. The last picture below was one of my favorite views from the hike. Switzerland never quite looks real to me.

The trail meandered up and down the side of the valley and there were a few times when it was rather steep. We should have brought our hiking poles.

With Osco in sight, we were just about done. I think this post sounds a little like I am complaining about this stage, but I don’t mean it that way. It really was a very nice hike. I think after the drama of the Gotthardpass in stage 23 and stage 24, it was just a bit of a let down.

Getting Back

When we reached Osco, we saw that we had over an hour to wait for the bus. The town center was very cute, but the cafe was closed.

We decided to do a bit more hiking rather than wait in an empty town square.

Hiking Part of the Detour to Stage 26

The first part of stage 26 is currently detoured due to forest work. With an hour to wait for the bus, we decided to hike the first half of the detour and and take the bus from Mairengo instead.

If the trail is reopened when we return for stage 26, we will go back to Osco and start the trail there. If the trail is still detoured when we return, we’ll save a bit of time by picking the trail back up in Mairengo instead.

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