Donau Oberösterreich

Simply amazing – 13 hikes along the Donausteig

© WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH | Steininger

Simply amazing – 13 hikes along the Donausteig

Hiking Collection by Donau Oberösterreich

Hardly any other region is as varied as the Danube region in Upper Austria. Numerous landscapes that could not be more different accompany you on your hikes on the Donausteig from Passau to Linz to Grein. You walk along the majestic river, climb up to scenic high plateaus and dive into enchanted forests and valleys. On the way you will enjoy breathtaking views and insights into a beautiful country. The Donausteig is a total of 450 kilometers long – in this collection we present you with 13 varied stages, which are also perfect for day trips. Along the banks of the river you walk from Obernzell to Grein through magical natural and cultural landscapes.

From the main route of the Donausteige branch numerous routes branch off into the hinterland and allow you an even more intense experience of the Danube region in Upper Austria. Many of the stages can be super connected – so you can customize your individual hiking trip –from day trip to multi-day adventure. The abbreviations at the beginning of the tour titles tell you whether the route belongs to the Donausteig North (N) or South (S), or whether it is a common leg (G). The hikes always end in villages where you can find restaurants and accommodation or have access to train, bus or boat.

In addition to the fairy-tale landscape, you will always find info boards on the way, which provide you with typical Donausagen. Because the river and its inhabitants have so many stories to tell – from the moving culture to the mythical creatures that may still be wandering in whispering forests and rushing waves. The sagas are told along the trail by fairytale specialist Helmut Wittmann and the illustrations are by Jakob Kirchmayr.

Immerse yourself in the legendary region along the Danube in Upper Austria with our collection and let yourself be captivated by the landscape, its beauty and the stories. At the latest during your hikes through the mystical gorges and narrow valleys, the existence of the mythical creatures does not even seem so outlandish ...

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Difficult
    07:22
    14.6 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this stage you will follow the wooded breakthrough valley of the upper Danube - partly along the banks of the mighty river, partly along the picturesque plateau above. The 23-kilometer hike starts in Obernzell, a pretty place that the Passau bishops used to visit in summer.You follow the Danube downstream. At Kohlbachmühle, the ascent then begins through the Donauleiten under protection to the high plateau of the Bavarian Forest above. At the top, a wavy landscape dominates the picture: lush meadows, fertile fields, traditional farming hamlets, small forest areas - pure idyll!On the high plateau you continue hiking, before the Öttl-Steig leads you steeply down to the shore - and the women's trail then straight back up. On the former Schmugglerweg you hike through the beautiful mixed forest of the Donauleiten up to the high plateau of the Mühlviertler highlands. Not far to the legendary Penzenstein. From the rock pulpit you have a wonderful view of the Danube valley and Engelhartszell. Here you have more than earned a promising break.The last part of the way you run on the towpath to Niederranna, your stage destination.

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    Difficult
    05:58
    12.5 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's Donausteig stage takes you up in the first half, then in the second half you wander along the picturesque riverbank. Start of the 20-kilometer tour is in Niederranna.Along the Danube, you hike to the valley flank and follow it shortly downstream. Then a forest trail leads you through the steep mixed forest of the Donauleiten up to the idyllic high plateau of the Mühlviertler highlands. Have you mastered the crisp climb, the challenging part of the hike is already behind you.The way goes relaxed up and down over the highlands and offers you again and again beautiful views of the Danube valley. At Gasthof Pühringer, you then hike down the Donauleiten to the mystical Marsbach Castle, once a dreaded robber-knight's nest.Back on the high plateau we continue through meadows and fields in the settlement village. Here begins the route over the long ridge, which is surrounded by the Schlögener Danube Bluff. In a large "S", the river flows leisurely through the picturesque landscape. From the legendary castle ruins Haichenbach you can enjoy the view optimally - especially from the platform on the keep. Right and left you open magnificent views of the Danube River and you are right in the middle.Now it goes downhill to the Danube, along the shore you run along. First on a paved road, then - in the second bend of the Schlögener Schlinge - on the wild and romantic hiking trail "Donauschlinge". Surefootedness and no fear of heights are required for this section. Soon you have reached the stage destination Obermühl.

