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.
We love... the Jucker Farm!
Walk 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.
Would you like to use our hiking map?
From Pfäffikon to the Jucker Farm
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 ‘Fire’ while for 2023 the theme is ‘Frauen Power‘ (Women Power). 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 until 29th October, but we suggest you visit during shop opening hours, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. in summer (until September) 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.
Arriving by public transport
Arriving by car
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.
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!
Advertising note: this article contains affiliate links from our partners. Through affiliations, we give you the opportunity to access promotions and offers, often in advance or exclusively, for the purchase of products and services. At the same time, if you choose to buy from one of our partners, you will support our blog and help us to keep it open. Our opinions about the recommended products or our purchase advices are not influenced by the partnerships. If you want to know more about the way we handle advertising on this blog, you can visit this page.