The glatt bicycle trail runs along a creek from Zurich to Rapperswil, a small town in St. Gallen canton on the south end of Zurichsee. The creek leaves Zurich and heads to a smaller lake, Greifensee, before the bike trail ends back near Lake Zurich.
I started on the Glatt trail outside of Zurich. To get there by S-bahn, take either the S9 or S14 from Zurich train station to one of the stops. I started at a small town named after the lake, Greifensee. The first part of the bike ride took place on a paved bike trail about 1/4 of the way around Greifensee lake. After passing through Riedikon, the trail turns off to the left and heads through farmland.
Each step along the way is marked with a sign bearing the number 29. The organized Swiss do a good job of properly marking this trail with one exception. Just before the small blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Brand, there is a small fork. To the right is a gravel road that heads down to community gardens. DO NOT GO THIS WAY. Instead take the paved, one lane road to the left.
Much of the path is similar to the one shown above. These bike paths double as local roads so there are periodic cars that come through. Drivers do expect cyclists and usually slow down accordingly.
Corn fields and country houses are commonplace in this region. At one point I had to backtrack a little because I missed the turn off – a gravel road along a corn field.
Just before the final descent down the hill to Rapperswil, I found myself overlooking Lake Zurich (Zurichsee) with a spectacular view of the mountains in the distance. For a brief moment, I felt on top of the world. Then my phone rang and I realized I was running late. Kids were hungry and tired and I needed to finish the trip.
A note about this route and kids. In Switzerland, it is illegal for kids under a certain age (8?) to ride their own bikes on roadways. There might even be a required class with a police officer. Teens and tweens could probably do this route, but it isn’t for younger children on their own bikes. Most of the trip past Greifensee is on roadways shared with cars and resting areas were sparse. Not to mention the ‘flat’ and ‘easy’ descriptors on Veloland’s website are open to interpretation.