The Geological Trail

Fascinating journey back through millions of years.

Geologically speaking, the Alpstein is a massif and is well worth investigating at first hand. The starting point for this hike is Hoher Kasten with its panoramic views over the Rhine Valley and Appenzellerland as well as over the surrounding mountains in Switzerland and in the neighbouring countries of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. This first geological hiking trail in Switzerland makes its way from Hoher Kasten along the southern chain of the Alpstein and opens up a fascinating array of geological layers from past millennia to both layman and expert. Twenty modern information boards have been installed along the route, which explain the numerous geological phenomena with the aid of simple pictures and text. A geological timeline helps readers to understand the sequence of events that have taken place over the millions of years of the earth's history. Fossils, weathering patterns, subterranean drainage lakes, faults, creases and folds can all be seen. Particularly impressive is the famous Sax-Schwende fault, where the displacement of the East Massif by a couple of hundred metres is visible.



Hoher Kasten – Staubern – Saxerlücke – Bollenwees – Sämtisersee – Plattenbödeli – Pfannenstiel – Brülisau


Appenzellerland Tourismus AI
Hauptgasse 4, 9050 Appenzell
Phone +41 71 788 96 41 , Fax +41 71 788 96 49



Type of hiking tour

Theme hiking




16.21 km


652 m


1521 m


5 hours 30 minutes

Starting point / End

Hoher Kasten / Brülisau