Hiking the Rundweg Winterthur – Kempttahl to Elsau, Tolhusen

The Rundweg Winterthur trail is a 10 stage, 70 km loop trail that follows along the Winterthur city limits. For our hike, we only did the 15 km long section recommended on the SwissMobility website that went from the Kempttahl train station to the bus stop in Elsau, Tolhusen. The recommended section was a delightful hike with a pleasant stroll along the Töss river and beautiful panoramic views from the hilltops. If I lived in Winterthur, I’m sure I would hike the entire trail.

Detail Summary
Where:Kempttahl to Elsau, Tolhusen
Canton Zürich, Switzerland
Train:Zürich HB -> 27 mins
Tolhusen – > Zürich HB – 49 min
What:Rundweg Winterthur – Kempttahl to Elsau, Tolhusen

Yellow trail markers with green square for the Winterthur Rundweg.
Skill:Easy – About 4 hrs

Length 15 km, Ascent 400 m, Descent 300 m
Cost 2023:

Additional Info
Rundweg Winterthur – Kempttahl to Elsau, Tolhusen
Trail Map

Rundweg Winterthur – Information about the full 10 stage, 70 km loop trail. (German)

Maps are posted along the trail. This is the one from by the Kempttahl train station:

Getting There

This is a point-to-point hike, so best done with public transportation. Our trail started at the Kemptthal train station. At the train station, we found the map in picture two. When I read about this trail on SwissMobility, it seemed very strange that it was named Rundweg (loop trail) when it was a point-to-point trail. The map we found explained that the trail was actually just one section of a much longer loop. After we got home, I found the Rundweg Winterthur website with the full trail Information. (German)

After finding our trail, we were on our way.

The Trail

The trail started by crossing a stream and heading into the woods. After a short uphill climb, we exited the forest and followed the trail through a golf course (Golf Kyburg). After the golf course, we were back in the forest.

When we reached the intersection in the first picture below, I realized I had been here before. At this point, our trail and Stage 2 of the Mittland bike route came together. After we crossed the covered bridge in the second picture, we headed down to the river and had our picnic lunch.

After lunch, the trail followed alongside the Töss river. I always enjoy a river side trail – flat easy walking with the sound of water to keep you company. Along the way, I saw a sign that said lady slipper orchids grow in the forest here. They usually bloom in late May to early June, so I will need to plan another hike here then to look for them.

When we reached the town in the second picture below, we left the riverside. Eventually, we crossed the railroad tracks at the Sennhof station. From there, we began a climb up through the woods.

After leaving the forest, we were in open fields with gorgeous panoramic views. A complete change from our earlier forest walk.

The hike continued through farm land and passed a few small towns.

After passing the high point of the hike, we entered the forest again and began a short descent.

When we left the forest, we were again in farmland. And not long after, our end destination was in sight.

Getting Back

We we reached Tolhusen, the full loop trail sign pointed to a trail across the road but we went straight along the road another 100 m or so to the bus stop. Along the way, we spotted the egg vending machine in picture two.

This was an enjoyable hike. Not one to really go out of your way for, but if you are in Winterthur, I would definitely put it on your the list of things to do.

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