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Hiking through Austria from north to south – Eisenwurzen Trail

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Hiking through Austria from north to south – Eisenwurzen Trail

Hiking Collection by Tamara

25-57

days

3-6 h

/ day

342 mi

58,375 ft

55,875 ft

The Eisenwurzen Trail (long-distance hiking trail 08) takes you from the northernmost to the southernmost point of Austria revealing wonderful landscapes in the three federal states of Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia. Across 28 stages, you hike from Rottal on the Czech border to the Seebergsattel on Slovenian border.

Your adventure gets off to a relaxed start as the first stages only gain a few meters in altitude. The further south you go, the more mountainous and scenic the sections become. The 341-mile (550-km) trail begins at the northernmost point of Austria in the middle of the forest near Rottal. Next, the trail leads over the gentle hills and granite blocks of the mystical Waldviertel before heading down the Danube and Ybbs valleys. You can cool off in numerous brooks, lakes and ponds on the way. Or, take a break in a medieval town like Weitra and Waidhofen an der Ybbs with beautiful architecture. At Persenbeug, you cross the gushing Danube.

From the Ybbs Valley the Eisenwurzen Trail leads to the Stumpfmauer in the border triangle of Lower Austria/Upper Austria/Styria. At the end of stage 15, you can look forward to your first overnight stay at the Ennstaler Hut. Then, you’ll hike through the fascinating mountain world of the Gesaeuse National Park into the Trieben and Mur valleys.


At 2,396 metres (7,860 feet), the Zirbitzkogel offers incomparable views whilst the Saulpe peaks will also spoil you with spectacular panoramas. At Voelkermarkt, you hike along the shimmering River Drau before spending the last night of the Eisenwurzen Trail in the eastern Karawanken mountains at the Eisenkappler Hut. On the last stage, you will visit the romantic Troegerner Gorge before arriving at your final destination, the Seebergsattel on the Austrian-Slovenian border.

You need good stamina and surefootedness to walk the Eisenwurzen Trail, but you do not need alpine experience. The respective stages end in villages or towns or directly at mountain huts – I recommend booking your accommodation in advance. If you don't want to walk the Eisenwurzen Trail in one go, you will find good rail connections in Amstetten (stage 10) or Judenburg (stage 19).

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:14
    7.43 mi
    2.3 mph
    550 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your long-distance hiking adventure starts at the northernmost point of Austria near Rottal on the border with the Czech Republic. At twelve kilometers, the first stage is comparatively short and offers you a relaxed start. On secondary roads it goes to Haugschlag and from there without any notable height differences past meadows and fields further south. On the last section, …

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  • Difficult
    07:33
    17.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    900 ft
    975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage starts on the southern shore of the Herrensee in Litschau. Through the landscape characterized by colorful fields it goes into the forest, where you meet striking granite blocks like the Höllstein. You hike along the course of the Föhrenbach, pass small ponds and can enjoy a lot of rest. On the way there are smaller places like Gopprechts and Brand, where you can take a break.

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  • Difficult
    07:42
    17.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,525 ft
    925 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The third day of hiking starts in Gmünd and the route leads you through a wonderful forest and lake area. If you want to shorten the 28-kilometer stage, you can take the train to Weitra from Gmünd. The Eisenwurzenweg alternately runs through shady forest and across extensive arable land.You walk up and down and reach Weitra, whose historic old …

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  • Difficult
    07:03
    15.0 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,175 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The further south you hike, the more mountainous the landscape becomes and on the fourth day you climb the first summit on the Eisenwurzenweg. After a relaxing night in the Harbach moor spa, the ascent to the Nebelstein begins. Once you reach the top, you break the 1,000-meter mark and look forward to a breathtaking view. Below the summit is the Nebelsteinhütte, which provides you with a decent mountain snack.

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  • Difficult
    06:24
    14.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Through the hilly landscape at the beginning of the fifth stage you go east from Langschlag to Groß Gerungs. If your feet are a bit tired, you can alternatively take the train. Forests, meadows and small villages characterize today and you can take a break at the idyllic Klauskapelle. A lot of nature surrounds you along the way and you …

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  • Difficult
    06:36
    14.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a night in Arbesbach you hike over gentle hills and through forests interspersed with mighty granite cliffs. Again and again you come across heaped boulders, in the spaces between which small caves have formed. You march past impressive square courtyards and cross clear brooks. You can rest at the Dürnbergteich and enjoy the enchanting view. Towards the end of the sixth stage, the Eisenwurzenweg rises again and takes you to Bärnkopf, your today's destination.

