Ascent Pfäffikon-Einsiedeln (540m height difference)
Rapperswil (410m) - Hurden (416m) - Pfäffikon (420m)- Luegeten (608m) - St. Meinrad (950m) – Tüüfelsbrugg (838m) - Meieren (869m) – Hinterhorben (928m) - Galgenchappeli (929m) - Einsiedeln(906m)
The route then leads along the right-hand side of the railway line, seen in the direction Rapperswil-Pfäffikon, skirting the fishing village of Hurden with its late-gothic chapel, built 1497. We keep to the west of the main road, cross the railway line and come to the railway station of Pfäffikon (on the side directed to the lake). On this last stretch, we can enjoy the view towards the two islands Ufenau and Lützelau.
About 200 m to the north-west of the station, there is the castle of Pfäffikon, a habitable tower from the 13th century belonging to the monastery of Einsiedeln, extended to a water-surrounded castle. The free-standing castle chapel is worth a visit, it was refurbished 1780-85 in baroque style. We turn off to the left to the railway underpass and on well finger-posted village lanes and shortcuts in a southern direction, and across the meadows of Oberwacht, we reach the motorway. We cross it on the Luegetenstrasse. After the motorway, we turn off to the left onto a hiking path with a sometimes steep upward gradient.
The path mostly leads through woods, several times crossing the Etzelstrassed, past Luegeten and Erli up to the “Bannwald” (protection forest), not far from the Meinradsbrunnen (well). Keeping to the right, we come to the head of the pass St.Meinrad with its pilgrim’s inn and chapel (950m). We continue, first along the Etzelstrasse down to “Tüfelsbrugg” (built 1699). There stands the house where the famous physician Paracelsus (1493 to 1541) was born. We continue for 250 m to “Meieren”. There, we leave the Etzelstrasse and on the field-path to the right, through moist, sloping meadows above the trough of the river Sihl, we reach Hochmatt / Hinterhorben.
On a roadway southwards across the Allmig plateau, we come to the Sihlstrasse (near the wayside crucifix, and further south to the “Galgenchappeli” (chapel of the gallows), with wonderful outlook to Lake Sihl. Until 1799, those condemned to death were hanged here, so arranged that the last thing they saw was the monastery. Leaving the Etzelstrasse on a field path southwards, we come to the bypass road which we cross, and on the old Etzelstrasse, we come to the town centre of Einsiedeln and to its monastery.