While on a weekend get-away near Neuchatel, we visited the Val-de-Travers region. This region has some beautiful and famous Swiss hikes, like the Creux-du-Van, and the Areuse Gorge. We did the Gorges de l’Areuse Hike in September, and there were already a few signs of Autumn. The hike is beautiful in all hiking season, but especially popular in Autumn.
Starting at the Noiraigue train station
The Noiraigue train station is a good option as a starting point for this hike. The train station is also the local post office, and has a shop selling many regional products to fill up your backpack for your picnic! Local cheese, sausages, and chocolates amongst others!
There is a small parking lot at the train station. The hike leaves directly from here. The signs will lead you, first along the train line, and then into the forest along the Areuse river.
Stone bridge Pont de Brot
You can adapt your hiking time to your liking. From Noiraigue to Champ-du-Moulin would take you about 1 hour and this gets you along the most scenic part of the Gorges de l’Areuse, and across the beautiful stone bridge ‘Pont de Brot’ which is a very much loved photo spot! At this part, the hiking path is narrow and next to impressive cliff walls and waterfalls. At some other points along the hike, the path is much wider, and so is the river. The hike itself is mainly flat, so not difficult at all.
Once you get to Champ-du-Moulin, you will find the cute little ‘Buvette Rive Gauche’ for refreshments, and a bit further along the road, there is a restaurant at ‘Hotel de la Truite’ in case you would like to take more time to eat and warm up over lunch. From Champ-du-Moulin, you can catch a train which will take you back to Noiraigue in 4 minutes. Check the time-table in advance on the CFF / SBB app, as the trains do not run very frequently on the weekend.
If you would like to continue your hike, you could hike all the way to Boudry, which will take less than 3 hours in total. From Boudry you can also take the train back to Noiraigue, but you would need to change trains once.
Apart from the beautiful Gorges de l’Areuse Hike, and the famous Creux-du-Van, the Val-de-Travers region has many local museums. One of the famous products that originates from this region is Absinthe. We thought it was interesting to visit the Maison de l’Absinthe and our children loved tasting Absinthe Lemonade (alcohol free of course). Very close to the Noiraigue train station, you could also visit asphalt mines.
Read all about the many local museums, and on some cool things to do in the nearby city of Neuchatel, in our full article: Things to do in Neuchatel.
Tip for the Gorges de l’Areuse hike: as most hikes in autumn, and especially after rainy days, make sure you wear good hiking shoes as it can become slippery! The hike is not accessible with strollers.
Access: Noiraigue train station can be reached by train from Neuchatel. Boudry can be reached by tram from Neuchatel.