5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail

Hiking

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Jura Crest Trail

Stage 4, Hauenstein–Balsthal

Route report
70 photos

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Jura Crest Trail

En route to Belchenfluh, the many buildings and coats of arms are reminders of Swiss defences in two World Wars. Soon follows tiny Bärenwil, on via Tiefmatt to Roggen. Far below, Balsthal greets you with its Neu-Falkenstein castle and paper mill.
This stage starts at Hauenstein-Ifenthal, a "double commune" on the southern declivity of the Solothurn Jura. In Roman times, this pass was an important transit route between Augusta Raurica and the Mittelland. Nowadays, together with the Isebähnli restaurant near Trimbach, it is more or less regarded as a place of pilgrimage for motorcyclists. Leave the pass road and walk past farms with manicured gardens; then the path plunges into the forest near Kesselberg mountain. On the Challhöchi pass, old concrete blocks, tank traps and a bunker recall the days of "Fortress Switzerland" in both world wars. A little further on: General Wille's house with sweeping views of Gösgen and the Mittelland.

At Chambersberg, you can already see the Belchenflue peak: it is now less than an hour's walk away. The Belchen South Trail, a well-maintained hiking path, once served as the backbone of the fortifications erected in the first world war. Coats of arms etched into the stone still recall the importance of the Hauenstein fortifications. It's worth taking a detour to Belchenflue mountain for the views of the Mittelland and the country around Basel. Walk down via Gwidemhöchi and Wuesthöchi to reach Bärenwil hamlet. As the hiking route passes through the village centre, it branches off to join the forest road. A little later, you will already be on a path that takes you to the forest clearing known as Stelli. Far-reaching views of the Mittelland open up from here. You then follow the path across the splendid meadows on Schlosshöchi hill. To the right, you can make out the ruins of Alt-Bechburg Castle, and a little later you come to Holderbank village. After Wishöchi hill, you'll sweat as you tackle the final section to the summit of the Roggenschnarz. Hundreds of steps take you higher and higher to the very top.

Then comes a fairly long section through the Jura beech forest, at 600-900 meters above sea level. Typical features: neat stands of beech trees that often make you feel as if you are indoors! At Roggenflue mountain, a view unfolds of the entire Mittelland and even the highest peaks in the Swiss Jura: Mont Tendre and Dole. The descent to Balsthal is steep. To the north, above the Mümliswil gorge, you can see the ruins of Neu Falkenstein Castle which was built in the first half of the 12th century. Walk past the old paper factory (which you cannot miss) to reach the end of this stage at Balsthal rail station.
En route to Belchenfluh, the many buildings and coats of arms are reminders of Swiss defences in two World Wars. Soon follows tiny Bärenwil, on via Tiefmatt to Roggen. Far below, Balsthal greets you with its Neu-Falkenstein castle and paper mill.
This stage starts at Hauenstein-Ifenthal, a "double commune" on the southern declivity of the Solothurn Jura. In Roman times, this pass was an important transit route between Augusta Raurica and the Mittelland. Nowadays, together with the Isebähnli restaurant near Trimbach, it is more or less regarded as a place of pilgrimage for motorcyclists. Leave the pass road and walk past farms with manicured gardens; then the path plunges into the forest near Kesselberg mountain. On the Challhöchi pass, old concrete blocks, tank traps and a bunker recall the days of "Fortress Switzerland" in both world wars. A little further on: General Wille's house with sweeping views of Gösgen and the Mittelland.

At Chambersberg, you can already see the Belchenflue peak: it is now less than an hour's walk away. The Belchen South Trail, a well-maintained hiking path, once served as the backbone of the fortifications erected in the first world war. Coats of arms etched into the stone still recall the importance of the Hauenstein fortifications. It's worth taking a detour to Belchenflue mountain for the views of the Mittelland and the country around Basel. Walk down via Gwidemhöchi and Wuesthöchi to reach Bärenwil hamlet. As the hiking route passes through the village centre, it branches off to join the forest road. A little later, you will already be on a path that takes you to the forest clearing known as Stelli. Far-reaching views of the Mittelland open up from here. You then follow the path across the splendid meadows on Schlosshöchi hill. To the right, you can make out the ruins of Alt-Bechburg Castle, and a little later you come to Holderbank village. After Wishöchi hill, you'll sweat as you tackle the final section to the summit of the Roggenschnarz. Hundreds of steps take you higher and higher to the very top.

Then comes a fairly long section through the Jura beech forest, at 600-900 meters above sea level. Typical features: neat stands of beech trees that often make you feel as if you are indoors! At Roggenflue mountain, a view unfolds of the entire Mittelland and even the highest peaks in the Swiss Jura: Mont Tendre and Dole. The descent to Balsthal is steep. To the north, above the Mümliswil gorge, you can see the ruins of Neu Falkenstein Castle which was built in the first half of the 12th century. Walk past the old paper factory (which you cannot miss) to reach the end of this stage at Balsthal rail station.
21 km
950 m | 1150 m
6 h 30 min
easy (hiking trail) | difficult

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Hauenstein, Löwen
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map
Arrival / return travel Balsthal
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Contact

Signpost management
Signposting is managed by the cantonal hiking trail organisation on behalf of the canton. Lend a hand by becoming a member in your canton.
Become a member
Solothurner Wanderwege
4503 Solothurn
info@solothurner-wanderwege.ch
www.solothurner-wanderwege.ch

Services

Accommodation

Neumatt Hof
Neumatt Hof
Hauenstein
Berghaus Oberbölchen
Berghaus Oberbölchen
Eptingen
Restaurant Chilchli
Restaurant Chilchli
Langenbruck
Genussgasthaus Tiefmatt
Genussgasthaus Tiefmatt
Holderbank
Hotel Balsthal
Hotel Balsthal
Balsthal
Pfadiheim Balsthal
Pfadiheim Balsthal
Balsthal
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Places

Hauenstein
Hauenstein
Balsthal
Balsthal
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Places of interest

Belchensüdstrasse (Ifenthal–Belchenflue)
Belchensüdstrasse (Ifenthal–Belchenflue)
Schöntal Abbey
Schöntal Abbey
Solarbob.ch
Solarbob.ch
Thal Nature Park
Thal Nature Park
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Signalization

Signalization
For hiking, follow the logo indicated on the yellow signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your hike for safety's sake.
Signalization