Easy walk to the pumpkin exhibition at Jucker Farm

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Easy walk to the pumpkin exhibition at Jucker Farm

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In the Zurich area, autumn is not just about the charm of the foliage, the forests changing colour and that light mist on the horizon that makes everything more fascinating. In fact, one of the most eagerly awaited and surprising events of the entire season takes place between September and October. The pumpkin exhibition - Kürbisausstellung in German - at Jucker Farm is certainly the event that more than any other marks the beginning of Autumn. Here the pumpkin is certainly the star, together with the small but lively Lake Pfäffikon, an nice place for a short walk before or after visiting the exhibition. Between modernity and tradition, art and good food, here is our visit to Jucker Farm and some useful tips for your excursion here.

Jucker Farm

We love... the Jucker Farm!

Autumn is certainly one of the seasons when the Swiss landscape is at its best. The bright, uniform green of the meadows is replaced by dozens of shades of yellow, orange and red that cover – although only for a few weeks – trees and forests. We love Autumn and we are committed to experiencing it to the full and discovering new opportunities and special events in this season. That’s why today we want to tell you about one of the most popular and eagerly awaited events in the Zurich area: the pumpkin exhibition – Kürbisausstellung in German – at Jucker Farm. The pumpkin is certainly the star here: harvested from the local fields, the different varieties of brightly coloured pumpkins are used to prepare groceries to be sold in the shop and dishes to be served to guests in the restaurant, but also to make small objects of art and, above all, impressive sculptures that are beautifully displayed in the farm’s courtyard. The farm is located in an elevated position on the shores of Lake Pfäffikon – just outside Zurich – and is easily accessible by public transport, combined with a pleasant walk around the lake. In this article, we tell you about our visit to the pumpkin exhibition and give you some useful tips for your itinerary here!

How to get there

Arriving by public transport

Pfäffikon ZH Train Station

arriving-train

The Jucker farm is located in an elevated position on the shores of Lake Pfäffikon and is easily accessible by public transport, followed by a short walk. From Zurich Station, the train S3 will take you to Pfäffikon (ZH) in just under 30 minutes. From here, you can reach the farm on foot by following the path that first runs through the city centre and then reaches the lake and follows its shoreline. The walking route is about 4 km and can be covered in 45 minutes. There are a couple of alternatives to the suggested route: you will find them listed at this link. Train tickets can be purchased through the SBB website or through the SBB App and, as always, we suggest to check in advance the updated timetables and the different travel options.

Arriving by car

Parking Seegräben

arriving-car

The Jucker farm can also be reached by car. However, this option is not recommended. During the Summer and on Autumn weekends, the small car park in Seegräben fills up very quickly and no additional parking options are available in the immediate vicinity. In addition, during the peak visitor season – September and October – access to the area is closed and regulated. If you really cannot do without a car, the municipal car park in Seegräben (for a fee) is located here. From the car park, a path leads directly to the farm without passing through the village of Seegräben. Other parking areas – however small – are available at the Aathal railway station (15-20 minutes’ walk from the farm) or at the Auslikon lido (access via Wetzikon, 20 minutes’ walk).

Hike overview & map

The walk we propose is a circular route that starts at the Pfäffikon train station and, following the path around the lakeshore and past the Jucker farm, reaches the train station again for the return journey. This is an extremely easy walk, because it is almost entirely on level ground, and which we recommend as it not only allows you to visit the Jucker Farm and the pumpkin exhibition, but also to spend a few extra hours in the fresh air, perhaps on a nice autumn weekend. The total route is about 10 km, which can be covered in about two and a half hours (plus the time spent at the exhibition). On the way you can enjoy some panoramic views of the lake and you can visit the pumpkin exhibition free of charge. At the farm you can also buy something for lunch or a snack and take home with you fresh produce from the garden and, of course, as many pumpkins as possible! A public toilet is available along the path around the lake, as well as directly on the farm.

