An easy half-day tour that takes you through the scenic landscape of the Alpstein mountains. Multiple Alpine Chalets waiting for you to take a break and rest a little longer.
After a couple of rainy and foggy days we seized the opportunity to get out again and do this easy hike. But before we start with our tour description we would like to give you some advice:
1. Get there early (or late): If you are going to the Schwendi district be aware that this isn't a hidden spot on the hikers and / or tourist map. Well to be honest we slept out, but in this Corona-times + no vacations we thought it couldn't be that bad. So we arrived in Schwendi at around 11 am and the parking lots have been crowded already. There was no way to get to "real" tourist attractions like the lake Seealpsee or the Ebenalp.
2. Is it really all about Äscher? Since the National Geographic put this mountain restaurant on the cover of their book "Places of a Lifetime" this place got massively crowded by instagrammers and tourists of all kind. Please don't get me wrong: It is an insanely impressive picture. But if you are looking for some mountain feeling and a hike on your own, this area isn't the right place to go. But let's get startet with our hike to the Sämtisersee. We left our car at Brülisau. You can park closer to the official start of the hike but I recommend you the extra 15-20 minutes through the green fields along the small creek and the beautiful traditional houses of Appenzell. You can't rally miss the track: the peak of the Hoher Kasten to your left, steep walls to your right and find the way pretty naturally all by itself.
After passing about 3/4 of the way there is sign that leads to to the Sämtisersee through the forest: Take it! It's by far more beautiful than the road and due to its character it is easier to walk up. After you got back on the road you are almost done and arrive at the restaurant Plattenbödeli. From there you can either turn left (gravel road) or continue straight on and turn then left on a small path. Both lead to the Sämtisersee. Now it's time to enjoy yourself, have a small BBQ at one of the provided stations or even have a swim in this alpine scenery. BOTTOM LINE: All in all this hike is a nice outing for everyone, every age and probably every weather circumstances. Even on really hot days the hike is mostly in the shade because it follows the gorge and through the forest. As soon as you reach the higher valley the scenery is absolutely stunning.
+ family friendly
+ many restaurants and alpine chalets
+ possibility to extend your hike as long as you like
- the hike itself is not very scenic
(as it is a facility road for the farmers) - a lot of other hikers around