Ten hiking facts that will amaze you

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Intro

Switzerland is regarded as a hiking paradise for good reason and even boasts a world hiking record. Do you know for what? Put your knowledge of hiking to the test!

Did you know that... ... walking along all of Switzerland’s hiking trails would be the equivalent of going one-and-a-half times around the world?

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Switzerland’s hiking trail network covers around 65,000km. For comparison: the whole of Switzerland has “only” 71,400km of roads and 5,100km of railway tracks. 

Did you know that... ... hiking is Switzerland’s most popular national sport?

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The Swiss population spends 162 million hours on hiking trails each year, while 59% of all overight visitors in summer go hiking at least once during their stay. 

Did you know that... ... the Swiss hiking trail network boasts a world record?

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No other country in the world has such a dense, nationwide hiking network as Switzerland. There are an average of 1.9km of hiking trails per square kilometre throughout Switzerland. Boasting 3.4km per square kilometre, the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden has the densest network of hiking trails in Switzerland. 

Did you know that... ... there are three types of hiking trail? 

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63% of them are yellow-signposted hiking trails, 36% yellow-signposted mountain hiking trails with white-red-white waymarks and just under 1% blue-signposted Alpine hiking trails. 

Did you know that... ... Switzerland’s well-signposted and maintained hiking trails are particularly appreciated by both foreign and local hikers?  

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Signposts at approximately 50,000 spots along the way inform hikers of the type of trail, its final destination and sometimes its estimated duration. All hiking trails are checked on foot each year by more than 1,500 hiking-trail staff, many of whom are volunteers. 

Did you know that... ... three Swiss cantons have by far the largest hiking trail networks?

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The longest hiking trail networks in Switzerland can be found in the cantons of Graubünden (11,141km), Bern (9,930km) and Valais (8,766km). 

Did you know that... ... waterside hikes are popular?

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10% of all hiking trails are by the waterside, 9% along a river or stream and roughly 1% along a lake.

Did you know that... ... all signposts were taken down during the Second World War?

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The Swiss used to be afraid of revealing valuable route information to invading enemies. This gave rise to the guided hikes that remain popular today. 

Did you know that... ... SwitzerlandMobility’s obstacle-free hiking trail network is unparalleled in the world?

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Switzerland boasts 69 obstacle-free hiking routes signposted with a white information panel. These can be accessed by people in wheelchairs or families with buggies – the sheer size of this network of obstacle-free trails is one of a kind in the world. 

Did you know that... ...long-distance hikes are particularly popular among young hikers?

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Those aged 18 to 35 are the most avid multi-day hikers. Switzerland has a lot of attractive long-distance hiking trails, the three most well-known of which are Via Alpina, the Jura Crest Trail and the Alpine Passes Trail.