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Hike: Ladybug Trail (Chäferliweg)

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Easy hike (2.7 km), mostly downhill (350 m), with two playgrounds, giant xylophones and ladybugs painted on the ground all throughout the hike. Illgau (Switzerland).

Final verdict: Recommended

The it factor

What makes it special:

  • Ladybugs painted all throughout the hike, motivating kids to walk

  • Great forest playground at the beginning of the hike

  • Beautiful spot for a barbeque

  • Not crowded - we were alone most of the time

What needs to be considered:

  • Parts of the hike go through paved roads with occasional cars passing by

  • There are no restaurants - bring picnic

  • Not suitable for strollers

The fun factor

The highlight of this hike is "hunting for ladybugs". Very simple but extremely effective idea to motivate little kids to keep walking. All throughout the hike there are ladybugs painted on the roads and stones. Our daughter was very excited every time she found one and keen to continue searching for the next one.

The hike starts at the top of the gondola next to the forest playground and a barbecue spot. The playground is a real gem - very varied with tunnels, bridges, manually operating lift and a witch house. We spent almost 2 hrs there playing and exploring.

Mid way through the hike there is a giant xylophone with notes to play basic songs.

Just a little further, there is another forest playground and a barbecue spot with a cute ladybug house, hanging bridge and a zip-line. You can also refill your water here. Great way to break the hike and chill.

There is a nice restaurant at the end of the hike (closes at 5 pm on Sunday and there is no playground) where you can reward yourself and the kids with a well deserved ice-cream or a drink.

The views factor

The hike goes through fields and paved roads with pretty mountain views along the way. We found field paths the best - our three-year-old could safely explore and search for ladybugs. The road parts (around a third of the hike) are the biggest drawback, as there are occasional cars passing by.

The fitness factor

To get to the beginning of the hike, you can take the gondola. The hike is mostly downhill which is easy to do but can be a bit challenging for the legs. Our 3.5 year old walked the whole thing (motivated by the ladybugs) so it is definitely doable. If you want to challenge yourself, you can always do the hike in reverse.

The food factor

There are no restaurants throughout the hike, but there are gorgeous barbecue spots next to each playground, with wood available for grabs. The first one, just at the beginning of the hike is definitely the most beautiful.

Make sure you bring some delicious barbecue treats and drinks and take some fire starters and matches with.

Practical info

  • Take the gondola from Illgau to St. Karl

  • Hike map

  • Start: Gondola station St.Karl 1`179 m ü. M

  • End: Gondola station Illgau, 811 m ü. M.

  • Length: 2.7 km

  • Climb:10 m

  • Decend: 375 m

  • Duration: 1 hr walking plus c. 2 - 3 hrs to pay at the play station and catch ladybugs

  • You can park by the Illgau gondola station

  • No strollers

  • More info here

Elevation profile

*How does the rating work?

As it is difficult to compare different types of activities, each one is evaluated against similar in its category (e.g. hikes are compared against hikes). The scoring is completely subjective. Activities scored Recommended, Recommended for specific audience or Highly Recommended are considered as best in class and worth a visit.

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