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Swiss girl in call for more naked hiking

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Swiss girl in call for more naked hiking
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17:03 CEST+02:00

A young Swiss woman has announced her plan to establish the first official naked hiking trail in Switzerland in the rugged hills of Zürich Oberland, but local authorities say they have not yet received a planning application.

 Evelyn Schwarzenbach, a 17-year-old high school leaver from Kantonsschule Zürcher Oberland professes to have a long-standing interest in naked hikers, having previously chosen the subject as a theme for her final thesis.

If the naked hiking initiator has her way, nudists will be stripping off between Wald and Goldingen to walk around in the buff save for a pair of hiking boots, socks and perhaps some sunscreen.

The route she mapped out for the clothes-free hiking trail cuts across the forests and meadows of Chrinnenberg and Farneralp between Wald and Goldingen.

In an email to the Tages Anzeiger newspaper, Schwarzenbach claimed to understand the perspectives both of the shocked “normal” hiker who crosses the path of a naked hiker and that of the naturist who wants to be free to roam peacefully au naturel without being exposed to funny comments or looks.

“Before the summer holidays, I got in touch with Swiss naked hikers and successfully completed a naked hike with them,” she wrote, describing the location as “a diverse natural setting where young and old can experience the wonders of nature”.

Wald local administrator Marta Friedrich disputed the location of the hiking trail, pointing out that it is Goldingen rather than in Wald.

“Using the insignia of Wald local authority on her communication was misleading,” said Friedrich.

However, she said the ambitious school leaver will not face legal consequences: “For now, it is only an idea.”

The naked hiking idea did little to grab the imagination of Hansjörg Hunziker, local administrator of Goldingen, who does not think the local council will grant planning permission.

“We have many conservative residents in Goldingen. That could lead to quite a furore, “ he said. “Apart from that, the hiking path in question is busy.”

It is not the first time naked hiking has caused outrage in Switzerland.

A growing number of Swiss and some foreigners have been caught wandering around in their birthday suits.

Public nudity is not illegal in Switzerland, having been removed from the federal penal code in 1991, although the political climate for naked hikers has cooled.

The conservative Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerhoden banned naked hiking in 2009 with a show of hands in the town square. Anyone found wandering the Alps there in the nip will be fined up to 200 Swiss francs ($250) as well as incurring the court’s costs, which could amount to a few thousand francs.

Promo video – no naked hikers

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