When coloured leaves cover the ground and fresh dew moistens the grass, it's time to put on your waterproof hiking boots. Just over an hour's drive from Vienna, the Schneeberg offers magnificent views, rustic huts and blooming alpine meadows. From easy hiking trails to fixed rope routes, here you will find routes for every level. After all, what could be better than spending a whole weekend in nature?
We have put together three multi-day hikes for you to guide you through the region around the highest peak of Lower Austria. At the end of each stage, you can spend the night in a cosy alpine hut. Some, like the Edelweisshütte, are rustic whilst others are architecturally sophisticated and modern, such as the Naturfreundehaus Knofeleben.
The popular hiking area in the Rax-Schneeberg Group was already an important meeting place for nobility and the upper middle classes in the 19th century. At that time, elite guests such as Emperor Franz Joseph or Arthur Schnitzler came to this region for summer retreats. Since then, the railway has connected beautiful places such as Puchberg or Payerbach with the capital Vienna. On our multi-day adventure, you can make the most of your summer in the foothills of the Alps.
On the "2-day Hohe Wand Nature Park route" we take you from Grünbach up to mountain huts and along the karstic rocks of the Hohe Wand to Winzendorf. On the last stretch, you will climb the Hanselsteig or the Zischkasteig, an easier alternative. On the circular hike "2-day summit route around Puchberg" you go from the village of Puchberg through forests and alpine pastures up to mountain ridges where you can enjoy magnificent views. With its 2,072 meter (6797 feet) summit, the “3-day hike over the panoramic Schneeberg”, will show you real mountain air. For this route, you will need to be sure-footed and in good physical condition. Your final destination of this incredible hike is Payerbach village.
If you can’t get enough of the Lower Austrian Alps, you are welcome to combine our tours with each other. Both the "2-day summit route around Puchberg" and the "3-day route over the panoramic Schneeberg" either start or end at the train station in Puchberg. The third hike also starts in Grünbach which is only a few minutes away by train. With these hikes as building blocks, you can put together exactly the right package for you. There are no limits to your wanderlust.
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The Hohe Wand Nature Park is characterized by a varied landscape, which is crossed by high walls. This two-day tour takes you through shady forest to great vantage points, so it is also suitable for warm summer days.
On the first stage you will hike from Grünbach am Schneeberg over the Scheimhütte to the Hohe Kanzel. After spending the night in the traditional Hubertushaus, on the second day you continue on to the two absolute highlights in the Hohe Wand Nature Park: the Skywalk and the Felsenpfad. Over the secured Hanselsteig or alternatively over the simpler Hisskasteig you reach back into the valley. From there train station in Winzendorf you can take the train back to Vienna. Information on the timetables of trains can be found at: oebb.at and schneebergbahn.at/anreise-sbbIn about 70 minutes you drive from Vienna via Wiener Neustadt to Grünbach am Schneeberg. The flat Vienna basin lies behind you and you stand in the impressive foothills of the Alps. You leave the small town to the north and enter the silence of the forest. Shady paths lead up to the Scheimberghütte. The hut, built in 2014, is known for delicious food and nice hosts.On the way up to the 1,132 meter high Plackles, the highest point of this stage, you pass a fountain where you can fill up your drinking bottle. Shortly behind the Plackles is a lookout, from which you have a wonderful view of the Schneeberg.Continue on to the Hohe Kanzel, which is considered a popular meeting place for hikers, families and climbers. In addition to the magnificent panoramic views awaits you a spacious lawn with pause benches, swings and the managed Eichert hut.A few meters behind the high pulpit you can make a detour to the right on the Naglkreuz. The summit cross above the Terzettsteiges is a bit hidden and is therefore a nice, quiet place.Along the sloping rock face, where there are also some via ferratas, you will hike on the plateau to today's stage destination, the Hubertushaus. The beautiful hut with the green shutters and the sun terrace offers 25 beds. Since the hut is very popular, we recommend booking a place in advance.
After a delicious breakfast in the Hubertushaus you start going east. At this stage, you initially walk along the plateau with no major inclines before heading back to the valley. As you descend, you climb down the secured Hanselsteig for a while. An alternative to the Hanselsteig is the variant over the simpler Hisskasteig.The first highlight of this stage awaits you after about four kilometers. The Skywalk is a viewing platform shaped like two fingers that juts out over the precipice. From the two breezy footbridges you have a breathtaking view over the Viennese Alpine arch and in clear weather you can even see Lake Neusiedl.After the impressive Skywalk, we have planned another test of courage for you: the rock path, which sticks like a swallow's nest on the steep wall. Over 200 steel steps and platforms allow you to experience the rugged surface of the Hohe Wand up close. The tour over the rock path leads past a cave.The last few meters down from the Hohe Wand you drop back on the Hanselsteig. This thrilling thrill on rope-secured passages and ladders rewards you with fantastic views. Under mighty overhangs you can take a break on the bench in the so-called Karnitschstüberl. For more security, we recommend bringing a via ferrata set. For the easier option via the Zischkasteig you follow the Wandeckstraße to the Herrgottschnitzerhaus. There you will find a green marker that leads you down to Frankenhof via the child-friendly Zischkasteig. Frankenhofstraße takes you back to the original route.On the further descent you can enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains and wander on side roads through the plain. Before you reach the destination, the train station in Winzendorf, you can take a detour to the castle ruin Emmerberg. With a change in Wiener Neustadt, you will return to Vienna in less than an hour.
