This varied tour starts in Stans, cantonal capital of Nidwalden, and passes through the Rotz Gorge to charming Drachenried.
This tour has a little of everything: history in Stans, glorious scenery in the mountains and by the lake, and a short, steep passage through the Rotz Gorge.
The gorge was carved out during a series of ice ages. The last ice age is said to have created a lake in Drachenried, the outflow of which gradually wore the rock away to create the gorge as the water found its way to Lake Lucerne.
Industrialisation began in this region in 1562 with the construction of the first flour mill. Its ruins can still be seen in the gorge. Meanwhile, 1598 saw paper being manufactured in Central Switzerland for the first time, here at the foot of the Rotz Gorge.
Quarrying for limestone began in 1879. This gave rise to long underground galleries in which cheese used to be stored. They are now used by mushroom growers.
Start at Stans station. Then head for Rotzbergstrasse via Tottikonstrasse – Spichermatte – Länderpark. You are advised to dismount for the short steep section through the Rotz Gorge. Greeting you at the top is the charming countryside around Drachenried. The route then proceeds via St. Jakob back to Stans.
Cyclists are warned not to linger in the Rotz Gorge due to the danger of falling rocks.
Experienced MTB’ers will find the ride from Ennetmoos through the Rotz Gorge no problem. The tour can also be completed by MTB from Stans via Ennetmoos – Rotz Gorge - Rotzloch back to Stans.
October 2017 witnessed the opening of a tunnel in the Rotz Gorge on safety grounds. Look out for a statue of St. Barbara in a niche in the rock at the upper tunnel entrance.