Beautiful lake hike with swimming in Thurgau (Eastern Switzerland)

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Duration:3h 15min.
Start:Ittingen Charterhouse
Best Time: January – December
Insider tip hike from the Kartause Ittingen (former monastery) past three idyllic lakes to Stammheim with its beautiful half-timbered houses
by Marc Gottwald
  • Great swimming and barbecue facilities at the various lakes
  • Well-suited walk for families with children (without prams)
  • Various barbecue areas along the way
  • This hike has a lot to offer: monastery visits, bathing opportunities, ruins, nature reserve and the beautiful Oberstammheim with its half-timbered houses

Starting point of the hike at Kartause Ittingen

Here you will find few people even in the best weather, high season and Sunday.

The starting point of the hike is the Warth Gemeindehaus bus stop if you are arriving by public transport or Kartause Ittingen by car.

You have to be careful that you don’t spend the whole day in the Charterhouse and don’t go hiking at all.

The former monastery invites you to linger and be amazed with a huge garden and a great monastery shop. I particularly liked the homemade products from their own garden.

The hike begins with a short but steep ascent and then runs through the forest for around 20 minutes. Already in the forest you will find various fireplaces (without prepared wood and grate).

The next hour to Hüttwilersee runs alternately through forest and open fields. This region is very agricultural and therefore mainly planted fields and farmhouses can be seen.

The Hüttweilersee – a wild and romantic experience

After about 1h15min you will reach the first and probably most beautiful lake, the Hüttwilersee. You march over a wildly romantic lake passage and through impressive moorland. Just lovely!

Moors are an important living space for rare animals (e.g. dragonflies, amphibians, newts, frogs, lizards, etc.) and plants (e.g. irises).

Since food was very scarce, especially during the world wars, moors were drained to gain more acreage. This was also the case with the Huttwilersee and Nussbaumersee. Attempts are now being made to reverse this and to partially renaturate the areas around these lakes.

Beautiful view from the ruins and bathing opportunities at the Nussbaumersee

Before you get to the Nussbaumersee, take the sign «Ruine 10» min to the ruins of Helfenberg, a castle from the Middle Ages (14th century).

Since the region was very boggy, the castle could be well defended. By the way: The castle is an ideal place for a picnic. It even has a barbecue area (no wood but with a grate).

If you want to combine the picnic with a refreshing swim, you can walk about 30 minutes to the Nussbaumersee.

There are two pools within 5 minutes, which are free and very deserted. In addition to a diving tower, there is a fireplace with prepared firewood and a toilet (Toitoi toilet).

The Nussbaumersee is known for its pile dwellings, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage and have become free through the draining of the moors. The lake was already visited for fishing in the Mesolithic.

After a short, refreshing swim, the last 50 minutes of your hike continue in the direction of Oberstammheim. You will pass a farm that produces incredibly fine apricots and cherries. The beautiful half-timbered house is also striking. During the hike you will come across these half-timbered houses again and again, a typical architectural style in the canton of Thurgau.

Fantastic beautiful half-timbered village of Oberstammheim

Especially in Oberstammheim and Stammheim almost every house along the main street is built in this style. So it’s definitely worth taking your time at your destination. Since the bus or train only runs every hour, there is a good chance that you will have this time anyway

Marc image, owner of Private Tours Switzerland
Image of Joshua, co-owner of Private Tours Switzerland

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