As a family who adores the outdoors, the mountains, rivers, lakes and remote places, learning about the “Right to Roam,” seemed only natural when we moved to Switzerland.
According to Wikipedia, “Freedom to roam, or “everyman’s right,” is the general public’s right to access certain public or privately owned land, lakes and rivers for recreation and exercise.” We am happy to report that of the following countries: Scotland, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Czech Republic, that Switzerland is part of that list. According to the “Swiss Civil Code” the right to roam is guaranteed in Switzerland with some limitations, primarily dictated by individual cantons and are put in place to prevent excess use of the land.
In the States, we did our fair share of hiking, but it was always very clear that some land was “private” and thus was not to be entered, hiked, or set foot upon. According to Wikipedia, “property rights within the United States include the right to exclude others.”
For now, we are most grateful to live in a country that permits its residents and outdoor enthusiasts the “right to roam,” making this life experience all the sweeter. Thank you for allowing so many of us the opportunity to visit remote places, witness unprecedented beauty and realize how much there is to protect in this world. We will tread with gentle feet, respect the landscape with hopes that in years to come, our grandchildren’s children will still enjoy wild, untouched places.
To learn more on the topic, view this video put out by Patagonia titled, “Right to Roam.”
Or listen to the podcast, 99% Invisible episode 313 “Right to Roam.”