<<"The Swiss Path trail looks pretty sweet - if we decided to go for it, it looks like the starting point is Rutli which we get to by boat from Brunnen. Please confirm.">>
That is the official starting point for the Swiss Path. The boat can come from Brunnen, or from further south. You can also pick up various segments of the trail at locations here and there along it. Average hikers find that the entire trail is a bit much for one day, because of the ups and downs. The descent at Sisikon was work for us, when we hiked from Morschach to Sisikon. I think that I would not like to go up it. But, if your group is full of eager hikers who are in good shape, it could be a different story. And, on that stretch, there are surprisingly few views of the lake itself.
This timetable will show you the options -
Please get the correct season. Scroll down the page.
As you can tell from the details of my post about the Swiss Path given in the link in my earlier post above, I prefer a variant to the steep climb up the hill/cliff side from Rütli to Seelisberg. I prefer to take an easier path to Volligen and down the road to Treib, then take the funicular up from Treib to Seelisberg , walk up the hill/road/path to the ex-Hotel Sonnenberg (now Ayurvedid retreat), and pick up the Swiss Path at that point. A bus to the hotel and beyond (to Beckenried) meets some of the funiculars and can save you that modest walk if you wish. Personally, I like to go out to the left on the short stretch of signposted path near the edge of the cliff as I walk up from Seelisberg, and rejoin the road, near the hotel as I recall.
Or, you can tale a boat to Treib, and go via funicular right up to Seelisberg.
From Seelisberg you can follow the road until you reach the descent to Bauen. Or, you can detour over to the viewpoint at Marienhöhe for some nice views, assuming the air is clear enough.
If you stop at the Tourist Information office by track #1 in Luzern Main Station, you will find them very helpful on details of the trail. If you actually want a high quality paper topographic map to carry, they will direct you down the street a block or so to a bookstore called Orell Füssli, assuming it has not died like so many bookstores. There you can get many kinds of maps.
The tourist office can help with weather details.
Weather in Switzerland is highly localized, in no small part because the mountains intervene. So, it may be rainy in Luzern and clear in Flüelen. Also, cloud decks are not uncommon around the lake. I have gone up to the Rigi and emerged from clouds to look out on the mountaintops.
Check the weather TV on SF1 in the early AM - roughly 6 AM to 8AM. There is section mixed in amongst all the webcams where they show a map of Switzerland with weather symbols over the various quarters of Switzerland. Look at it very very carefully They give forecasts for today (maybe 0900) ,after noon (maybe 1500) , and tomorrow ("Morgen") . It is often accurate. ;-)
The forecasts tend to show the worst. If it will rain for a few hours during the day, even a light rain, the forecast has to say "rain." In the majority of my times in Central Switzerland, where I have seen rain in the forecast (unless it looks really heavy with dark clouds and lightning) , I have gone ahead with my plans for a walk and found sunshine mixed with clouds. Of course, April is a good month for wet weather. ;-(
The tourist office will help you with wet weather activities. Consider the Bourbaki Panorama near the Lion. My friends and relatives of all ages find it fascinating.
The tourist office probably will have a detailed idea of the weather nuances, too.
Weather permitting, a trip to Bern is easy, and a walk down through the old town to the Nydeggbrücke and bear pits, then up the short steep hill to the Rose Garden will be enjoyable even in grey weather. Should have some flowers by now, I'd guess.
Check the timetable for these -
If the weather is really extreme, but shows as good in other regions, take a train. It's a long haul, but the Rhone Valley is often dry when the rest of the country is wet. The train ride from Luzern to Interlaken is scenic, and then from Interlaken via Spiez ( and via Kandersteg - important) on the old route over the Lötschberg Pass is terrific, but may be too long. Don't take the faster boring new "basis" tunnel that emerges at Visp. Or, if in a rush, take it one way only.
From Luzern, it is direct and straightforward trip to the warmer Ticino. The weather patterns are very different there. The junction with the major north/south routes at Arth Goldau is the change point on alternating trains. No change on the others. I'd go to Locarno, look around, have lunch by the lake, see the Madona del Sasso, and come back.
Might have to change at Bellinzona - some trains go to Lugano. I prefer Locarno for a short visit.
Riding over the Gotthard pass in a train is worth doing at least twice...once in each direction.