The Sihlwald, and Sihl Valley, is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes I have ever seen. It is not just because I live close by, no, I think it is great because the forest is left to itself. The forest recovers best in a sustainable way if we humans do not intervene and simply let it grow back, which is something we pay a lot of attention to here.
The Sihlwald can be reached by car in only 20 minutes. Various means of public transport will also take you there. From the main station, you can reach the visitor center of the Wilderness Park Zurich within a short time with the Sihltal-Zurich-Uetliberg train.
The Wildnispark Zurich Sihlwald offers a unique combination of forest, wilderness and wildlife in the immediate vicinity of the cities of Zurich and Zug. Unforgettable encounters with wildlife in facilities close to nature and adventurous experiences in a primeval forest wilderness create exciting contrasts to everyday urban life.
Rangers regularly patrol the Sihlwald. Their function is multifaceted. They know the core and surrounding zones exactly and can point out to hikers and walkers where what is allowed.
Discover what’s around you!
Go through nature with open eyes, discover its treasures.
The Zurich Sihlwald Wilderness Park was the first nationally recognised nature discovery park in Switzerland. It is in the middle of the Zurich conurbation and is easily accessible to around 2 million people. Thanks to this peri-urban location, Sihlwald Nature Discovery Park can fulfil its role as a “starter park”.
A nature discovery park offers animals and plants undisturbed habitats close to the city and visitors the opportunity to experience intact nature. It always consists of two zones: In the core zone, nature can develop freely. In the transition zone, less stringent protection requirements apply to enable visitors to experience nature and relax. With the label, the Zimmerberg-Sihltal region and the Canton of Zurich have an internationally recognised seal of quality and the Zurich Wilderness Park Foundation receives important federal funding for the operation of the park.
Natural forest / Pristine beech forest
The Sihlwald natural forest is an approximately 1100-hectare beech forest that originally covered about 80 percent of the area of Central Europe. It is a rare example of a large-scale, original forest on the Swiss Plateau.
An important component of the original forest is deadwood, which is constantly increasing in the Sihlwald. Old, impressive giant trees up to 250 years old, small, young trees and those at the prime age of around 120 years characterise the picture. This small-scale, mosaic-like forest structure with its constantly progressing dynamics is characteristic of the Sihlwald. It shows an impressive native forest wilderness that is unique in Europe.
Deadwood is the most important component of the forest ecosystem, for example as the basis of life for thousands of species of animals, plants and fungi.
Since 1 January 2010, the Sihlwald has had the official label “Nature Discovery Park – Park of National Importance”. The protection of the Sihlwald is sealed by a forest reserve agreement (2007) and a cantonal protection ordinance (2008).
Flora and fauna in the Sihlwald
Hotspot for rare creatures
Although the Sihlwald has only been left to its own devices since 2000, there are already large parts of the forest where dead drought stands and fallen, rotting tree trunks give the impression of wilderness. Wilderness means diverse habitats for fungi, plants and animals.
You will find, among other things: an abundance of wild garlic, green shield-moss Buxbaumia viridis, copper beech and spruce, extensive moorland, frogs that lay their eggs in spring, many different species of birds.
If you have never been to the Sihlwald, you must do so. Every season has its own magic. At the beginning of the Sihlwald you will pass the dreamy pond. In summer, the pond is covered with water lilies and reeds.
Many different water birds that enliven the pond. It is utterly unique. Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, come to rest. Surrounded by forest and a variety of wild plants and a beautiful scenery, you will find peace and deepest contentment here. It never gets boring. Especially if you spend a lot of time in the Sihlwald, you always discover new paths to take.
Not to forget the Sihl, the river itself. The source of the Sihl River is on the 2283-metre-high Drusberg. The Sihl flows through Lake Sihl near Einsiedeln in the canton of Schwyz and winds its way through the Sihl Valley to Zurich. During the thaw or continuous rainfall, the Sihl may well burst its banks. It is the largest tributary of the Limmat, 69 kilometres long and drains an area of 341 square kilometres. The Sihl flows into the Limmat in Zurich.
From there the Limmat continues. The area in the triangle formed by Brugg, Turgi and Klingnau in the canton of Aargau, where the three rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat join shortly after each other as the Aare at the Gebenstorf district of Vogelsang, is known as the “Wasserschloss” of Switzerland. After passing the Klingnau reservoir (Stausee), the Aare flows into the Rhine at Koblenz.
The forest is the place of recreation for many people. I go as often as possible. It offers a variety of experiences, shapes, scents and colors and is irreplaceable because of its originality and natural character.
Idyllic winter scene. The Sihlwald in winter. A dreamy winter landscape. All you find is beauty, peace and silence.
Video Nature Trail
Forest Nature Trail Sihlwald, a wooden walkway leads past various attractions.
Images|Video: © 2021 Da Cipriano- all rights reserved