3-Canton-Tour: Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gallen

They are within sight, the hills and mountains north of Lake Zurich. And it goes without saying that they are an attractive terrain for motorbike excursions. Right from the start, one finds many remote and low-traffic roads in the Zurich Oberland: Grandiose, winding roads seduce you to take turns, while vantage points and passes such as Bachtel, Sternenberg and Kyburg invite you to linger. Here the mountains rise in a first chain of hills. Further east, with the Schnebelhorn (1292 m above sea level) and Hörnli (1133 m above sea level) in the rear chain on the border to the canton of St. Gallen, you're already really alpine. The side roads wind their way through the landscape in ever tighter radii. Around the Greifensee and Pfäffikersee lakes, on the other hand, the contrast on this circular tour is provided by long straight stretches through flat and only slightly hilly areas, often characterised by protected moorland and lakes. It is precisely this interesting contrast and the numerous geological excursion points that make this round tour, in times of closed mordants, badis and beer gardens, nevertheless a treat, because in addition to fine winding roads, there are always wide panoramic views - far into the main ridge of the Alps, over Lake Zurich and the Zurich Unterland to Lake Constance and the Säntis. This area is also characterised by numerous castles from the Middle Ages. The Kyburg, high above the Töss, stands at the start of the tour as a representative of others on the trail. A visit (if possible again) is worthwhile, as the Kyburg is classified as a cultural asset of national importance. Probably the most famous exhibit in the Kyburg is the Iron Maiden. However, it is not a medieval instrument of torture (schlosskyburg.ch).

Shortly in Thurgau and St. Gallen
Between the starting point Kyburg and the destination Speck airfield there are only 7.7 kilometres of air line, but with our GPS file these can be extended to 103 kilometres of pure driving fun over 9398 metres in altitude. Behind Gfell we even leave the canton of Zurich for a short time and enter the southernmost community of the canton of Thurgau, Fischingen. From there, you can surf a short stretch through the canton of St. Gallen in a pleasurable curve swing via Hulftegg, which is so popular with motorbike riders - directly back to the canton of Zurich.

If you don't shy away from dead ends and are looking for pure rural idyll, you'd better make a detour along the Gonzenbach. Softendurists can gain height on gravel at the end of the asphalt section and then climb the Schnebelhorn (1291 m) on foot. Running? With your feet? Yes! Without motorbike. What kind of ideas you get when your freedom of movement is restricted ...
Look it up for me, because at the moment when the Corona emergency measures are finally just history, it would be time to take some time for all those interesting and beautiful places along the way, which you always wanted to see, but somehow always missed. For example the steam train Züri Oberland (dvzo.ch/information/places/steam train line) from Bauma to Hinwil. Or at the dinosaur museum in Aathal. Or at the Speck/Fehraltorf airfield: thousands of Celtic fans fill the meadow next to the restaurant at the annual Highland Games. The event, launched in 2001, now attracts up to 17,000 visitors (www.highland-games.ch). From 31 July it is time again. So then, when you (hopefully) come back from this tour and suddenly the word "free beer!" is clearly audible at the finish. 

All cheese - It is immediately clear that this motorbike route crosses a veritable cheese paradise when you look at the omnipresent grazing livestock. Around 19 cheese dairies produce 150 types of cheese in the Oberland. The cheese dairies with their large tanks, shiny chrome fittings and various measuring instruments can often even be visited. And a lesson in cheese production and tasting is often given on the side. 

Sternenberg - until 31.12.14, the village was a political municipality in its own right. It lies in the upper Töss valley and was thus the highest in the canton of Zurich. 
Below: Speck - biker meeting place with air traffic. Popular motorbike route to Hulftegg.

Kyburg Castle - castle enthroned above the Töss. Below, on the Töss, numerous picnic areas 

Gasthof Sunnebad - panoramic view to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as well as the Feldberg in the Black Forest 

Fischingen - the brewery in the Fischingen monastery offers guided tours. There is a voucher for the online shop 

Hörnli - the Hörnli is only accessible on foot. The street is car-free except for residents

Sauriermuseum Aathal - Tour de Suisse to the dinosaur sites

Airfield Speck - Restaurant, Windy Corner Pub, Bikers' meeting point


Text and pictures: Michael Kutschke