Lake Sarnen occupies 7.5 square kilometers in the beautiful landscape between Sarnen (a major town in the region of Obwald) and the ascent to the Brünig Pass.
At the end of the last Ice Age, Lake Sarnen was contiguous with Lake Lucerne, in the valley, which had been sculpted by glaciers. In the meantime, alluvial deposits enabled fan deltas to grow, leading to the creation of the independent Lake Sarnen.
The three Obwald communities of Sarnen, Sachseln and Giswil are situated on the shores of the lake.
Whereas the southeastern shore has the narrow-gauge railway line of the Central Railway, the Main Road, and – almost exclusively inside the mountain – the National Road, the northwestern shore of the lake is only accessible via a small road.
In the primeval scree and forest landscape of the Steini stream (which lies between Sarnen and Giswil and has its source at Glaubenberg mountain), this road leads through the streambed in an adventurous fashion.
A cruise ship sails the waters of Lake Sarnen between April and October: the small boat, named Seestern (“Star of the Lake”), undertakes up to five round-trips every day. If you want to be your own captain, you can rent a pedalo, rowing or motorboat.
The well-developed path on the shores of the lake – a path that stretches from Sarnen via Sachseln to Giswil - is a popular destination for walking. If you hike on the other side of the lake back to Sarnen, you will take about 5 hours for the circular hike. The Central Railway and the cruise ship enable you to travel shorter routes. The access to the shore of the lake offers bathing spots in many places. There are beautiful campsites directly next to the lakeshore in Sarnen, Giswil and Sachseln. A large sunbathing lawn and sundeck to relax on form part of the attractive Seefeld bathing area directly by the Samersee lake. Diverse pools also add to refreshing fun and relaxation.