Hiking the Alpine Panorama Trail – Stage 1 Rorschach to Trogen

Stage 1 of the Alpine Panorama Trail (Route 3) is a 18 km trail with 1150 ascent and 660 descent that goes from Rorschach to Trogen. We enjoyed hiking the Trans Swiss Trail (Route 2) so much that after we completed it, we decided that we just had to do the Alpine Panorama Trail (Route 3), too. The Alpine Panorama Trail covers 510 kilometer in 29 Stages and like Route 2, it completely crosses Switzerland, but in the opposite direction! Hiking all of Route 3 will probably take a few years, but I am excited to take on the challenge and to explore more of Switzerland!

Detail Summary
Where:Rorschach to Trogen
Cantons St. Gallen and Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland
Train/Bus:Zürich HB -> Rorschach, Hafen – 2 hrs 16 min
Trogen -> Zürich HB – 2 hrs 7 min
What:Alpine Panorama Trail – Stage 1 Rorschach to Trogen
Yellow trail markers – Alpine Panorama Trail Route 3
Skill:Hard – About 5 hrs 45 min
Length 18 km, Ascent 1150 m, Descent 660 m

Additional Info

Photo Stories for Other Stages
Stage 1 – Rorschach to Trogen
Stage 2 – Trogen to Appenzell
Stage 3 – Appenzell to Schwägalp
Stage 4 – Schwägalp to Stein, SG
Stage 5 – Stein, SG to Amden

Getting There

The Alpine Panorama Trail is best done with public transportation as each stage starts and ends at different points. The first stage starts Rorschach, Hafen. After we found the trail marker, we took a selfie and were on our way.

The trail starts along the shore of Lake Constance (known as Bodensee in German).

The Trail

The first kilometer or so is along the shore of Lake Constance, and is really quite charming. After we passed the main Rorschach train station, the trail begins the long climb into the hills up to Heiden.

The trail isn’t too difficult but it is a steady uphill climb.

When we reached the half-way point, the town of Heiden. We stopped for lunch at the Lindeheiden Hotel restaurant (german). I got the buckwheat crepes (Buchweizencrèpes) stuffed with creamy mushrooms. They were really good and it was a great lunch stop.

As we walked through Heiden, we saw the Dunant Museum. Henry Dunant was the founder of the Red Cross, so we thought it might be interesting to check it out, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations and won’t reopen until 2024. Oh well. After leaving Heiden, the trail continued the steady climb.

After a short forest section, we reached the highpoint of the hike, and we got some very lovely views back over Lake Constance, and of the trail ahead.

We also saw a deer (blurry picture 1 below) running by. Then, after we crested a ridge, we saw some hunters headed in the opposite direction.

As the trail wound down through farmland, we saw a lot of cows and some hairy goats.

After crossing the stream, at the bottom of the valley we passed the restaurant Chastenloch. We didn’t eat there but I just wanted to note that it is there as it would be a good place to take a break. The last two kilometers up to Trogen are a steep climb.

I snapped one picture of an interesting house we saw as we came into Trogen, but that was it as we wanted to rush to catch the next train.

Getting Back

Because we ran to catch the next train back to Zürich, we didn’t explore Trogen at all. I would like to take some time to do that when we come back to hike stage 2.

Stage 1 was a great start and a really enjoyable hike though an area of Switzerland we haven’t spent much time in. Can’t wait for stage 2!

———— Next Stage >>>>

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