The Lärchenweg (Larch Trail) leads across alpine pastures, along sparse forest that is home to numerous gnarled and ancient Swiss stone pine trees and tall larches. The theme trail is devoted to the nutcracker, an emblematic local bird species.
In autumn, this hike promises a very special experience. The larch needles change colour from green to yellow and then rust-red. Here, it’s easy to understand why walkers talk so enthusiastically about golden autumn walks. In winter, the trees are bare.
For centuries, local people hunted nutcrackers. These birds were considered pests: because their diet consists mainly of pine seeds, it was thought they prevented regeneration of the forest and hindered growth of new trees.
Only in the 1950s did scientists discover the secret of the nutcracker. On balance, these birds are of great benefit to the forest: the relatively heavy seeds of the Swiss stone pine are not dispersed by wind, as with other species of conifer, but through the activities of the nutcracker. Each bird gathers between 30,000 and 100,000 seeds a year, which it buries in the ground as a food supply. In winter, it has to dig up to 1 m deep in the snow to retrieve them. However, it does not find all the seeds again…
Ideal trail for observing wild animals, especially chamois and nutcrackers.
Additional information and recommendations are available from the guest information centre on Bahnhofplatz (by the railway station).