Family Hike in Valais along a Theme Trail – La Tzoumaz

Family Hike in Valais

Family Hike in Valais along a Theme Trail

Learn and discover along the “Sentier des Sens” Kids Theme trail to discover the five senses 

The Valais offers an incredible amount of walks / hikes for families and many are flat due to the amazing water irrigation system “Les Bisses” which run throughout the Rhone Valley. There are lots of paths that include sections or follow entirely these water channels and most importantly they are super easy hikes most of the time.
The following family hike in Valais is therefore perfect for any hiking ability and certainly belongs on our list of the greatest “Easy Family hikes in Valais”

Sentier des Sens in La Tzoumaz is one we love a lot because of all the interactive stations its provides throughout the hike. You can change this hike according to the family’s hiking abilities, time of the day or season, whether it is planned as a quick afternoon walk or more of a whole day adventure in Valais.
No matter what you decide each possibility remains a great family hike in Valais and perfect for the little mountain hikers that are just starting to train their tiny leg muscles. Best of all this family hike in Valais is accessible with a push-chair, how great is this! The entire loop is 2.7km long.

The Maison de la Forêt in La Tzoumaz

Maison de la Foret - La Tzoumaz

Maison de la Foret – La Tzoumaz

Situated on a small plateau overlooking the Rhone Valley with views leaving you in awe, awaits a little gem. Looking like a house in a children’s fairy book, the “Maison de la Forêt” – the forest house – itself is an attraction and a worthwhile stop even if you choose not to make the family hike.

Cosy corners are furnished with cushions allowing you and the family to rest, whilst dad can read to the family one of the many books available for guests use.
Drawing equipment and paper are available for the kids. Encourage them to draw this amazing view and take it home as a souvenir.
In the two rooms above the restaurant, (oh yes you can have an amazing meal there as well with the freshest local products there is), you can find interactive learning and an exhibition of birds that live in the area with recordings of their songs. A further room on the lower level has an amazing selection of stuffed mountain mammals and an area for practicing shadow puppets. Educational and fun for all ages.
Well we came here for the family hike, so let’s go and start to explore. That is if you can get the kids away from this great place.

What is this Family Hike in Valais about?

View from the maison de la Foret in la Tzoumaz

Theme Trail 5 senses. View from the maison de la Foret in la Tzoumaz

A theme trail all about the 5 senses helping you and your family to discover nature differently by having fun! The whole family can find 5 posts around the Forest House and then 11 further posts on the “Sentier des Sens”. There is a booklet which guides you through the posts and helps you to discover the secrets of nature through games based on the 5 senses.
You will also discover an oversized “green pencil,” another fun activity along the family hike to learn to look at nature with the eye of an artist.
All necessary equipment you need for the family hike is available at the Forest House in French-English-German.
It guides you through the forest, along a water stream, which is called the “Bisse de Saxon” the longest Bisse is Europe. Don’t worry, you will not be doing the whole bisse!
There are 11 posts along the path, with quizzes and games to get to know the forest and all its nature. The family hike is also great if you do not want to do the posts or if your kids are still a bit too young. Having said this, you can always test your knowledge.

Different stations along the theme trail in la Tzoumaz

Different stations along the theme trail in la Tzoumaz

For our kids, the highlight during the walk was the water. Water is like a magnet to them and no matter where we’re at or what we do as soon as there is water involved the level of excitement rises.
Following a stream of water is always a winner.
A great picnic spot awaits you half way down the path, with shelter and a small watermill. A perfect place to stop, let the kids play and maybe even have your lunch break there.

If you have little hikers in your family, this is a good distance to turn around and walk back. When our kids where 3 years old last summer it was the perfect length.

2nd part of the Theme trail in la Tzoumaz

2nd part of the Theme trail in la Tzoumaz

Carry on a little while longer along the bisse before the path changes direction and the bisse is swapped for a small river. At the end of the river the path goes back into the forest on your right and uphill, the only real uphill during the entire family hike. As you can see some of the posts along the uphill path you can easily use them to encourage the kids to walk to the next station. This is not a long section before it goes downhill again and back along the same path as earlier.

TIPS & Good to Know 

If you are not sure whether your kids are able to hike the whole 2.7km roundtrip because of their hiking ability, you could split the family hike in 2 sections.

  1. For example instead of parking at the Forest House, just carry on driving along the road until you come to the picnic place mentioned in the Family Hike description. There is parking available. You can then start with the 2ndpart of the hike and when you get back to the car and the kids are still able to walk a bit more, walk back to the Forest House whilst one of the adults drives back and whilst waiting for the hikers can enjoy the view with a coffee.
  2. As mentioned just do the 1st loop from the Forest House to the picnic area and back.

Beware that the Forest House is such an amazing place and you can easily forget time and spend quite a while there and miss the walk. In other words maybe visit the house after the hike 🙂

Bring replacement clothes for the kids because there are some cool water features along the way. The water is so tempting and one might get a bit more wet than planned. (smile)

The water feature at the picnic place

The water feature at the picnic place :: half point.

Where is this Family Hike – How to get there

The hike starts in the Village La Tzoumaz nestled nicely above the valley floor and is part of the 4 Vallées in Valais.

Arriving in La Tzoumaz, follow the sign posts for “Maison de la Forêt” – Forest House – and you will arrive at a parking place where the starting point for the family hike along the  “Sentier des Sens* in La Tzoumaz is situated.

Hiking Facts:
Sentier des Sens –  La TzoumazKids Theme Trail of the Senses
Location:: La Tzoumaz Valais
Length:: 2.6 km full loop
Level:: easy hike
Highest point:: 1800m
Ascension 102m / Descent 102m (on the 2nd part of the hike)

Good to know:: The path is suitable for pushchairs and those with reduced mobility. Refreshments at the Maison de la Foret. Play area half way along the hike with a water feature.
Free parking is at the beginning of the family hike or for example, if you shorten the hike- at the picnic station at the hall point marker.

You may also like the following easy family hikes in Valais with kids

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Hi, my name is Corina, a mum of twins, a wife and founder of Packed Again – a Family Travel & Adventure Blog. We live in the most amazing mountain valley in Switzerland, the Valais.

Being out there as a family, either locally or whilst travelling is super important for our whole well-being and sanity. It is outdoors where we feel the most connected and happy with each other.

The Blog will give you lots of information on Swiss Adventures and Beyond.

Take your kids and go out there. Do it once and you will not regret it!

Never forget to travel!
Thank you Corina

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