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This two-day circular walk takes you to the most beautiful peaks around Puchberg am Schneeberg. You start at Puchberg station and climb up to the Dürren Wand. On the first day your destination is the cozy Öhlerschutzhaus. On Öhler and Schober you will hike on the second day to the beautiful Mamauwiesen-Alm. From there it goes back to the starting point in Puchberg. Information on the timetables of trains can be found at: oebb.at and schneebergbahn.at/anreise-sbbThe starting point of the first stage is the train station Puchberg am Schneeberg, which you can reach from Vienna by train in one and a half hours. The station is also the valley station of the Schneeberg rack railway. Past the green Kurpark pond, you follow the path along the Schoberbach stream into nature.Always keep an eye on the Schneeberg, you are constantly climbing up the slope of the Haltberg. Through quiet and shady forests you reach the Blättertal. After that, keep left at the fork and climb the drought wall. The interesting name probably comes from the rocky and uncultivated northwestern flank of the mountain.Without major differences in altitude and with a fantastic view of the Gutenstein Alps, you will hike to the Öhlerschutzhaus. At the cozy hut at 1027 meters altitude you spend the night. Before you cuddle up in one of the bunk beds, you can still taste the delicious dishes on the menu. In the summer months, we recommend you to reserve a place to sleep in advance, but in the fall it is a little quieter.
After a restful night in the Öhlerschutzhaus you will hike on the second day to the summit of Öhler. A breathtaking panorama opens up in front of you. Below the path, caves and rocky ridges form a rugged landscape. Some caves and holes are big enough to crawl into it. Others are only narrow and dark passages into the earth's interior.Over the Leitnergang you reach the highest point of your tour, the Schober. At 1,213 meters there is a beautiful summit cross and you can register yourself in the summit book. The Schober, which bears the same name as a mountain in the Salzkammergut, is a popular destination in the area and is surrounded by tall trees.
You follow the Hans-Linhart-Steig and pass the small Schoberkapelle, where a wooden bench invites you to take a break.After a good kilometer, the lush green Mamauwiesen pasture lies before you. Here cows graze on colorful flower meadows, a true idyll. If you need a refreshment, you can stop in the quaint mountain inn Mamauwiese. The menu features regional dishes and delicious strudel.On wide paths and side roads you follow the clear Sebastianbach and later the size Bergbach down into the valley. From Puchberg you can take the train home.
This promising tour takes you in three days not only over alpine peaks, but also to an impressive waterfall and a green-shimmering pond. The first night you spend at the cozy Edelweisshütte, before you climb on the second day on the highest mountain in Lower Austria. Sure-footedness is a prerequisite for climbing the Schneeberg. At over 2,000 meters, it can be really cool in the fall, so bring a jacket for safety.From Schneeberg you continue hiking to the modern Naturfreundehaus Knofeleben. There you spend the second night. About the Mittagstein you reach the valley back to Payerbach, from where you take the train back to Vienna. Information on the timetables of trains can be found at: oebb.at and schneebergbahn.at/anreise-sbbThe beautiful hut tour starts at the station in Puchberg am Schneeberg. The first stage up to the Edelweiss hut is the shortest of the three, with three and a half hours walking time.You follow the hiking trail along the Großenberg stream to Unternberg. Behind the small settlement on the mountainside, you enter the forest and after a short time you reach the impressive Sebastian waterfall. The falling water masses are easy to reach and therefore a popular destination for families.After cooling down in the spray of the waterfall you follow the course of the Sebastianbach deeper into the forest. The hiking trail leads you to the green reservoir pond where the valley station of the Schneeberg cable car is located.You leave the chairlift on the left and walk up the path to the Edelweisshütte. The rustic wooden hut is your destination today and impresses with a magnificent view. In the Stüberl or on the sun terrace you can approve a deserved strengthening.
You reserve your sleeping space in one of the rooms or in the dormitory at best in advance.
Starting from the Edelweiss hut, the ascent of the Schneeberg is on the second day. At 2,076 meters, it is the highest mountain in Lower Austria. You reach the Fischerhütte am Kaiserstein via the partly rocky Fadensteig. From there you walk along the crest of Schneeberg with impressive views.Over long pastures you descend to Damböckhaus. The well-known for the delicious food hut is a great rest stop. Since the mountain station of the Schneeberg rack railway is only a few minutes' walk away, the Damböckhaus is usually well frequented. On the cozy terrace, you can quickly get into conversation with visitors from all over the world.Via the Krummbachsattel this stage leads on to the artistic summit cross of the Krummbachstein. From the summit, you can take a look back at Schneeberg and enjoy the view of Höllental.On the southern side of the Krummbachstein lies the modern nature friendhouse Knofeleben, which can be reached from the summit cross in less than an hour. The hut completed in 2012 with the striking roof shape is your stage finish today. You can end the varied hiking day on the terrace. During the high season we recommend the reservation of a sleeping place.
After a restful night in one of the modern rooms of the Naturfreundehaus Knofeleben, the third stage takes you back to the valley. Since there is no rest stop until your destination in Puchberg, you pack a packed lunch at breakfast.At an altitude of 1,300 meters you walk comfortably through the wooded Luxenboden to the Mitagstein. From the summit you have another beautiful view of the Rax and into the valley.The narrow Jagdsteig is not as well marked as the previous paths and is therefore an insider tip. On many hikers you will not meet on the flank of the Mittagstein and so you can enjoy the rest right at the end of your tour again.The Jagdsteig leads into a wide path that leads you to the wide plain of the Thalhof. The lavishly restored building complex is a listed building and in the 19th century was the first address for the summer resort of the nobility. Today the imposing Thalhof is used for performances and events.Afterwards our route takes you past beautiful villas through the fields north of Reichenau and Payerbach.Before you get on the train in Payerbach, you can make another round through the nice village on the Schwarza. Payerbach is located on the Semmeringbahn and offers many nice pubs and restaurants for a final stop. The journey by train from Payerbach-Reichenau to Vienna takes one and a half hours without change.