Europe

Lucerne, Switzerland

A comprehensive guide to the best places to run in Lucerne

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Lucerne is a small city in Switzerland popular for its spectacular setting on Lake Lucerne amisdst the snowcapped Alps. The Old Town (Altstadt) is on the north side of the Reuss River, which feeds into Lake Lucerne. There’s a good variety of scenic running in Lucerne. The signature run is along the paths of Lake Lucerne, with ~3.5 km on both the north and south sides of the lake. There’s also a lovely path along the Reuss River, and a fantastic loop around Rodsee Lake, just north of the Altstadt. The Gütschwald and Bireggwald offer hilly, wooded trails for running near the city. For a taste of pastoral running on paths through mountain farms and fields, the Kriens paths can’t be beat. Trail runners will find abundant and challenging trail running opportunities in the surrounding mountains.

Note that while the lake and river running in Lucerne is fairly flat, it gets hilly just outside the city.

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Some of our favorite runs in Lucerne, Switzerland

Lake Lucerne Paths

Running routes don't get much more scenic than this! Several kilometers of running paths along Lake Lucerne,... more...

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Lake Lucerne Paths

Lucerne, Switzerland

Running routes don't get much more scenic than this! Several kilometers of running paths along Lake Lucerne, with wonderful views of the lake, Old Town, and surrounding mountains. We've divided the route into northern and southern sections.
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Reuss River Path

Lucerne, Switzerland

Lovely, mainly paved path follows the Reuss River for up to 15 km north to Gisikon. River and mountain views a good part of the way, passing farms and fields, with a few wooded sections. For a long run, there's a train station in Gisikon!
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Lake Rotsee Loop

Lucerne, Switzerland

The 6.3 km loop around Lake Rotsee is a favorite run in Lucerne. A pastoral path follows the long, narrow lake, with wonderful views of the water and surrounding hills. A section of the north side path is above the lake. Lake Rotsee is just north of Lucerne.
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Kriens Paths

Lucerne, Switzerland

The Kriens paths offer scenic and hilly running through farm fields, just west of Lucerne. The main 'yellow' Helsana Trail is a well-marked 9 km loop, with many options for longer/shorter. Combine with the wooded Gütschwald paths just to the east.
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Bireggwald Paths

Lucerne, Switzerland

The Bireggwald is a network of hilly, wooded trails, popular for running. The paths are wide and feature good footing. One could do 5-6 km in here. We've mapped a 4.5 km perimeter loop. At the western end is a large athletics complex with a running track.
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Lake Lucerne Paths

Lucerne, Switzerland

Running routes don't get much more scenic than this! Several kilometers of running paths along Lake Lucerne, with wonderful views of the lake, Old Town, and surrounding mountains. We've divided the route into northern and southern sections.
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Lucerne has a decent climate for running year-round, with cool winters and mild summers. In summer, average high temperatures are 25C (75F), though the mountain air means nights can cool off. In winter, daytime temperatures climb to just above freezing (4C), with nights dipping just below freezing. Annual snowfall only averages 66 cm (26 inches), though it’s much more abundant in the surrounding mountains. Summers can be cloudy and rainy.

Lucerne is a compact city with plenty of centrally located places to stay. Pretty much any centrally located accommodation will put you steps away from our signature running spots in Lucerne.

As Lucerne is an outdoor recreation center, there’s no shortage of stores selling running gear for such a small city. The signature running stores are Runners Point, and an Odlo store.