Challenging hike Long Ascent: Lachen-Etzel-Passhöhe (540m hight difference)
Galgenen (438m) – Steinegg (454m) – Lachen (410m) - Lachen (410m) - St. Johannn - St. Johannsburg (520m) - Schlipf - Bilsten (698m) - Schwändi (694m) - Oberschwwändi (750m)- Bannwald-Meinradsbrunnen (820m) - St. Meinrad (950m) – Tüfelsbrugg (838m) - Meieren (869m) - Stofel – Hochmatt/Hinterhorben (930m) - Galgenchappeli (929m) - Horgenberg (878m) – Einsiedeln (906m)
We continue, mostly on a macadam road and again parallel to the cantonal road to the Spreitenbach (brook) which we cross to arrive at the outskirts “Steinegg” of Lachen. Straight on and then in an arc through the motorway underpass and to the centre of Lachen. With its inns on the lakeshore, the baroque parish church “Holy Cross” and the pilgrim chapel “Im Ried”, this is a good place to stay overnight.
From the village centre, we go back to the „Breiten“ quarter beyond the motorway underpass. We follow the Breitenstrasse and then turn off to the Burgweg. This is the beginning of the ascent to St.Meinrad, elevated 520m higher. First, we climb a short incline to the St.Johann chapel. Situated 100m higher than the lake, it offers a unique outlook over Lachen, the lake and the Alps of the cantons of St.Gallen and Glarus. We continue on the hill-crest past the restaurant “Johannisburg” to the access road at “Im Schlipf”. Bypassing the hairpin bend, our path leads over meadows and across the “Chessibach” (brook) up to the Bilstenstrasse. We take this road as far as the next hairpin bend and turn off to the right to a historic path that leads us, along the edge of the “Summerholz” wood back to the Bilstenstrasse. From Bilsten westwards, and along sloping meadows interspersed with small woods, and enjoying outlooks over Lake Zürich, we come to Schwändi.
The latticed wayside chapel is proof of the many pilgrims who have passed here on their way to Etzel. After about 150m, we turn off to the left and take a steeply rising mountain path leading at first westwards up to “Oberschwändi”, and then southwards to St.Meinrad at the Etzel pass. The path leads across hilly, cultivated pastureland, past swampy fields and groups of trees, through small woods, and past the last bends of the Etzelstrasse to the inn and the chapel St.Meinrad.
We continue, at first on the Etzelstrasse down to “Tüfelsbrugg” with the commemorative stone of the physician, alchemist and philosopher Paracelsus (1493 – 1541), and 250m further on to “Meieren. Here, we leave the Etzelstrasse, and on a path to the right, through humid sloping meadows above the Sihl ravine, we come to Hochmatt / Hinterhorben. On a roadway across the “Allmig” plateau southwards, we come to the Sihlstrasse (near the wayside cross), and further south to the “Galgenchappeli”, offering a good outlook to Lake Sihl.
Until 1799, convicts were hanged here, their last view directed to the monastery of Einsiedeln. We leave the Etzelstrasse and on a field path in a southern direction, we come to the bypass road which we cross. On the “Alte Etzelstrasse”, we reach the village centre and the monastery of Einsiedeln.