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Rocky Riding

Why you should go there: This relatively unknown gem in close proximity to Switzerland’s pharma capital Basel offers surprisingly good riding and quiet backcountry tours. Explore the city of Basel with its plethora of museums, art galleries, shops and bars and ride cool trails.

The official routes are mostly beginner friendly and allow exploration of the area without ending up on too challenging terrain. If you have some more bike skills the areas ridgelines offer fantastic riding! Most of the rides can be started directly from the city center if you don´t mind a few extra kilometers. The whole region is well connected by paved bike paths.

Who is it for: This is for skilled beginners to good riders who want to discover a fameless riding area off the beaten track and combine it with a city trip.

Who should avoid it:If you are looking for absolute beginner trails the region does not offer much and you should stay on official routes.


The mild climate allows riding most of the year. Only for a few weeks in winter the highest ridges and peaks are covered in snow. Trail surface is mostly a combination of clay and limestone rocks.

The local bike hot-spots “Gempen” and “Blauen” offer natural trail options for most tastes. You’ll also find some purpose built bike trails for all levels. These will allow you to get accustomed to the local riding and catch some air time if you like. Try the “Endless” trail in Sissach or the “Bike Trail Arlesheim” trail at the Gempen for berm and jump filled riding.

Hiking trails are more technical and often require intermediate skills on the bike. In some occasions you will ride along ridges or cliffs which feature nice views and cool riding sections. Naturally these trails have steeper parts and are more exposed. When it’s wet the jurassic limestone and clay becomes very slippery and trails become much harder.


Top Trails & Tours

Local services

Trailnet – local bike association: Check the website for an overview of their official bike trails in the region.

Bike Baselland: Official route network.

Food & Drinks

Basel offers everything from take-away to fine-dining and from local- to international cuisine.

Local favourites include “Chäsbängel” (Fondue Cheese to-go in a Baguette), “Mählsuppe” (Soup made from flour), and “Läckerli” (sweet hard spice biscuit). Of course you will also find the famous swiss classics like Cordon Blue, Raclette and Fondue.

Check out the “Buvettes” at the riverside in summer for an after ride drink and snack!

Top Restaurants


Ochsen: Located in Arlesheim close to the Gempen trails. Great meat  and other dishes from the in-house butcher. $$$


Ephesus: Turkish and oriental food in the vibrant multicultural “Kleinbasel” area. Delicous and reasonably priced with super friendly staff. $$


Union: Hip place with good burgers and beer. $$


Markthalle: Food court with lots of choices. Also with a great variety of beers at the “Bierrevier”. $


Rhyschänzli: Great modern food close to the Novartis campus. $$


There are a lot of hotels in and around Basel:

  • Hotel Ochsen: Nice Hotel with very good meals. Local sponsor of trails and bike events.
  • Bad Schauenburg: Country Hotel remotely situated between Basel and Liestal.
  • Au violon: Cozy hotel in a historic prison building in the very center of Basel.


There are a few campgrounds in the surrounding of Basel:

More than Biking


Basel is packed with museums for all interests. The Kunstmuseum, Museum Tinguely and “Fondation Beyeler” are world famous amongst art aficionados.


During two weeks in autumn Basel hosts a fair at multiple locations in the city. Discover the rides, handicrafts and food.

Swim in the river Rhine

The best to end a hot summer city day. Pack your stuff in the “Wickelfisch” (waterproof bag), hop into the water and let the current float you downstream along the folks chilling at the waterside. Only for good swimmers! Watch out for bridges and ferries! Don’t miss the last disembarkation!


The content of this website is just an opinion of a few individuals. It is not based on scientific research and some facts may have changed since the last visit. Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions for anyhting we have covered on this website.

You might be riding on shared trails! Yield to other trail users and animals! Control your speed, leave no traces and don’t shortcut corners! Thank you!

Last on-site research: 2022

entries with this icon have been recently tested by the author