As Basel Stadt (meaning Basel City, the name of canton) is pretty flat, most of the people go outside the city to do some hiking near Basel.
Basel is placed in a very good location: on one side is France, on the other is Germany with its amazing Schwarzwald (Black forest), and on the other side, very close to Basel is Nature Park Thal (Regional Naturpark Thal). In my opinion, this is the best place to hike near Basel as it is just 30 kilometers from Basel.
How to Get to Nature Park Thal
It is very close to Basel, so if you go by car, it will be like 20-30 minutes, but it is possible to go there by train/bus mix.
I would suggest you go to the city called Reigoldswil. There are quite many cities and villages in Nature Park Thal, but Reigoldswil is very good for a few reasons:
- It has a cable car station there, so if you want to get faster in the mountains, get there.
- It is very close to nice hikes up to Hinteri Egg (highest peak in Basel Landschaft canton).
- You can hike to Vogelberg, one of the highest peaks in the Jura Mountains. It stands at 1,204 m.
Once you get to Reigoldswil, you can head straight to the cable car station which is here: Oberbiel 62, 4418 Reigoldswil. If you come by car, there’s a parking place for free.
If you want to get to Reigoldswil by bus, please check all the latest time schedules, departure times, and costs here.
The ticket price with a return for an adult is 22 CHF, but please check all the prices here.
If you get there, actually Hinteri Egg and Vogelberg is just 1-hour hike from there, so it’s very convenient. Just both peaks are in different directions, so if you want to visit both at the same time, you will need around 3 hours in total.
One thing I would like to mention, right next to Reigoldswil cable car station there’s a stand from a local farm where they sell jams, juices, vegetables: all very local. I have bought an apple jam there for 6 CHF. Always good to support local farmers. You can see their stand below:
Hike to Hinteri Egg
As I mentioned before, it is possible to hike to Hinteri Egg straight from Reigoldswil. It would take you around 2-3 hours, it’s 7 kilometers in total and you would gain more than 600 meters in elevation. Don’t be fooled that these are not the Swiss Alps, Jura mountains make you sweat as well. For me personally, there’s no difference to get from 1500 to 2100 meters elevation than to get from 500 m to 1100 meters elevation.
But this time, I didn’t start ar Reigoldswil, I wanted to explore a bit more with my car and went to Waldweid by car. There’s a very nice parking lot for free and I started my hike up there.
It was raining, it was windy, it was wet all around, but I loved it. I don’t know why, but this place for me is a mix of Sweden, Lithuania, Norway, and the UK. As it was raining, I was the only one on the path (although I met more people later). But it looks like a pretty isolated place, nothing around, just forest and a path. Very nice place. One note: if it’s raining, don’t go there in your running shoes, it is very very slippery. I was with my hiking shoes with a pretty gut grip, but still, I fell once.
Ok, so from Waldweid to Hinteri Egg is a very easy hike, around 1.5 kilometers, a bit of elevation gain, around 100 m. It was crazy foggy, so I saw zero from the top.
If you are looking for a warm, dry hike, so Nature Park Thal in November is not a place to go. But for me, it is perfect. That strong fog didn’t change my mood at all, I love the rain, the leaves on the ground, the wet meadows, the mud, it’s all just perfect. Just have a look at how many leaves are on the ground there, my shoe is covered by them.
As I left the Hinteri Egg behind me, I chose the direction: Passwanghaus. I am not really sure if I reached it or not, but once I reached the chapel on the mountain, the Passwanghaus direction disappeared. So maybe Passwanghaus is that chapel. It looked pretty cool in a wet nature, surrounded by fog. Almost a biblical view.
From this chapel, it is possible to hike to Vogelberg and it is just 45 minutes away. I didn’t hike there and chose to go down, to the cable car station (to the end of it, people get there from Reigoldswil). On the way, I saw a great prepared lunch/picnic place with prepared wood, tables, and even grills. So just come there with some meat, vegetables, or whatever you like to grill and have a great time. I really like that in most places Swiss people prepare the wood you can use. Sometimes even an ax and matches are left for people to use. It’s a very friendly camping environment up there.
On my way back I wanted to see how the cable car station looks like. I would say it’s pretty new looking, had free warm toilets (it was good to visit those as the weather was very chilly), there’s a nice small restaurant just next to the cable car station and to my surprise, it was a full. As well, there’s a rope park where you can climb in the trees, a kind of perfect place for it.
You can actually feel the chilliness of the weather that day in Nature Park Thal.
So from the station, I continued my hike back to the car, it was just 30 minutes away, but I wanted to hike a bit longer and saw signs that there’s actually a Swiss hut up there. To my surprise it was open and from the signs, I understood that it is open each weekend, maybe I will hike someday to that place as it is just 30 kilometers by foot to there. If you’re interested in hut-to-hut hiking in Switzerland, I’ve written a huge guide here.
The hut is very close to Bergwirtschaft Waldweide where they have a restaurant and a farm. There are plenty of cows and goats over there. Very friendly looking place and it has free toilets for hikers as well.
The hut is called: Waldweidhütte, you can find more information here. I think it’s a perfect place to come there in winter as there will be more snow, so you can do some snowshoeing around. This place is great for snowshoes as it’s not dangerous, quite flat and hiking trails are not too difficult. I would love to do that in winter.
The restaurant and that farm next to the hut even sells their own meat, so it’s a good place to get some Jura Mountains beef.
My whole hike was very easy-breezy, slow, and beautiful. I covered around 6 kilometers in 2 hours and elevation gain was just around 200 meters. But I think that Nature Park Thal really deserves more love from hikers as it has a lot to offer.
I really suggest visiting their official website as you can find much more information about their hikes, attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and all other stuff.
It is a great place to visit as it has so many hiking trails that it can be even hard to pick one, but the one to Hinteri Egg is very nice, I would continue to Vogelberg as well.
Actually, most villages in the Nature Park Thal are pretty old with many old buildings, so it’s very cozy and interesting to see. They are lucky to have so much old architecture there.
Nature Park Thal is so close to Basel that you can even do a long hike and reach it, spend a night in the hut and head back the next day. That would be a pretty heavy hike (60 kilometers in two days), but I think it’s worth trying.
If you have any questions about Nature Park Thal, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.