Periodically, we discuss hiking near Luzern.
There are nice trails of varying difficulty all through out the region.
Here is one example; you can also walk down from Stockhütte to Emmeten for a bus.
The Swiss Path (der Weg der Schweiz) is a particularly interesting one, and it goes around the southern arm of Lake Lucerne ( in German, der Urnersee, named after Kanton Uri.) This is the region where the nucleus of the Swiss Federation was created in the 11th century from the original cantons of Schwyz,Uri, and Unterwalden, at an historic meeting at Rütli Meadow. Unterwalden has since split into Obwalden and Nidwalden, hence, Lake Lucerne in Geman is the Lake of the Four Forest Cantons, der Vierwaldstättersee.)
The Swiss Path offers a varied and scenic trail, with significant altitude changes. It has a segment named for each canton, starting at the Rütli Meadow, named in order of joining the Federation, and with each segment's length proportional to the surface area of the named canton.
Although I am aware of people who have completed the whole route from Rütli Meadow to Brunnen in less than a day, they are in much better condition than I am. I do sections, picking the easy ones.
This link does a portion going in the opposite direction:
I also have worked out a routing at the beginning which deviates from the Swiss Path a bit, but is quite scenic and adds in a nice funicular ride from Treib up to Seelisberg. Details below.
A panoramic map is linked above and a copy attached. Boat routes are shown.
For topography, SwissTopo is highly detailed.
map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&X=198880.00&Y=68 9220.00&zoom=5
For transport network and general purposes, Mapsearch.ch has some unique features.
Turn on Traffic in the Points of Interest Menu, and all the train/bus. etc. stops can be made visible ( toggle on and off).
Zoom in on the icon for one of the stops, one and click on it, and an abbreviated schedule of public transport in the near future appears.
Our Favorite Variation
The Swiss Path trail starts at Rütli Meadow. It immediately climbs 300 or 400 meters up the steep mountainside to a point near Seelisberg. (see last attached image...."Waiting...."
It then continues south to a point above Bauen ( which is easiest along the road, which I recall is the official Swiss Path route), but alternately permits access to great lake views at Marienhöhe if you take side paths through the woods.. (There is a great picture of that view here, on the opening page.
www.myswissalps.com/ hiking/bauen-seelisberg )
As you near a point above Bauen, the Path makes a 3oo meter (+/-) descent on a smooth, well maintained trail with a lot of steps) down to Bauen. From Bauen, the Path continues along the edge of the lake to Flüelen and onward. We usually take a lake boat to Brunnen or to Flüelen, (taking care not to miss the last boat) and take a train back to Luzern.
Our variation avoids that first steep climb and has some nice views along the way. It is to take a northbound route on good quality woods roads and farm roads northward from Rütli, only partway up the hill, then round the end of the small peninsula and pick up a paved road not too far from Volligen. Not without climbing, but a lot easier than straight up the hillside on switchbacks.A short walk to Volligen offers a nice place for lunch ( closed Mondays and Tuesdays, as i recall) and then downward to Treib at the boat landing. There we catch the funicular up the hill to Seelisberg, walk the gradual ascent up the road to the point where the Swiss Path joins it. That is near the promenade of the Hotel Sonnenberg with great lake views.)
Another option is to skip Rütli, and take the lake boat to Treib, then ride the funicular up to Seelisberg and continue. This option minimizes climbing.
Maps are attached.
Also, a few pictures from along the route, taken over the years.
The very last one, Waiting at Brunnen, shows Rütli Meadow near the lake and Seelisberg just barely visible on the mountainside. That image shows why we don't climb straight up from Rütli to Seelisberg.