All kinds of cheese for all kinds of people

The new Alpine Cheese Trail is the perfect way to combine appreciation of nature with a love of gourmet food. It leads walkers to Engelberg’s eight Alpine cheese dairies and can be completed in a multi-day hike or divided up into individual sections or day trips. 

As the Alpine Cheese Trail is around the length of a marathon, anyone wanting to complete the whole trail should plan a couple of overnight stays along the way – after all, you don’t want to rush it! Walkers should certainly take their time over this hike, stopping to appreciate nature, to get to know each of the fantastic Alpine dairies, maybe to chat with a cheesemaker, and certainly to sample the delicious cheeses.


A tasty bite for e-bikers
Much of the trail can be completed quickly and conveniently thanks to the new e-bike trail that leads from Engelberg via Alpenrösli and Stäfeli all the way up to the Blackenalp, at 1,770 metres above sea level. This is where the steep ascent (only on foot) to the Surenen Pass begins. With an electric bike, the route can be mastered with ease. But since you still have to pedal, you’ll certainly feel you’ve earned your share of the delicious Blackenalp cheese. 


Fun for families
Anyone choosing to walk the trail with children may need a few incentives up their sleeve. If shortening the trip to the dairies by travelling by cable car doesn’t do the trick, I propose the following enticements. A visit to the Langenboden and/or the Hüttismatt on the Brunni side of the valley can be combined with a ride on the summer toboggan run and some playtime at the big playground on the Ristis. Kids’ hard work walking up to the dairies in Untertrübsee and/or Gerschnialp can be rewarded with a rapid ride back down on a hired scooter.



Hurray for Uri!
Not all of the eight dairies on the tour are actually located on Engelberg territory. Some of them are in the neighbouring cantons of Uri and Nidwalden. The former is particularly strongly represented with four dairies on the Alpine Cheese Trail – the Blackenalp, Stäfeli, Steinäbnet and Surenen are all in Uri. Each dairy is different, and they are all worth a visit.  


For bon vivants
If you like to combine your walks with a nice sit down and some good food, I should point out that some of the dairies have cafés and that there are other excellent eateries along the trail. If you are heading to the Blackenalp, Surenen, Stäfeli or Steinäbnet dairies, it’s worth stopping in at the Alpenrösli or Stäfeli restaurants. Walkers in the Brunni area heading to the dairies at Langenboden and Hüttismatt, on the other hand, would be well advised to take a break at the traditional tavern on the Flühmatt. By the way, the cheese can be bought easily in the monastery's show factory, where many alpine cheeses from the region are on offer. And from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. you can even watch the cheese being made.

To see all the information on the complete Alpine Cheese Trail as well as more possible variants, individual sections, and places to eat, visit the website alpkäse-trail.

Text: Andrea Hurschler
As a student, Engelberg native Andrea Hurschler spent a summer working at an Alpine farm in Romandy. She may have lost almost all her French, but she has certainly retained her love for Alpine cheese, mountainside farms, and tranquil natural surroundings.
Images: Engelberg-Titlis Tourismus