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  • Difficult
    05:03
    9.65 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,225 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your today's Donausteig stage starts in the tranquil village of Obermühl in the wooded breakthrough valley of the upper Danube. From the village you walk on a beautiful footpath through the rustic hillside forest of the steep Donauleiten uphill. The crisp climb is rewarded: arrived on the high plateau of the Mühlviertler highlands, you will soon reach the lookout tower on the castle stables. You stand on the highest elevation, which towers directly out of the Danube River and enjoys a magnificent view over the Mühlviertel, the Danube Valley, the Sauwald and the Alps.The path continues through the rolling landscape of the plateau. At Winzberg you then hike through the steep mixed forest of the Donauleiten down to Untermühl. How about a little break at the idyllic Danube Bay? It follows a short but steep ascent through jungle-like terrain to the castle Neuhaus. The impressive building presents itself magnificently to you - even if it is privately owned and therefore can not be visited from the inside.The path then leads you back to the famous Mühlviertler plateau. From the Donausteig rest area you can once again fully enjoy the beautiful landscape before you reach the stage destination St. Martin.

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    Intermediate
    03:39
    7.96 mi
    2.2 mph
    625 ft
    1,525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's tour takes you through mystical forests with wild rock formations. Start of the well twelve kilometers long Donausteig stage is in the center of St. Martin. The path meanders along the high plateau and offers you beautiful views and pure hiking pleasure right at the entrance.Soon you will descend into the Aubach Valley and on to the wonderful Pesenbachtal - one of the top ten nature highlights of the Donausteig. You follow the bends of the stream on cozy forest and meadow paths through the valley downstream. Keep your eyes open for the bizarre needle of the Kerzensteins, the landmark of the Pesenbachtal.Once at the bottom of the valley, it continues along the wildly romantic stream. The valley narrows to the gorge-like gorge. You wander partly on a wonderful hiking trail, partly on wooden climbing tracks. On the way you pass narrow places with names like "Teufelsbottiche", "Steinernes Dachl" and the "Blaue Gasse".Then the valley widens again and the Pesenbach calms down. You walk a bit uphill and on to the traditional Gasthof Schlagerwirt. Here you can fortify yourself and take a break.With renewed energy you tackle the last kilometers of the hike. The path leads you through beautiful mixed forests down to the Danube. In an arc over the Danube bridge you finally reach the picturesque Aschach, your destination today.

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    Difficult
    05:22
    11.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point for this 18 km long Donausteig stage is Ottensheim. The historic market on the eastern edge of the fertile Eferding Basin looks back on a long tradition as a trading hub. From the jetty of the Rollfähre you walk a bit along the path along the Danube - what a relaxed introduction to a hiking day.At the Danube bend you leave the river and start climbing up the Dürnberg. The path leads you past lush meadows, wide fields, beautiful orchards and secluded farms.The track gets steeper and your field of vision expands until the whole Eferding Basin lies at your feet - just beautiful! Step by step you continue to gain height and after nine kilometers you have reached Koglerau. From the summit cross you have a beautiful panoramic view and you can be proud of about 500 meters difference in altitude. For this you have earned yourself an extensive break.Now begins the descent into the urban Linzer basin. After the forest, you will have a first look into the new landscape. After a long descent and ascent you will reach the Pöstlingberg. The historical place with its pilgrimage church is the landmark of Linz and offers a unique view over the city and up to the Alps. If you had enough exercise for today, you can also take the Pöstlingbergbahn down to Linz from here. The narrow-gauge railway leaves every half hour.The last part is relaxed downhill to the old town of Linz. Here you will find a wide selection of cafes and restaurants.

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    Difficult
    05:18
    10.9 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,650 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point for this good 17 km long Donausteig stage is Kasten. The historic town lies embedded in the breakthrough valley of the upper Danube on the Austrian side. The hike starts on an idyllic footpath up to the Donausteig stop "Red Cross", just above Kasten. Here you have a wonderful view downstream to the Jochenstein power plant.Then begins the steep forest of the Donauleiten, through which the old way to school brings you up to Vichtenstein. In the center of the village, high above the Danube, you can enjoy a magnificent view over the Danube valley from a viewing platform far into the Bavarian Forest and the Bohemian Forest. The castle in the city makes the photo motive perfect.You leave Vichtenstein and dive into the Sauwald. After a short stretch of road, the most rustic part of the tour follows: wonderful mixed forest, old stone walls and overgrown forest pastures. Continue on gentle meadows uphill. You continue to gain height and finally reach the mystical Haugstein. At just under 900 meters, it is the highest peak of the entire Donausteige.From now on, you are only going downhill. Lush meadows, wide fields and old farmhouses bear witness to the agricultural character of the region. Soon after, the path leads you back into the steep woods of the Donauleiten. About forest roads you come quickly down into the secluded Leitenbachtal and soon you have reached the stage goal Engelhartszell.

