Hiking the Dreiland Wanderweg – Stage 2 Riehen, Hörnli Grenze to Haltingen (Germany)

Stage 2 of the Dreiland Wanderweg is 19 km with 640 m ascent and 610 m descent and goes from Riehen, Hörnli Grenze in Switzerland to Haltingen, Germany. For the first half of the hike, the trail remains in Switzerland just inside the border. For the second half, it crosses into Germany and remains there for the end of the hike.

We had intended to do this as a single day hike but after some mishaps (forgotten wallet, choosing the wrong bus – we should have taken the route with one change rather than the direct bus as it would have saved almost a half hour, etc.), we decided to hike half of the hike one day and then go back the next day for the second half. Of the two halves, I definitely preferred the second half. The first half went through forest and farmland and while pretty it wasn’t particularly exciting. The second half brought us to the highpoint of the hike with fantastic views over Basel, and it took us through some very beautiful vineyards.

Detail Summary
Where:Riehen, Hörnli Grenze to Haltingen (Germany)
Canton Basel-Stadt, Switzerland and Haltingen, Germany
Train/Bus:Zürich HB -> Riehen, Hörnli Grenze – 1 hr 35 min
Haltingen, Germany – > Basel Bad Bahnhoff -> Zürich HB – 1 min hr 30 min

Note: Tickets for the German portion of the trip from Haltingen to Basel Bad Bahnhoff can be bought at Haltingen station from a machine or online with the DB Navigator app.
What:Dreiland Wanderweg – Stage 2
Skill:Medium – About 5 hrs 10 min
Length 19 km, Ascent 640 m, Descent 620 m

Additional Info
Dreiland Wanderweg Overview
Dreiland Wanderweg – Stage 2
DB Navigator app (German Train Tickets and Station Information)
Themed wine trail (german) a short portion of the Markgräfler Wiiwegli long-distance wine trail.

Photo Stories for All Stages
The Dreiland Wanderweg, Chemin des Trois Pays, or Three Country Trail (Trail 67) is a 43 km long, three-stage trail that explores the border triangle between Switzerland, Germany, and France. Photo stories for each stage here:

Stage 1 – Basel, Schifflände to Riehen, Hörnli
Stage 2 – Riehen, Hörnli to Haltingen (Germany)
Stage 3 – Haltingen (Germany) to Basel, Schifflände

Getting There

After getting off bus Riehen, Hörnli Grenze, we headed towards the German border and took the first left towards the trail.

After about 300 m we went under a bridge, found our trail sign, and were on our way.

The Trail – Day 1

The first part of the trail follows along the Swiss border with Germany. There was a bit of elevation gain as we hiked through the forest but nothing too steep. Occasionally, we popped out of the forest and got a good view back at the Rhein River and Basel. When the trail exited the forest, we got a great view of the radio tower. We could also see the church in St. Chrischona ahead of us.

As we approached St. Chrischona, we hiked through some wonderful spring scenes filled with blossoming trees and grazing cows.

After passing St. Chrischona, we were back in the forest. At about 8km, the trail followed a path called “Salamanderwegli.” Cute name, but we didn’t see any salamanders on the path. As the trail descended towards Riehen, there were some lovely views of flowering fields and sheep in the foreground and Basel in the distance.

When we reached Riehen, we were a little over half-way done with the hike and at the last tram stop inside Switzerland.

Breaking for the Day

As we had gotten a late start, we decided to end the hike for the day in Riehen. As there is a direct tram line back to the Basel SBB train station from Riehen Grenze, it was a convenient place to stop.

After coming back the next day, we were right back on the trail and ready to finish the hike.

The Trail – Day 2

After getting back on the trail, we quickly found ourselves walking thought fields and alongside the Wiese river. The path here was very busy with a lot of bicyclists.

After crossing the river, the trail begins the ascent up through vineyards to Obertüllingen. This section of the trail (until Ötlingen) is also part of a themed wine trail (german), which is itself a short portion of the Markgräfler Wiiwegli long-distance wine trail, and there are information boards about wine all along the way.

We stopped to admire the view from the church in Obertüllingen before continuing on the trail.

After leaving Obertüllingen, the trail passes through open fields with wonderful views all-around.

After a short descent through the forest, we came to the prettiest part of the hike – the vineyards leading to Ötlingen.

We were getting hungry and hoped to get lunch in Ötlingen. As we approached, we could see a patio restaurant near the church. And when we arrived, we were lucky to get a table. The Gasthaus zum Ochsen serves traditional german food and local beer and wine. Note, they only accept cash. I forgot we would be in Germany and hadn’t brought any euros with me. Luckily, they said they also accept francs.

My husband and I both ordered the daily lunch special – celery soup, roast pork with two vegetables, and chocolate mousse. I don’t like celery at all but I ordered the lunch special anyway thinking that maybe a new preparation might make celery tasty. It didn’t. Oh well. My own fault for ordering something I don’t care for. My husband thought the soup was great. The main course was good and I think tastier than it looks, especially the vegetables. The chocolate mousse was perfect. And the view from the restaurant was spectacular!

Lunch was a very relaxing and I’m glad we stopped. After leaving the restaurant, it was a gentle downhill hike through fields and vineyards to Haltingen.

So many lovely spring blossoms!

Getting Back

After we reached Haltingen, it was time to head home. The trail brought us near to the Haltingen train station, but there was a lot of construction and in the end we needed to use google maps to find it.

As we were in Germany, the trains are run by Deutsche Bahn. Tickets can be bought at the station from a machine or online with the DB Navigator app. A ticket from Haltingen to Basel, Bad Bahnhoff (the first stop in Switzerland) is about 4 Euros. After purchasing our tickets, we were on our way home.

I enjoyed Stage 2 of the Dreiland Wanderweg. I’m glad we broke it into two easy hikes rather than just one long hike. I vastly preferred the second half of the hike and if you don’t want to do the whole trail, I really recommend just doing the second half starting at Riehen Grenze.

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