Ebenalp, An Alpine wonderland
Of all of the places I've had the privilege of exploring in Switzerland ebenalp is by far my favorite! Its full of beautiful hiking trails, scenic restaurants, and lots of cows! Ebenalp is located in eastern Switzerland relatively close to Liechtenstein. Hiking ebenalp starts at the cable car at the base of the mountain in Wasserauen. The hiking ticket costs 20CHF and is a short but scenic ride up the mountain. On the particular day that I was there the clouds flowed beautifully over the tops of the mountains.
From the top of the cable car the hike to the famous restaurant is a little over half a kilometer, but along the way you will pass through the hermit cave and by a small church build right into the side of the mountain. After a few more minutes of hiking you will arrive at the famous restaurant, the Gasthaus Aescher, I can't speak for the food because I didn't eat there. but the views are definitely worth the stop. It wasn't crowded when I was there but during the high season it can be packed.
After stoping at the Gasthaus Aescher the path continues past the restaurant with many smaller trails breaking off. Stick to the main trail and eventual there will be a sign that says "seealpsee 45 min" to the left and another sign indicating that the trail on the right back up the mountain. In addition to the trail signs there is a sign indicating that the trail to the seealpsee is dangerous and your children should be secured with ropes. Though this sign may be worrisome at first the it isn't as bad as you may imagine. The trail is a mixture level paths on the side of the mountain (see right) and steep rocky steps through wooded areas.
After descending from the Gasthaus Aescher, the trail meet a service road that goes up to the seealpsee. Take this road and after about 10 minutes you will arrive at the famous lake. Luckily I was there on a slow day but it can get quite crowded! There are two restaurants on the north side of the lake. I ate at the Berggasthaus Seealpsee and it was delicious! Right next door at the Berggasthaus Forelle there are 2 row boats that can be rented for around 5 CHF for 30 minutes.
On days where the water is calm, the mountains are reflected beautifully in the water making the seealpsee an excellent place for photography. Be sure to walk the trail along the lake for more amazing views and a charming little pasture and small family owned milkshake shop! To return to Wasserauen you can either take the trail or walk back via a shorter but steep service road!