Tuesday, 18 October 2016

St Moritz Things to Do Part 4: The Heidi and Ursli Trails

Most things to do in St Moritz involve physical activity of some form. And climbing a mountain is an obvious way to spend a sunny morning or afternoon in the resort. In a previous post I described my trip to the top of Piz Nair, and my hair-raising hike back down again. If you don't fancy something quite so energetic, but would still like to get a view of the town from above, perhaps you can explore the novel Heidi and Schellenursli trails on the lower slopes of the mountain on which St Moritz is perched.

You'll find a trail head just west of St Moritz Dorf by the Segantini Museum. This trail winds gently up the mountain; the trails as this end of town are less steep than the ones directly behind the village. (The Talabfahrt St. Moritz Bad ski trail from where Via Somplaz and Via Chavallera/Via Survretta converge is also a good place to start your ascent).

After climbing through the forest along Via Laret and some narrower trails you'll reach a road (Via Laret and then Via Signal) which meanders up the mountain through the ski area. After following this for a short time, you'll reach the start of some of St Moritz's more novel mountain walks. If you're travelling with children, these are a particularly nice place to spend an hour or two, but adults, too, can be entertained and enchanted.

If you don't feel like climbing up the mountain, take the Cable car from St. Moritz Bad to Signal and walk down Via Salastrains to the trail head, or take the funicular from St. Moritz Dorf to Chantarella (the first stop) and walk across to the start of the Heidi trail near by.

Heidi Flower Trail

This kilometre-long walk, which is relatively flat and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, will be of particular interest to flower lovers, with approximately 200 different Alpine species laid out in pretty flowerbeds. You can pick up a free brochure detailing the plants present in the Tourist Information office in St. Moritz Dorf.

St Moritz was, of course, one of the filming locations for the 1952 Heidi film, and the Heidi Hut, used in that film, still stands. It can be found not far away on Via Salastrains, just before the hotels in the Salastrains ski area.

Schellenursliweg (Ursli and the Bell Trail)

This trail tells the story of Ursli, a small boy, and the Bell in four different languages. The rhyming story (yes, it rhymes in all four languages!) is written out in 'chapters' at different points down along the trail.

Carved themes bring the story - a local fairytale - to life.

It's important to remember that the story runs from top to bottom, so start at the trail head by the Heidi Flower Trail, and head back to the town, rather than the other way round.

Don't forget to take your camera. The views of the town from the hill are pretty cool.

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