Getting on/off a train and cable car. Three hiking levels. Easiest: 3 miles, 1.5 hours; ascend 187 feet, descend 243 feet; marked path with some short stony and asphalted stretches. Intermediate: Same hike as easiest option plus 2.3 miles for 1 hour; 780-foot elevation change; mountain trails. Challenging: 3.2 miles for 2.5-3 hours; ascend 1,345 feet, descend 354 feet; mountain trails in the morning; descend 400 feet, 1.5-2 hours in the afternoon; a marked path.
At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, fruit, yogurt, breads, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
The Easy and Intermediate groups will walk from the hotel to the train station and transfer by train to Gontenbad. There, we will hike along the barefoot path to the bottom station of Jakobsbad. We’ll have an opportunity for a toboggan run, then continue by cable car up to Kronberg Mountain (elevation 5,450 feet) with views of the first Alpstein range and the high peak of Mt. Saentis (8,300 feet). While the Easy group enjoys the magnificent view, the Intermediate group will continue on a circular hiking trail of the Kronberg. The Challenging group will transfer by train and bus to Schwägalp and hike along a panoramic trail from Schwägalp to Mount Kronberg, taking in breathtaking views over the valley. All three groups will rendezvous for lunch.
We will all take the cable car to Jakobsbad, then take a train to Gonten. Here, we will have an expert-led field trip to the historic Roothuus Gonten, a museum devoted to the collection, archiving, research, and performance of Appenzell and Toggenburg folk music. Then, the Easy and Intermediate groups will return to Appenzell by train and the Challenging group will hike on a marked path from Gonten back to Appenzell.
At the hotel.