The Waldstätterweg trail circumnavigates Lake Lucerne in seven stages – or nine counting its sister trail, the Swiss Path. It would take around 46 hours to walk non-stop. The stage times vary between 4h30 (stage 3) and 6h30 (stage 4). Within the stages, however, there are many opportunities to shorten the walking time through use of public transport (boat, bus, railway).
Common to all stages is the trail’s proximity to the lake, which acts as a guideline. You pass the main towns and villages on the lake, the flanks of the Rigi, the Bürgenstock (highest point of the trail) and the slopes at Seelisberg. Lucerne City and its agglomeration are as much a point of reference as the rural areas of the Lake Lucerne Region. Some sections follow historical paths, others new paths that were built or reconstructed to mark Switzerland’s 700th anniversary in 1991. You’ll also encounter sections on asphalted roads, mule paths and quayside promenades.
Be that as it may, all the stages invite you to rediscover Lake Lucerne – one of Switzerland’s greatest attractions of the 19th century. Just as a travel guide described it in 1837: “Lake Lucerne [...], situated at the foot of the tall and majestic Alpine chain [...] is one of the most attractive bodies of water in Switzerland on account of its picturesquely large and awe-inspiring character” (Der Vierwaldstättersee mit seinen klassischen Ufern, 1837).