Hiking the Trans Swiss Trail – Stage 9 Laupen to Bern

At 25 km, stage 9 of the Trans Swiss trail is a long hike (the “official” hike is 22 km, but then it is another 3 km to walk to the train station). Fortunately, with only 400 m ascent and 360 m descent, it isn’t a very difficult hike. And, while I wouldn’t call this stage exciting, it was a pleasant walk. The first half of the hike follows along the Sense river, while the second half meanders through forest and farmland. The last bit of the hike is a stroll through the suburbs and residential areas of Bern.

Detail Summary
Where:Laupen to Bern
Canton Bern, Switzerland
Train/Bus:Zürich HB -> Laupen – 1 hr 41 min

Bern -> Zürich HB – 1 hr 2 min
What:Trans Swiss Trail – Stage 9 Laupen to Bern
Yellow trail markers – Trans Swiss Trail Route 2
Skill:Medium – About 5 hrs 35 mins
Length 22 km, Ascent 400 m, Descent 360 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 9 picks up where stage 8 left off – the Laupen train station. Here the trail is sandwiched between the train tracks and the Sense river.

The Trail

The start of this trail simply follows alongside the Sense river. The trail here is also a bike route and as it is very flat, I think it would have been more fun to bike it than to walk it. To break it up a little, we took a brief detour off the trail at Neuenegg (picture 2 below). There were a couple of cute restaurants in Neuenegg, but it was a little too early for lunch, so we just picked up some picnic supplies at the grocery store. When it was lunch time, we found a sandy spot on the river bank with some large rocks to sit on to have our picnic (third picture below). It was very relaxing to sit and eat by the river.

After lunch, the trail continued along the river, sometimes passing briefly alongside corn fields. At about kilometer 12, we took our last look at the river Sense before the trail took a sharp left. We were now following a small stream past some pretty half-timber houses and lovely flower gardens and then up into the forest.

Shortly after we passed the odd little waterfall in the picture below, we passed the small bridge in the second picture. The bridge led to a tunnel, which I think came out at a second bridge further down the stream. I don’t know for sure, though, and after watching “Dark,” there was no way we were going to enter that tunnel to find out.

After leaving the forest, we hiked though some pretty farmland and a few small villages including Mengestorf. The window-box flowers are so pretty this time of year! The next part of the trail included the majority of the hike’s ascent.

When we reached the top of the hill, I loved the view we had of the fields and mountains. The picture (above) does not do it justice. We then headed back into the forest. Occasionally, the trail was quite overgrown with late summer foliage. The white puffs of thistles gone to seed were so eye-catching.

When we exited the forest, we were again in farmland. But, we could now see the outskirts of Bern in the distance.

When we reached the town of Koniz, it was impossible to not know where we were, as the first major intersection nicely spelled it out for us. From there, we walked past a pumpkin farm with some pretty big orange pumpkins and then up to the edge of town along the forest.

We then walked along the forest until we were in Bern.

Getting Back

To end the hike, we left the forest and walked into Bern down to the Fischermätteli–Bern bus stop. This is the official end of stage 9. At this point, it is recommended that you take a bus from here to the train station rather than walking the rest of the way.

I really like the idea of walking across Switzerland and seeing as much of it as possible by foot, so we chose not to take the bus and to walk the extra 3k to the bus station. As you can see from the second picture above this isn’t a particularly scenic route – basically a residential area with uninspiring architecture. Still, it was nice to see it all. While I’m glad we hiked this section, I have to say I think this section is only worth doing if you are trying to hike them all. Onward to stage 10!

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