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    Difficult
    06:48
    14.6 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This good 23-kilometer hike on the Donausteig starts in Engelhartszell. The historic town is nestled in the breakthrough valley of the upper Danube, not far from the border with Bavaria. From the village center you follow the mighty Danube River on the towpath about four kilometers downriver. If you start early enough, it is still worth a short detour to the Trappist Engelszell and its wonderful Rococo church.In Oberranna you make a short turn up into the mixed forests of the steep Donauleiten. The beautiful view back to the Danube valley rewards you for the climb. The path continues up through the secluded Kleine Kösslbachtal - one of the top ten nature highlights of the Donausteig.It goes uphill until you reach the Donausteig rest area "4/4-Blick" after about 11 kilometers. Here you have earned a break to enjoy the unique all-round view in all four quarters of Upper Austria.After a few kilometers you come to the tranquil village of Waldkirchen. Here we recommend a short detour to the worth seeing parish church. The Donausteig now makes a deep loop down into the wooded Donauleiten, where you open beautiful views of the neighboring Danube bows.Once back on the high plateau, you hike across side streets to the Paschinger hill with its Donausteig rest area. From here you can discover a total of 20 church towers - a great search game for the break. At the end of the stage we descend into the valley to the magnificent natural wonder of the Schlögener Donauschlinge.

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    Difficult
    06:05
    13.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The famous natural wonder Schlögener Schlinge is the starting point of this 21 km long stage. The Danube Bluff lies deep in the long breakthrough stretch of the upper Danube valley and changes its direction of flow twice over a few kilometers by almost 180 degrees.From Schlögen an der Donau you hike through the steep slope forest of the Donauleiten up to the Schlögener view. From the observation cockpit, you can best enjoy the unique panorama of the Danube River.Through the hillside forest you continue uphill, shortly thereafter you reach the high plateau of the Sauwald. The route continues in a leisurely up and down to Haibach, down into the wooded Donauleiten and then back up to the high plateau. Then begins a long, enjoyable mountain hike with many hidden panoramic views to the Alps.Initially on wonderful meadow paths, then on asphalted side roads you reach at the settlement village the last hill - a veritable balcony. Here lies the whole Eferding basin at your feet, on the horizon rise the Alps. Look forward to the panoramic descent into the Eferdinger Becken up to your stage destination Aschach an der Donau.

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    Intermediate
    03:45
    8.22 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage along the Donausteig starts in Wilhering. The former Donauengstelle has always been an important connection to today's Mühlviertel and lies on the eastern edge of the fertile Eferding basin. On the Treppelweg you start through atmospheric riverine forests along the Danube River to the magnificent Wilhering Abbey. The collegiate church is one of the most beautiful Rococo churches in the German-speaking world.Shortly thereafter begins the wooded Engtal the Linzer gate. The narrow Prinzensteig leads you halfway up the steep valley banks in easy up and down through the Kürnberger forest. You wander through wonderful mixed forests and enjoy hidden views of the Danube. Surefootedness and a certain lack of head for heights are required for this beautiful stretch of road.Passing the historical "Roman Tower", after a short ascent you will reach the urban area. You walk past the pilgrimage chapel Maria Thal, which stands on a rocky outcrop above the Danube. A little further uphill is the Franz-Josefs-Warte on the summit of the Freinberg. From the observation deck, you have a fantastic view of the idyllic Danube valley of the Linz Gate and over much of the Linzer Becken.Now it is not far to your current destination Linz. Be sure to check out the majestic Linzer Schloss before you look for a nice restaurant in the old town for the end of the hiking day.

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    Difficult
    06:20
    14.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The start of today's stage is in Mitterkirchen, in the heart of the vast Danube plain of Machland. From here you wander through the expansive fields of the fertile Machland plain. In the celtic village of Mitterkirchen you get an insight into the world of the Celts right at the beginning of the hike - a visit to the museum is well worth it. A little further on you will reach the collegiate church Baumgartenberg.In Baumgartenberg begins the attractive path loop through the Mühlviertler hill country to the castle Clam. At first you look far over the Machland, later small fields, rustic forests and old Marterln (pillars of wood or stone with crucifixes or holy images) characterize the hilly landscape. Soon you will be standing in front of the imposing castle Clam. Since 1454 the stately building is inhabited by the family Clam.Continue downhill through the wild and romantic Klamschlucht gorge. Mystic rock formations and the lapping of the water accompany you on the shady forest road to Saxen.Now it's uphill again: The path scores with its magnificent views and wonderful
    Landschaftsimpressionen. Once you have arrived at the Gobelwarte, you stand on one of the seven Donausteig peaks. From here you can look over the wide plain of Machland and the narrow Kerbstal. You stand on the edge between Machland and Strudengau.
    The path takes you quickly down to the historic town of Grein, the gateway to Strudengau. You have reached your destination today and can choose a place to dine.

