Switzerland’s hammock hiking trail

In Ticino’s highest mountain village, hikers are being invited to experience the mountains with a new goal in mind. Forget counting steps or new personal bests, in Bosco Gurin, locals want you to prioritize rest. And they’re renting out hammocks to help you do it.

Launched in the summer of 2021, the Ggurijnar Hermi project, nestled in the Swiss Alps, was founded by Zita Sartori. While writing her master’s thesis, her study breaks were spent lazing in a hammock, soaking up the peace of quiet corners. Instead of keeping those spots a secret, an idea for the community and visitors alike was born.

Sartori wanted to share this way of recharging in nature without simultaneously taking away from it. By dotting hammock stations along a walking trail, hikers – be they local or passing through – can put one foot in front of the other with the sole aim of putting them up. But then what?

This is the question at the heart of the project. What if that was the end goal? What if instead of racing to peaks, we took our time to observe and truly take in the nature we’re surrounded by? Listened to the sounds of the rivers and the birds?

This low-impact approach to the Swiss outdoors isn’t new. In fact, the name of the project was inspired by the Walser dialect. This was spoken by Walser settlers, originally from the canton of Valais, who favoured a simple life that respected the land. “Hermi” is the name they gave to the places where they stopped to rest.

While we may no longer be taking breaks from making hay like the ancient inhabitants were, the hammock trail is an opportunity to take time to reconnect with ourselves and nature and relax. That could look like finally finishing that book we’ve been meaning to get to, catching up on sleep, or just letting our minds wander.

So, how does it work? The importance of the local community and its traditions is another one of the pillars of this project. For this reason, it’s locally run. Lightweight hammocks can be rented and returned at 3 places in the village: the bakery, the Walserhaus Museum, and the Bed & Breakfast, Casa Moni.

There are currently 12 stations in total. Some are more accessible than others, catering to families. Others will require you to pay a bit more attention when getting settled into your hammock. Whichever station you choose, the curiosity will stay the same, as you head off to learn what it means to just hang out in nature.