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Naturena Sensory Trail - Raten Edition

Family themed hike, free of charge, some ascent and descent (147 m) with 8 play stations along the way. Two options: shorter (2.4 km) and longer (4.4 km). Suitable for off-road strollers (some parts might be tricky though).

Raten Pass | Oberägeri (Canton Zug, Switzerland).

The "it" factor


Munggeweg Amden hike Amdo Mugg Groundhog

What makes it special:



What needs to be considered




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The fun factor


Naturena Sensory Trail in Raten Pass is one of four fun sensory trails.


This particular 4.4 km family-friendly hike is packed with 8 sensory play stations. While most of the trail winds through the forest, offering shade on sunny days, there are also sections with fantastic views of fields and a distant lake.





Accessible directly from the parking lot, this trail is free to explore—no need for a gondola ride. You have two options: a shorter 2. 4 km route or a longer 4.4 km one - see map.


Both routes start at the Raten Restaurant playground and include a 1.2 km uphill stretch with three interactive sensory stations that explore animal senses. The shorter route ends at a playground, picnic spot, and restaurant. The longer path continues with a flat section before some uphill - downhill to form a 2 km loop, offering two picnic spots and five additional sensory stations. Both lead back downhill to the starting point.



While most of the trail is suitable for off-road strollers, there is a short sections between sensory stations 5 and 6 with difficult terrain (more on this in the fitness factor section).


We love this hike because it's free, engaging, makes learning fun, and offers great picnic spots along the way!


Here are our top 3 Fun Factors of Naturena Sensory Trail family hike in Raten Pass



1. Discover the senses at eight fun stations


Along the hike, you'll find 8 sensory play stations that delve into how animals, including humans, perceive the world. Each station features a board with explanations (in German only, but with Google Photo Translate, language is no barrier), fun facts (did you know foxes have a 400 times more powerful sense of smell than humans, or that some birds can see UV light?), educational snippets (e.g., how forests self-regulate), and hands-on activities.


The shorter route includes three stations:


  1. Big Tunes: Explore hearing with giant bells kids can play.

  2. Nose Detectors: Experience the scents of the forest and animals.

  3. Fingertip Feel: Engage in a blind touch-and-guess game



The longer route includes five additional stations:


4. Sound waves: Chat from afar using a sound dish transmitter (we even played "restaurant" and placed food orders through it!).

5. Sharp Vision: Peek through a make-believe spyglass for a stunning view (plus, it's our go-to picnic spot).

6. Everything Is Fine: Test your balance on a suspension bridge and see if you can keep your cool.

7. Seeming versus Being: Spin wheels and explore illusions.

8. Hot and Cold: Feel the difference in perceived temperature as you touch stone, wood, metal, and glass.




We found these stations to be quite engaging and well done. The excitement of hunting down the next one was a good incentive for our kid to keep moving forward and added a bit of adventure to our hike!


2. Kick off or wind down your adventure at Raten Restaurant


As you stroll along the trail, you'll come across two playgrounds and restaurants on both the shorter and longer routes.


The first playground is located right where you start and finish your adventure, next to the parking lot and Restaurant Raten. It's equipped with all the usual playground features, plus it has a fantastic view of the lake in the distance.


The playground belongs to Restaurant Raten, which serves up classic Swiss dishes with an upscale feel. It's right by the parking area and a playground. Whether you're eager to start your adventure or looking for a tasty reward after a hike, this spot has you covered. And for us, the promise of ice cream at the end was just the motivation we needed to keep moving forward.




3. Take a break at St. Joost


Just next to the sensory station #3 (Fingertip Feel), around halfway along the longer route or at the end of the shorter one, you'll find St. Joost, complete with a playground, barbecue spot, and a cozy little restaurant. Note that the playground and barbecue spot are separate from the restaurant.


The forest playground features a zipline, swings, and play areas, with plenty of space for kids to explore and enjoy themselves. Adjacent to it, the barbecue spot (wood provided) offers a perfect retreat for parents to unwind while the kids have fun.




Next to the playground and a barbecue spot, you'll find a cute little St. Joost restaurant. It specializes in snacks and homemade sausage. They only accept cash, and they don't serve ice cream. So, if you have an ice cream fan in the family, it's best to manage expectations in advance...


Keep in mind, the restaurant is only open on weekends and closed during holidays from July 1st to August 16th, 2024.



4. Barbecue with a view!


Adjacent to sensory station #5 (Sharp Vision), you'll find another barbecue spot with wood provided and a breathtaking view! It's usually a bit quieter than the other spots.


While there's no playground here, kids can enjoy playing in nature around the small lookout platform and a little house with a table and benches.


The fitness factor


The shorter hike spans around 2.4 km and follows a back-and-forth path. About half of it involves an uphill climb, while the return journey is downhill.


Having tackled this route with both a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old, we found that a little "motivation" was often necessary due to the uphill route. The promise of the next play station never failed to keep the enthusiasm high as she eagerly searched for what lays ahead! And of course, snacks were a trusty backup plan ...


This section is stroller-friendly, although we'd recommend an off-road one.



The longer route extends to 4.4 km in total, ideal for kids who are comfortable walking longer distances. Opting for the longer route will lead you through an additional roughly 2 km loop, featuring five extra sensory stations. This segment of the trail continues predominantly through the forest and has occasional short uphill and downhill stretches.


Officially, this part is also stroller friendly. While most of the trail is suitable for off-road strollers, there is a c. 100 - 200 meters section between stations 5 & 6 where tree roots stick out, making it difficult for strollers to navigate smoothly.




The value factor


The best part? It's absolutely free! No need for a gondola ticket; you can access this hike directly from the parking lot.


Naturena Sensory Trail - Raten Edition | Practical info


  • Arrival by car: Park at the Raten Parking (Ratenstrasse 250, 6315 Oberägeri)

  • Arrival by public transport: Raten Bus Stop

  • Start & end: Raten Parking

  • Follow the Volg NATURENA Sinnespfad signs

  • Ascent / Descent: 147 m

  • Shorter route (Parkplatz Raten - St. Joost) length: ca. 2.4 km

    • Sensory Stations: 1. Big Tunes, 2. Nose Detectors, 3 Fingertip Feel

  • Longer route length: ca. 4.4 km

    • Sensory Stations: 4. Soundwaves, 5. Sharp Vision, 6. Everything Is Fine, 7. Seeming versus Being, 8. Hot and Cold

  • Duration: 2-4 hours (including exploring play stations)

  • More info: Hike | Raten Restaurant | St. Joost Restaurant


 

MAPS


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