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Hike: Witch trail (Hexenweg) and Weather-witch trail (Wetterhexenweg) in Wirzweli

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Two witch-themed hikes with a large playground, pony rides and a summer toboggan. Wirzweli (Luzerne, Switzerland)

Hexenweg Wirzweli & Wetterhexenweg - Witch hike and weather-witch hike in Wirzweli

What makes it special:

- Weather-witch (Wetterhexenweg Wirzweli): longer (4.4 km), more physically demanding (134 m climb), stations are weather themed and you get to see Lizi's furniture hanging up in the trees. Play stations are focused around the forest trail parts and there are long stretches without activities.

- Witch (Hexenweg Wirzweli): shorter (3.2 km), and easier (377m descent), more expensive (you have to pay for an additional gondola), stations are witch & herbalist themed and you get to fly on a witch broom. Play stations are more evenly distributed but some of them are just simple instructions to discuss topics or play games with the family.

Don't want to read? Watch a video instead.

Witch trail or Weather-witch trail - which hike to chose?

Both hikes are nice and it comes down to what you prefer. If you want to physically challenge your family a bit more, you don't like hiking downhill, your kids are motivated to keep walking stretches that have no play areas, or you want to save some money on the gondola, then go for the Weather-witch trail (Wetterhexenweg)..

If you are looking for something easier, your family likes hikes that go downhill all the way, your kids do not tollerate long stretches without any play areas or you really want to check out what it's like to fly on a broom zip-line, go for the Witch trail (Hexenweg).

The fun factor

Meet Lizi, who lives in the Wirzweli forest with her friends - Florian the fox and Elfi the squirrel. She is a witch, a herbalist, a healer and an alchemist and the animals of the forest come to her for help when they are sick. Both weather-witch (Wetterhexenweg) and witch (Hexenweg) hikes are themed around this smart little lady and her friends.

You can learn about her story from a beautiful book that you can buy at the gondola station. It is only in German but it has many illustrations, so we managed to "read" it with the kids before the hike. The kids enjoyed it very much and were very motivated to start hiking to look for their new friend, Lizi.

Both weather-witch (Wetterhexenweg) and witch (Hexenweg) hikes start at the Wirzweli playground. It has a small area for young kids and a bigger playground for slightly older kids with cute witch huts, climbing areas and a mini labyrinth. Our almost 4 year-old was the right age to enjoy both areas. You also get to find Florian the fox and Elfi the squirrel around the area so if you opt to read the book, you can also do some character spotting.

There is a restaurant and a few large picnic tables just next to the playgrounds, allowing you to grab a drink or a snack whilst your kids are having fun.

Just next to the playground there is a fun slide (sommerrodelbahn). Kids of any age can ride it with their parents and from 8 years old, they can do so alone. It is only open until 4:30 and with all the attractions around we did not make it back in time to try it out, but it looked very fun! Definitely next time we are there, we will give it a go.

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli horses

On most days during the summer season, between 2 and 4 pm, kids can enjoy pony rides. No booking is required but as the ponies are not always there, if this is a highlight for your kids, we recommend calling in advance.

During school holidays you can also book a "pony day" where kids go on a full day adventure with the ponies.

Weather-witch Wirzweli trail (Wetterhexenweg)

The hike starts with... another restaurant (Arviblick) with a playground and continues with an uphill climb that has no attractions along the way. It was the anticipation of discovering where Lizi lives that helped us motivate our kids to keep going. When we finally arrived to the forest, we discovered her mailbox, her house full of healing potions and her "kitchen" where she prepares them.

As you continue through the forest, you come across the door to enter Lizi's world. The kids were excited to open the door and discover her bed and some other large household items hanging high up in the tree. As Lizi was sleeping we were instructed by our toddlers to keep very quiet in this section :)

As you would expect from a weather-witch trail, most play areas are themed around the weather. You learn about the clouds, you create a storm in a cup, you make the sun rise and set, you can play "weather music" and observe the weather from a watch tower. Most of the stations are only loosely linked to the book so if you chose to skip it, you will be able to enjoy the fun anyway. As the book describes two kids who got lost in the snow and were saved by Lizi, we were excited to discover a station linked to the story, where you can create a lot of snow for these two lost kids.

Witch-trail Wirzweli (Hexenweg)

This trail starts with a short, flat walk and an additional gondola ride. At the top you'll find another small playground next to the restaurant. It then goes downhill all the way. You also get to discover another one of Lizi's houses but there are no furniture scattered around the forest like in the weather-witch trail (lack of storms, we guessed). The kids, however, can experience what it is like to fly on a broom thanks to a fun zip-line.

There are some interactive activities along the way. Like throwing pine-cones into holes, discovering various spices in a chest (they really smell very strong!), play connect-4 with blocks and more. They are all somehow loosely related to the witch theme. It becomes clearer if you read the signs. They are in German only. If you don't speak the language, I recommend using the google translator camera. You take a photo of the text and get a version of it in your language so you can immerse yourself in the story.

Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch magic wand

Many of the play areas here were just an object in the forest and a suggestion on a sign for a family activity.

In the "letter in the forest" play station you discover how Lizi spilled her alphabet soup all over the forest.

In the "magical wand" station you learn that according to witch regulation, every witch has a specific wand with which only she can perform magic and you are asked to describe what your wand would look like if you could perform magic.

Both: Weather-witch trail (Wetterhexenweg) & Witch trail (Hexenweg)

The last stretch for both hikes have no play station. There is, however, restaurant Waldegg with a playground which we chose to have our late lunch at whilst kids could have a last dose of fun.

This is also where the Owl Path starts. It is a 30-45 minutes optional trail where you get to watch these beautiful birds. If the witch hike itself is not enough for your kids, this walk can definitely be considered. We were done after a full day of fun and left the Owl adventure for another time.

The views factor

Both hikes go mostly through the forest, with some field sections where you get a glimpse of beautiful lower mountain views. The views factor is therefore very similar for both.

Weather-witch trail impressions

Witch trail impressions

The value factor

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail bridge climb

In 2023, a both-ways gondola ticket from Dallenwil to Wirzweli for an adult is 22.40 CHF, and for 1/2 tax card holders and kids between 6 and 16 years old it costs 11.40 CHF. Kids below 6 years ride for free.

For the weather-witch hike that's all you need to pay for. For the witch hike, you need to buy an additional Eggwald - Gummenalp gondola ticket. In 2023 this is 6 CHF for adults and 3.50 CHF for kids. As this one is a private gondola, no 1/2 tax applies.

The fitness factor

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail downhill hike

The witch trail is one-way and a bit easier: shorter (3.2 km) and mostly downhill (377 m descent). To get to the first play area you need to follow a paved, flat road and take a gondola up.

The weather-witch circular hike is only slightly more demanding with a little bit of climbing to do (134 m up and down). The access to the first play area is the most demanding as it's uphill only. It took some snacks and hiking games to motivate our two 3.5 year-olds to keep walking and reach the fun. The other parts were much easier.

The last parts of both hikes go over a flat paved road.

The food factor

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail Alpenrestaurant

Both witch hikes start at the Alpenrestaurant Wirzweli which offers a fun menu for kids and oversees the large playground. They also both go past the Restaurant Waldegg and its cute playground.

Tip: check the opening hours and when their kitchens are open as they stop serving warm dishes early during the day.

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail Gummenalp restaurant

The witch trail starts with an additional gondola ride up, where you can find the Gummenalp restaurant, also with a playground. We did not eat there but as google reviews are amazing, we will definitely try it out once.

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail arviblick restaurant playground

The weather-witch trail starts with the Arviblick restaurant looming over the main playground. During our visit, it was much less crowded than the Alpen restaurant Wirzweli so we could get a coffee there and read Lizi's story with the kids to set the mood.

If you choose to go for a picnic, there is a nice area by the witch hike playground.

The best picnic places for the witch hike are by the first play area and just after the ninth (telescope). The weather-witch hike has one just at the beginning of the hike, after the seventh (let it snow) and around the thirteenth play areas. They are all very nice and in the shade.

There is also a picnic area along the paved road that takes you to and from the gondola at the beginning of the witch hike. We would not recommend this one as it is right next to the road.

Wirzweli weather-witch (Wetterhexenweg) and witch (Hexenweg) trails - practical info

Weather-witch trail (Wetterhexenweg)

  • Start & end: Wirzweli gondola station (ca. 1'221 m)

  • After arriving to Wirzweli follow the orange Wetterhexenweg signs

  • Ascent / Descent: ca. 134 m

  • Length: ca. 4.4 km

  • Duration: Play station fun: 30 mins - 3 hrs, hike: 2 hrs. It took us 5 hours in total (including lunch)

  • Weather-witch trail more info

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail hiking map

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail elevation

Witch trail (Hexenweg)

  • Start & end: Wirzweli gondola station (c. 1'221 m)

  • After arriving to Wirzweli follow the pink Hexenweg signs

  • Take the gondola from Eggwald to Gummenalp

  • Descent: ca. 377 m

  • Length: ca. 3.2 km

  • Duration: Play station fun: 30 mins - 2 hrs, hike: 1.5 hrs. It took us 4 hours in total (including lunch)

  • Witch trail (Hexenweg) more info

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail hiking map

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail elevation

Play stations, restaurants & picnic areas overview:

Wetterhexenweg Hexenweg Wirzweli Witch Trail map

Weather-witch trail (Wetterhexenweg) play stations overview:

  1. Thermometer

  2. You've got mail

  3. Magic Stones

  4. Witch clouds

  5. Snoring witch

  6. Thunder rolls

  7. Let it snow

  8. Weather party

  9. The compass

  10. The first Sun

  11. Faces in the forest

  12. In the middle of a thunderstorm

  13. Rainbow

  14. Memory

Witch trail (Hexenweg) play stations overview:

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