Swiss Riders: Where are the best legal off-road / trails to ride in Switzerland?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by grip-wolrd, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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    Hi All,

    As the title suggests I was wondering if there were any Swiss riders with knowledge of where to ride off-road and do some trails on legal roads in Switzerland?
    I know most are closed to motorised vehicles but maybe there are some open to all traffic that are great to ride?

    Thank you!

    I'm slowly going to be adding non-tarmac trails in the Switzerland to this map; please view if youre interested:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1R-qXUEWe0tEJPO6BEZREazh-08997kpc&usp=sharing
    #1
  2. swiss-happy

    swiss-happy Happy Joe

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    If you find some...let me know.
    ;)

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  3. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    Yes, I'd like to know about them as well :lurk


    Although glitch_oz will probably swing by soon and share some of his knowledge.
    #3
  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Glitch is quite likely the man to know. Generally, mostly people just say it is "difficult" in CH.

    Quite a few gravel roads over the border in the French Alps, particularly, hard against the Italian border, an area disputed in the late 19Cth. Hence all the mountain top forts and associated infrastructure.

    An inmate a few posts down has a recent thread about the Stella Alpina Rally, with links to lots of pictures. https://advrider.com/f/threads/uk-riders-at-stella-alpina-2018.1341033/
    Good news if you are not on the far side of CH.

    Get up there quick, October is the expected time for snow up high and even the smaller (interesting) regular paved passes could soon be closed. But no accounting for mountain weather.
    #4
  5. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    Col de Tende (old road), the Assietta, Colle delle Finestre, the Parpaillon - to name a few. More in the Dolomites, but that's a bit of a stretch.

    Most are short bits - the Assietta being the longest at 30+ km

    [​IMG]
    #5
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  6. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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    None of these are in Switzerland unfortunately. I'm really looking for trails in Switzerland, not surrounding countries.
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  7. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    That, Sir, IS the point. Switzerland is just too groomed and populated. Not to mention regulated.

    Don't misunderstand me - I really like Switzerland - one of my favorite places to be. But every time I see an interesting bit of road, it usually has something like this at the beginning:

    [​IMG]
    #7
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  8. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    Col de Tanay comes to my mind.
    Really in Switzerland!
    But it is a road, not off-road. (If not a public road, you were not allowed to drive.)
    After all, it is pretty steep and narrow and gravel. Officially only for 4x4 with reduction gear.
    #8
  9. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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    I know exactly what you mean. I'm hoping that somewhere in this country there may be a few non-sealed section somewhere!
    #9
  10. swiss-happy

    swiss-happy Happy Joe

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    You may like to know that this sign clearly shows a moped, a car and a boring road going motorcycle.
    Not to mention, Swiss police goes home after 16:30 and closes their shop, switches off all radio and mobile devices.
    And...they never risk their lives going above 50kmh in single tracks.
    Every road is in theory, open ground.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #10
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  11. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    So, my VStrom would have been OK then, as it's neither of those three categories? :evil
    #11
  12. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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    :D :D

    So I've been scanning Google Maps and street view and have found a few roads which are potentially ok to ride legally and over the coming weeks, months, years I'll try and explore some.

    Today I thought I'd check out one of these roads on my way home from work and was relatively successful, I didnt have much time as I needed to get back home but it seemed promising. Its near Krauchtal and I came across no forbidden entry signs:

    [​IMG]

    It seems to keep going for a bit and I will come back to explore it a bit more, and it wasnt marked on Google maps as a street. Could that mean that its private property?

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Rebel10

    Rebel10 Adventurer

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    Unfortunately, many gravel roads in Switzerland look tempting and don't explicitly deny access - BUT forests are protected by federal law which prohibits motorized vehicles wherever not explicitly allowed (!):
    https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classified-compilation/19910255/index.html
    In effect this applies to all unpaved roads through forests even without a sign. So be warned: If you get caught, federal law will apply - not the usual road traffic rules and fines (which already cost a fortune in Switzerland)!

    You can be lucky to find a short and remote enough route where nobody cares, but all it takes is a pissed off hiker, biker, forester, farmer, municipal worker etc. to get you in trouble. Police would just wait for you at the end of the trail - as there is often not many ways to go or can be observed from a distance. Even if you can get away, sure as hell a week later there will be a prohibition sign, irregular checks or even a gate, paved etc.

    This is why sadly many areas are off limits for gravel riding. Private property is limiting access to most field roads. What little is left of legal unpaved roads is often paved soon enough, because it is cheaper to maintain over 4 distinct seasons bringing snow and ice as well as heavy rains and dry heat.

    So, Switzerland is no gravel paradise at all. But a few unpaved yet hard packed fine gravel roads are listed here, especially in the less densely populated areas in Canton of Valais:
    - www.motofun.ch -> or Google for Naturstrasse site:motofun.ch
    - alpenrouten.de -> https://alpenrouten.de/search.html?sf=sg&so=DESC&string=&search=suchen&country=204&region= (go by Denzel grade 'SG')
    #13
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  14. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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    Thank you for the very informative comment; this is the kind of information i was looking for. After ready your comment maybe the road i rode on was illegal despite not having any signage stating so.

    Thank you for the link; i will definitely check it out.

    This is the reason why i made this thread is to understand where are the legal roads, even if few and far in between.
    #14
  15. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    Same "danger" in other countries like Germany.
    "Vehicles have to use the right side of the road" (or similar wording) prohibits every off-road per default.
    Laws protecting landscape conservation areas etc. threaten with additional fines (in Germany up to 50000€), as traffic violations have been proven too cheap for such maltreatments.
    #15
  16. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    How so? Every road has a right side.
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  17. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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    Well today I rode 100% legal dirt roads in Kanton Bern area and it was a blast. There a more to come as I find but I'm happy I have these to play with for now:

    There are many legal roads in Inselwald, more to explore here:
    [​IMG]

    Then the road Ottenleuebad:
    [​IMG]

    I took the new Ducati Scrambler 1100 for a bit of fun and it didnt do too badly actually. I will have a video shortly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #17
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  18. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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    Heres a videos of those roads i rode.
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  19. Anders J.

    Anders J. SUPERenduro

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    Seems tricky to go off-road riding in Switzerland...
    As an offroad-biker I´m glad I live in Sweden :-)
    #19
  20. grip-wolrd

    grip-wolrd Adventurer

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