Jucker-farm-pumpkin-elevation-profile

From Pfäffikon to the Jucker Farm

We reach Pfäffikon by train from Zurich. The day is chilly but sunny and the sun makes the autumn colours shine even brighter. From the train station, we quickly reach the small town centre of Pfäffikon – picturesque and well preserved – and follow the coastal path. Lake Pfäffikon lies on the edge of a nature reserve, a habitat for many species of fish, insects and birds. In our opinion, it is one of the most fascinating lake landscapes in the region. For this reason – and also because it allows for relaxing walks without any fatigue – it is extremely popular with hikers and families. The path around the lake starts at the edge of the town centre and follows the shoreline to the north, west and south of the lake and briefly leaves it on the eastern side. A few metres after the start of the trail you will come across the Pfäffikersee Nature Centre, where you can learn more about the flora and fauna of the lake. The centre is open daily from 13:00 to 17:00 and at weekends from 10:00 to 17:00. Admission is free and you can find more information at this link. We pay a short visit and then set off towards the real destination of our excursion: the Jucker Farm. To get there, from the nature centre you will have to follow the coastal path for about 2.5 km and, once there, turn left. From here, the farm is just 10 minutes away.

The Jucker Farm and the pumpkin exhibition

Jucker Farm’s mission statement is to make fruit farming a special experience for all visitors. Although the classic products of the land can be found here together with a lively farming spirit, as soon as you arrive it will be immediately clear to you that this is no ordinary farm, and the pumpkin exhibition is a clear indication of this. The story of this unique exhibition began in 1997 by pure chance, when after a harvest, hundreds of pumpkins were piled up in the courtyard, strictly divided by colour and type. An entirely unintentional exhibition, then, which nevertheless immediately met with such approval that it became a national case. This is how the idea of a real pumpkin exhibition was born at the Jucker Farm, which today can count on hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. In addition to the many types of pumpkins on display – which can be purchased by customers and are still divided by colour and variety – here you have the opportunity to observe the works of German artist Pit Ruge (his Instagram page here), who carves and composes enormous statues out of pumpkins of all shapes, colours and sizes, in keeping with the theme of the exhibition, which is different every year. Last year, for example, the theme was ‘The Rainforest’ while for 2022 the theme is ‘Fire‘. In addition to the exhibition, you can also dine here with excellent locally prepared products. The main ingredient? Take a guess! The exhibition is open daily, but we suggest you visit during shop opening hours, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. in summer and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. in October. Admission is free and you can find more information about the farm and the exhibition at this link.

From the Jucker Farm to Pfäffikon

After a visit to the farm and a lunch based on … pumpkin, of course … we continue on our way back to Pfäffikon. From the Jucker farm, we follow the path that first passes the edge of the small but picturesque town of Seegräben and then continues until we reach the lakeshore again.
From here, we continue for about 500 metres along the path and then turn left to enter the marshy area on the southern shore of the lake. This section of the trail is about 3 km long, but it is completely flat, so it does not require any particular physical effort.
We continue for another 900 metres after the end of the marsh and reach the last point of interest on this hike: the surprising Irgenhausen Fort, an ancient Roman stone fort dating back to the 4th-5th century AD. An unexpected surprise for us in this area! All that remains of the ancient fortification today are the outer walls, but the site – elevated above the lake – is such an excellent viewpoint of the surrounding landscape that it has been turned into a park and viewpoint. We therefore recommend a small diversions to reach it and take a short break there. From here, the Pfäffikon railway station is just over one and a half kilometres away.

Tips

1

If you want to visit the exhibition but not to have lunch on the farm, you can use the grill stations around the lake. But be warned: the area is a nature reserve so you are only allowed to light fires in the designated areas indicated at this link.

2

Weekends in September and October can be quite crowded around here. So if you have the chance, try to visit the exhibition on a weekday. You will be able to discover it at its best and take your time to try the farm’s excellent food!

3

Are you planning an excursion here and have doubts or concerns? Leave us a comment below and we will give you a feedback as soon as possible!

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