Pfaeffikersee

There are three prominent lakes in Switzerland’s canton of Zurich, of which the Pfaeffikersee is the smallest. Thus, the hike around the lake is relatively short, but the setting is rather pretty, despite the dense population of the area, as the lake is almost entirely surrounded by protected marshlands and reeds. For me, this was also a short stroll down memory lane, having grown up in Pfaeffikon.
Location
  • Switzerland
Rating
2.6 out of 5
Difficulty
Easy
Distance
5.6 miles
Duration
1:19 hours moving time (Hiking)
Elevation Gain
68 feet
High Point
1,835 feet (Roman fort)
Low Point
1,753 feet (Lake)
Features
  • Lake
  • Meadow
  • Structure
  • Outing Type
  • Daytrip
  • Trail Type
  • Loop
  • Trailbed
    Gravel
    Trail#
    Water
  • There are a few restaurants and shops along the way (Pfaeffikon, Seegraeben, Auslikon)
  • Camping
    • None (car-camping in Auslikon)
    Conditions
    • Excellent
    Administration
  • Canton of Zurich
  • Status
  • Naturschutzgebiet
  • Maps
    USGS
    Fees & Permits
  • None required
  • ()
    Open To
  • Hikers
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Road Bikers
  • ()
    Directions
    Season
    Year-around
    Resources
      Nearby
        Date
        June 20, 2019

        Most of the trail is graveled twintrack that hugs the lakeshore closely. You’ll find frequent access to public fishing docks if you want to take pictures or cast a line. Near Faichrueti, you’ll find a table, bench and firepit for picnicking. There are public swimming beaches in Pfaeffikon, Seegraeben, and Auslikon.

        Lake aside, the highlight of this loop is probably the Roman fortress at the south end of Pfaeffikon, which is one of the largest and quite well preserved. Pfaeffikon dates back to Roman times, but the lakeshore was inhabited even as far back as the stone age.

        Alternate Routes

        • The trail connects to other area hiking trails; of particular interest may be the one heading towards Faichrueti to the Roman Springs (Roemerbruenneli)

        Things to Consider

          Not so great

            Reeds near Pfaeffikon
            Most of the trail is graveled twintrack
            View across the lake from Faichrueti
            View south towards Wetzikon
            Marshlands along the western shore
            A baby duck. It’s supposed to look this way
            View from Seegraeben
            The foehn (chinook) makes the distant alps appear closer than they are
            Large bogey areas near Auslikon
            Pfaeffikersee
            View of Pfaeffikon. Can you spot the church tower?
            Roman fortress
            The ruins of the fortress
            Parts of the walls were restored
            View of the lake from the fortress. It is the largest such fortress in Switzerland
            Fishing dock
            Boats docked in Pfaeffikon
            Pfaeffikon’s church is close to the lake. You’ll hear the bells
            Pfaeffikersee
            Near Auslikon
            Storks