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Magglingen and the Twannbachschlucht

Macolin is an old acquaintance to me because of the Federal Highschool of Sport. I had trained there a few times when I was much younger. So, I know that the view from there, especially the terrace of the main building, is beautiful. It must be said that you are high enough above the plateau and that you are practically in front of the mythical peaks of the Bernese Alps.

Macolin is easily reached from Biel, as a funicular leads not far from the former administrative buildings of the school. Due to the view and because it is easily accessible, this place is an ideal starting point for hikes. You can, for example, go up to the Hohmatt and crossing the Prés de Macolin reach the Montagne de Diesse. That’s what I did in January.

Here, however, we have followed the trail that starts from the old administrative buildings and runs along the hillside to reach Twannberg. Here and there, you can enjoy beautiful views of the plateau. However, the fact that you walk through the forest most of the time, limits the somewhat the view. So, it’s worthwhile, as in our case, to start this hike in the spring before the trees have broken up.

On arrival in Twannberg, you pass a futuristic holiday center. It was built in the 1980s to accommodate disabled people on holiday. It is now possible to rent part of the center.

A little further down, you go down a beautifully paved road. Although you can see ruts on the stones, it doesn’t seem that the pavement goes very far back.

More down, you pass an old mill that now includes a glass factory where you can learn how to use melted glass.

After crossing the Twannbach, you first follow a section of forest road (officially known as the Lamboing Road) and, at a fork, follow a trail approaching the river. This is the best way to follow the river, as facilities allow you to navigate the gorge safely. At the exit of the gorges, there is a small shed where you will be asked to pay a small amount for the passing (and the maintenance) of the path to the gorges.

After a steep descent and crossing the old village of Douanne, it is not long before reaching the station.

Route: Macolin (funicular station) – Les Prés de Macolin – Twannberg – Les Moulins – Twannbachschlucht (toll) – Douanne
Distance: 9.9Km
Altitude gain: 140m positive/ 580m negative
Duration: 2h45

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