Cornell Club of Switzerland’s Sihlwald Hike
August 26, 2018 @ 9:25 am
Invitation to Cornell hike Sihlwald (near Zurich) Aug. 26, 2018:
Albispass Hochwacht Albishorn Ober Albis Restaurant Schweikhof Sihlwald (Sihlbrugg)
Dear Cornellians and friends of Cornell,
What a contrast! One of the most pristine forests in Switzerland lies barely ten kilometers from
Zurich’s center, with its shopping, banking and jewelry temples.
Between Langnau and Sihlbrugg near Baar, the Sihlwald covers the elongated Albis chain and
is thus the largest contiguous mixed deciduous forest in the Swiss Mittelland. 54 different forest
communities have been identified here. The most common are different types of beech forest.
Some 2000 years ago, large parts of Switzerland and Germany were covered by a single, dense
beech forest. With the expansion of settlements and agriculture, almost the entire primeval forest
disappeared. The Sihlwald has also been severely overexploited throughout its long history. After
500 years of use by the city of Zurich, the Sihlwald is now completely left to its own devices.
Although only “completed” in many years, nature is already showing us how it is transforming this
area back into a wild and original beech forest.
Again and again we will come across mighty beeches or old, overturned logs. Here the trees
can go through their entire natural life cycle, from the seedling to the bursting giant to the
overturned, slowly rotting trunk. Near-natural forests are characterized by a high proportion of
such old and dead wood. A diverse bird life and numerous rare species in the Sihlwald
demonstrate that the animals appreciate this natural mix of young and old, orderly and chaotic.
The hike from the Albispass to Sihlbrugg follows the ridge of the Albis chain and thus offers not
only an insight into this impressive forest, but also views over Lake Zurich and far into central
Already in the 14th century, the city of Zurich had a great interest in Sihlwald as a supplier of
wood. This was transported on the Sihl with rafting. The “Sihlwaldmeister” was first mentioned in
1336. A forest railway was built in 1876.
Further information can be found under this link:
There is also a video on YouTube:
Looking forward to a lovely, happy Cornell hiking day and have a joyful summertime!