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    Difficult
    05:25
    10.9 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,000 ft
    1,925 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Grein, the gateway to Strudengau, is the starting point for this wonderful Donausteig stage. The historic city was once the last safe landing possibility before the dangerous water vortex of Strudengau. You wander out of the village and take a short detour to Calvary.Soon you dive into the typical forest landscape of the steep Kerbtales. On forest roads you hike uphill to the view of castle Werfenstein and back down to the Danube to Gießenbachmühle. But you leave the shore right away and climb uphill again through the wild and romantic Stillenstein Gorge. The quiet creek soon turns into splashing water cascades and suddenly disappears at the Steinernen Stube for about 300 meters underground. There you leave the gorge on the steep Jägersteig.Continue on high above the Danube. About forest trails you walk into a settlement above Struden. Incidentally, Struden once had the mightiest whirlpools of the entire Danube river. You walk uphill and reach the town of St. Nikola on the old Donaustraße, named after the patron saint of the sailors.Look forward to the last leg of the journey: Through atmospheric mixed forests you will hike along the Danube valley past individual meadows to the Moststation Kleinleitner. Here you have a magnificent view far beyond the end of the wild Strudengaus to Ötscher. After a wonderful descent, you will come out in the historic Donaustadt Sarmingstein, the end of the Strudengau.

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    Intermediate
    02:59
    6.06 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,325 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The historic Donaustadt Sarmingstein is the starting point for this delightful stage. You leave the village and hike on a wonderful hiking trail uphill through the wonderful sloping forests of the steep Danube valleys. You finally reach the rock pulpit of the Predigtstuhl high above the Danube, the easternmost of the seven Donausteig peaks. The imposing view of the valley reaches back to the beginning of the Strudengau in Grein and up to the Clam Castle.The path leads you now away from the river and deep into the Aist-Naarn-Kuppenland. On the meadow at the saddle behind the Predigstuhl you have a beautiful view of the mountain massif of the Ötscher.Through the dense Gloxwald it then goes down into the Sarmingbachtal. A short time later you follow the gentle meanders of the idyllic Sarmingbach. At the Dobmühle you leave the valley again and follow the path uphill. At Hofbauer farmstead, the Waldhausen Basin opens in front of you. The magnificent collegiate church of Waldhausen forms the center of the landscape.After a short descent, you'll stand in the pretty village of Waldhausen, your current destination.

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    Difficult
    07:32
    16.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,875 ft
    2,625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today's stage is 26 kilometers long, but you will enjoy every kilometer through the beautiful landscape. Starting point of the tour is Waldhausen. You leave the village and wander gently up and down through the beautiful hilly landscape.At Langenbach then begins the climb to the edge of the Waldhausener basin. From the top you have a fantastic view of the picturesque landscape. On the other side of the hilltop you can enjoy wide views towards the Danube valley, from the Ötscher to the Traunstein.Over the promising high ridge, it goes down to the Aumühle in Gießenbachtal. You follow the turns of the Gießenbach and quickly gain altitude. At the Wetzelstein you stand on one of the seven Donausteig peaks and let your gaze wander over the Aist-Naarn-Kuppenland up to the Alps.Now it goes downhill to Bad Kreuzen through the wild and romantic Kasmüllerbachtal. In the village worth a short detour to Burg Kreuzen, once the second largest fortress in Upper Austria. The magnificent view from the keep of the castle is one of the most beautiful of the Donausteige.Beautiful hiking trails lead you down through the wild and romantic Wolfsschlucht gorge. Look forward to a wonderful mixed forest and a wild stream, set in scene by a wonderful light mood. Not far, then you have reached your destination Grein today and can relax on the banks of the Danube.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    13
  • Distance
    150 mi
  • Duration
    71:37 h
  • Elevation
    21,275 ft
Donau Oberösterreich

Simply amazing – 13 hikes along the Donausteig