Jura Creux du Van: Chasing Green Faries in the Val-de-Travers
Pleasant running in Switzerland's other mountains
Above the clouds resting in the valleys, the lush forests and wide ridge of the Jura invite you to slow down, but also to explore a little more. After zigzagging through the forest up to Creux du Van, you’re suddenly standing at the edge of the arcing arena, a steep drop at the tip of your toes.
While the Creux du Van is one of the most impressive and visited sites of the Jura mountains, the real charm of running this middle-section of the Jura Crest Trail is tucked into the quieter corners, the gently wiggling trail through hidden fairy-lands. Everything in between the popular sites and overlooks is emerald green. An idyllic setting for a quiet quest.
It seems more likely you are chasing dinosaur tracks in another era or have entered the pages of a fairy tale. Steep, mossy trails reach up to open pastures. The route repeatedly dips between the contrasts of the forest and the ridge, looking up through the leaves and then down on the tree tops.
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Start: 46.96765, 6.81304
Stop at Le Soliat, a restaurant and farm beside the Creux du Van, where day hikers and sightseers gather for meat platters and wine.
- After the run, try an absinthe fizz. A trip to the Val-de-Travers wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the once-forbidden potion.
- Do more of the #5. The long distance hiking route travels 310 kilometers along the ridge of the Jura chain connecting Dielsdorf and Nyon (nearly from Zürich to Geneva). More than half of the Chemin des Crêtes du Jura, curves through French-speaking cantons of Switzerland.
Fine forest trails for speeding along.
Running between the drop of the Creux du Van and the pasture wall.
At lower elevation, the Jura is the perfect playground for early spring and summer runs while waiting for snow to melt from higher trails in the Alps.
Taking a break at Le Soliat after the climb to Creux du Van.
Crossing the Saut-de-Brot deep in the Areuse Gorge on the return to Chambrelien.
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