9 Highlights in the Zurich Wilderness Park
- While walking in the Zurich Wilderness Park, with a bit of luck you will observe free-living animals such as wild boars, deer or foxes.
- The treetop path incl. viewing platform at a height of 17 m offers a unique perspective on the forest and its inhabitants.
- Various nature trails lead through the forest and offer exciting insights into nature.
- The Bat Night takes place once a year in the Zurich Sihlwald Wilderness Park. With experts you go on an exciting journey of discovery about the fascinating animals.
- The interactive nature trail is suitable for visitors of all ages. Here you will learn everything about the flora and fauna of the park.
- An adventure playground includes various play areas and activities such as climbing, balancing and sliding.
- The herb and vegetable garden is open to visitors. You'll learn a lot about growing herbs and vegetables and can buy some produce.
- The Zurich Wilderness Park regularly offers events and activities for visitors, such as guided tours, animal feedings and seasonal festivals.
- The barefoot trail at the Zurich Wilderness Park offers a special experience for feet and senses. Here you can feel different materials like gravel, moss or wood with your feet.
You can find an overview of the nature parks in Switzerland in our article about the 20 most beautiful Swiss nature parks.
What awaits you at the Wildnispark Zürich
With an area of 11 km², Wildnispark Zürich is the smallest Swiss nature park. The first nationally recognized nature discovery park covers the area of five municipalities, with only 80 inhabitants living within the park boundaries.
Wildnispark Zurich includes two parks:
- Wildnispark Zürich Sihlwald with visitor center and nature museum in Sihlwald
- Wildnispark Zürich Langenberg in Langnau am Albis
In Sihlwald and along the Sihl River there are a considerable number of paths and trails. A total of 72 km of hiking trails, 58 km of biking trails and 54 km of horseback riding trails are available to park visitors.
The Langenberg Zoo is home to 19 indigenous animals or animals that were formerly native to the Sihlwald.
- the Alpine marmot
- the European otter
- the red deer
- the European brown bear
- the bison
- the Eurasian wolf
- the European wildcat
- the Sika deer
- the Przewalski horse
- the Eurasian lynx
Both parks are open 365 days a year for 24 hours free of charge, with the paid visitor center and nature museum closed in winter.
How you can best explore the Zurich Wilderness Park
The Wildnispark Zürich is a very popular recreation area for the Zurich population. It can be ideally explored either on foot, by bike or on horseback. The park's landscape is varied and includes a variety of habitats, including forests, meadows, wetlands and rivers. Visitors can experience a variety of wildlife.
Unique to the Zurich Sihlwald Wilderness Park is the concept of "temporary wilderness." The park is deliberately not intensively managed in order to leave nature to its own devices and give visitors a glimpse of nature in its original form. This also means that visitors must stay on designated paths and not feed animals in order to preserve the animals' natural habitats.
You have the option to participate in a varied program of the wilderness park. Events on specific topics, adventure days, educational programs for children and adults or interesting lectures take place again and again. In the visitor center you can learn more about the park and its inhabitants.
The park also offers a variety of activities for visitors. In addition to guided hikes, there are walks with a ranger, bike tours, and adventure activities such as tree climbing and outdoor sleepovers, among others.
Some examples of activities at the Zurich Wilderness Park
- Walderlebnispfad: The adventure trail includes 12 stations over a length of 2.8 km, where you actively do something: Count annual rings, observe or explore something. The path leads through a moor forest over a footbridge. Duration: about 2 hours.
- Tree top walk: The treetop path has a length of 500 m and culminates on a 17m high viewing platform. The walk takes about an hour.
- Animal Observations: An observation tour of the park can take between 1-3 hours depending on the route and duration.
- Nature Trails: There are several nature trails in the park. The hike takes about 1-2 hours each.
- Barefoot Trail: The barefoot path has a length of about 500 m and can be completed in about 30 min.
- Swiss Hiking Night once a year: Starting at Sihlwald train station, the guided hike lasts about 2.5 hours and ends at Sihlau train station.
- Experience Saturday for children: On the first Saturday afternoon of the month, children experience a treasure hunt through nature for 2 hours.
The Zurich Wilderness Park is a special place for nature lovers who want to experience the beauty of nature up close. Visitors can learn a lot here and get a unique insight into the wilderness without having to travel far.
How to get to the Wilderness Park Zurich
By public transport both parks are easily accessible from Zurich, Thalwil and Horgen. From Zurich main station, take the S-Bahn S4 in the direction of Langnau-Gattikon to Sihlwald station. It takes 25 min. from there it is only a few minutes walk to the park.
It is also possible to get there by car. The parking fees are 10.- CHF per day at the zoo and 5.- CHF per day at the wilderness park. However, you should note that during the summer months on weekends and holidays, parking is limited and there may be waiting times.
Another option is to arrive by bicycle. The Wilderness Park is connected to the network of bike routes in the region and there is a signposted bike route specifically for the park. Again, there is plenty of bicycle parking at the entrance to the park.
No matter which way you choose to get there, the Wildnispark Zürich is definitely worth it. You can experience nature up close and look forward to exciting animal observations.