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Zug is one of Switzerland's 26 cantons. Located in the central part of the country, Zug is surrounded by the cantons of Lucerne and Aargau on the west, Zürich on the north, and Schwyz on the east and south. The canton lies on a plateau in a hilly area of Switzerland. Lakes cover a considerable part of Zug's surface. The largest lakes within the canton's borders are Lake Zug (Zugersee) and Lake Ägeri (Ägerisee). Predominant mountain ranges in the Zug region are the Höhronen, the Zugerberg, the Rossberg massif, and the district of Menzingen. The highest elevation point is Wildspitz, at an altitude of 1,580 m above sea level. Zug is also the name of the Zug canton's capital city. The capital is located on the shores of Zugersee and comprises the old town with buildings and history dating back to Middle Ages. Apart from historical attractions, there are also nature-related destinations in the canton of Zug. One such example is the Höllgrotten caves, found in the central part of the region.
Zug canton's capital city, also named Zug, is located on the southeastern shores of the Zugersee or Lake Zug. The old town provides its visitors with 800 years of history, with numerous buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. The city's predominant sight is reportedly the Zytturm clock tower, showing not only the time but also the month, the phase of the moon, the day of the week, and whether it is a leap year or not. The tower is 52 meters high and provides panoramic views of the surrounding old town and the lake. Other historical monuments in the city include Huwilerturm, Capuchin tower, Pulverturm or Powder Tower, and also the oldest house of goldsmiths in the world. The historical building in Zug has continuously been used for goldsmith craftsmanship since 1620. Nowadays, the second generation of the Lohri family practices and celebrates the goldsmith tradition in the building. Another historical destination in the city is the Museum Burg Zug, which highlights the local history in several theme rooms. Armour, halberds, short texts, and several interactive stations are part of the local museum.
Concerning outdoor attractions, Zug can offer a variety of hiking trails. One of the popular trails is the Zugerberg Rundweg, a loop trail that stands at 1,039 m above sea level. From the top of the Zugerberg, tourists can enjoy views of Zugersee and the other surrounding mountains. Another considerably popular trail leads to Zug's highest peak, Wildspitz. From the peak of Wildspitz, both of the Zug's largest lakes, Zugersee and Ägerisee, are visible. Apart from hiking routes, Zug has other natural attractions to offer, for instance, the Höllgrotten caves. The Höllgrotten caves, unlike other grottos, were formed on the surface over a relatively short period of about 3,000 years, making them young compared to other caves. The caves comprise a considerable number of stalagmites, stalactites, and other rock formations created by conglomerated water droplets. The caves are open daily, with tours lasting up to 45 minutes.
The canton of Zug is found in central Switzerland, covering an area of 239 square kilometers. Most of the cantons' borders are naturally defined. The northwest border of the canton is formed by the river Reuss. Rivers Sihl and Biber and the Höhronen ridge form the boundaries in the east, the Rossberg mountain in the south, and the Rooterberg mountain and the Reuss in the west. Most of the canton's land is productive. However, the Lake of Zug (Zugersee) and Lake Ägeri (Ägerisee) contribute considerably to the canton's territory. The river Lorze, originating in Ägerisee and entering Zugersee, is the main drainage of the canton. In terms of geographical conditions, the canton is found on a hilly plateau, with the highest elevation being the Wildspitz at an altitude of 1,580 m above sea level. The canton of Zug can be roughly divided into two divisions by the north-south axis of Lake Zug. The western division consists of Ennetsee and Zug, Steinhausen, and Baar plateau, whereas the eastern part is mostly hilly and mountainous.
The canton of Zug provides various natural conditions, enhancing the diversity of plant and animal species. Some of the commonly found tree species in the Zug region include silver fir, European beech, and Sycamore maple. Lower elevated areas may be inhabited by Norway spruce. In local cities, tilia and oak are among the most common species. In terms of flowers, the fragrant orchid, monk's hood, common heather, gentian, germander speedwell, and silver thistle can be found in the region. Concerning animal species, one might encounter chamois, western roe deer, European fallow deer, ibex, wild boar, and common hedgehog in the nature of Zug. Water areas are home to European perch, brown trout, and chub.
Regarding the average temperatures in Zug, the capital of the canton, the warmest month is July, with an average daily temperature of 25°C. Reportedly, January is the coldest month, with 4°C being the average temperature. February tends to be the driest month in Zug due to having 60 mm of rainfall on average. The most precipitation falls during June, receiving about 130 mm on average.
The area of Zug canton has been inhabited since ancient times, with settlements in the region dating back to 14,000 BC. Beyond that, traces of Paleolithic and Mesolithic settlements were also found in Zug. Approximately 50 villages were scattered across the area during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, made up of stilt houses. Cultures such as Cortaillod, Pfyn, Horgen, Bell Beaker, and Corder Ware have been discovered throughout the region. Later, Romans conquered the area of Zug canton. Reportedly, ten villa rusticas (Roman farmhouses) were located within Zug's borders. In 536 CE, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the region of Zug was incorporated into the Frankish Empire. The population gradually grew, with numerous parish churches being established in the local area. The city of Zug was established during the 13th century at the shores of Zugersee (Lake Zug).
One of the locally significant historical battles took place near the shore of the lake of Ägeri. The Swiss won the Battle of Morgarten against the Habsburgs in 1315. Nowadays, in the hamlet of Morgarten can be seen a Morgarten Battle Monument. In 1798, inhabitants of Zug opposed the French invasion. The canton then formed part of the Tellgau, and later, within the Helvetic Republic, Zug became a district of the canton of the Waldstätten. Other cantons, Schwyz, Lucerne, Unterwalden, and Uri, were also part of the Helvetic Waldstätten canton. Zug was part of the Helvetic Republic until 1803, when it became a separate canton again. Being one of the six catholic cantons, Zug participated in Sonderbund War in 1847. Zug's present cantonal constitution dates from 1894.
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