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  • Difficult
    05:08
    11.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    525 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you start in Bärnkopf and hike south on the high plateau of the Weinsberg forest. The majority of this stage is in the shady forest on soft paths. You can cool off at the numerous ponds and streams that lie along the way. The highlight of the day is the romantic Ysper Gorge: over stairs, footbridges and bridges you …

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  • Difficult
    05:52
    11.6 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,850 ft
    2,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eighth stage begins with the ascent from Laimbach to the Small and Large Peilstein. From the peaks you have a wonderful view over the colorful mosaic of forests, meadows and fields. At the so-called Peilsteiner Sonnenplatzl you can rest and eat your provisions. From a height of just over 1,000 meters, you hike downhill through quiet forest and pass the Kaiserstein.

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  • Difficult
    06:30
    14.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,150 ft
    1,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Passing the impressive Persenbeug Castle, the route begins at the beginning of the ninth stage via the well-known Persenbeug-Ybbs power station. The Danube Cycle Path also passes here, so it can get a little busy on beautiful summer days. If you are interested in hydropower generation, I recommend taking a tour.On the southern bank, it then goes up to …

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  • Difficult
    05:10
    12.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    575 ft
    950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 10 starts in Kollmitzberg and leads you past colorful fields to Viehdorf. There you cross the West Autobahn and reach Amstetten a short time later. The main square with its many cafés, restaurants and shops is particularly worth seeing. Via the train station it goes to the Mühlbach, which takes you to the banks of the Ybbs. Meadows and …

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  • Difficult
    07:00
    15.0 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,550 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a night in Euratsfeld you hike through a landscape typical of the Mostviertel: a colorful mix of forest, meadows and fields surrounds you. After half of today's stage you come to St. Leonhard am Walde, where you will find a beautiful church and a cozy inn. Strengthened, we continue westwards, again and again you come to beautiful viewpoints.The …

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  • Difficult
    07:57
    15.5 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,975 ft
    3,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the twelfth day of the Eisenwurzenweg you descend from the Sonntagberg into the valley of the Ybbs. You follow the course of the river to Waidhofen an der Ybbs or alternatively take the train if you want to give your feet a break. In Waidhofen, the mighty Rothschild Castle, the remarkable market square and a large selection of places to stop for refreshments await you.

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  • Intermediate
    03:42
    8.52 mi
    2.3 mph
    650 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With less than 14 kilometers and only 200 meters of altitude, this stage is one of the most relaxed on the Eisenwurzenweg. So you can start the day comfortably and sleep a little longer than usual. From Opponitz you hike back to the banks of the Ybbs and follow their course along today's entire route. You can watch fish in …

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  • Difficult
    07:56
    12.1 mi
    1.5 mph
    4,425 ft
    4,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today it goes up high and there are a few meters of altitude waiting for you: After a hearty breakfast in Hollenstein you tackle the ascent of the Voralpe in the Eisenwurzen Nature Park. On idyllic forest trails it is partly steep uphill, but above you will be rewarded with a gigantic view. Your gaze wanders over the Dead Mountains, the Tauern, the Eisenerzer Alps and the Hochschwab massif.

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  • Difficult
    06:48
    12.6 mi
    1.8 mph
    4,125 ft
    675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you can look forward to the first night in a mountain hut along the Eisenwurzenweg. From Altenmarkt near St. Gallen you start to the south and cross the rushing Enns. The Großer Billbach initially gives you the way and it goes comfortably through the beautiful valley. The tour takes you to small towns with interesting churches and stately castles such as Kassegg Castle.

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  • Difficult
    07:17
    12.7 mi
    1.7 mph
    3,225 ft
    3,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a delicious mountain breakfast at the Ennstalerhütte, this stage takes you through the wonderful mountains of the Gesäuse National Park. You start with the descent into the valley, hike through alpine forest and over idyllic alpine pastures like the Hörantalm. In Gstatterboden on the Enns you can find out more about the flora and fauna of the national park …

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  • Difficult
    06:56
    13.1 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,375 ft
    3,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The day starts with a gigantic view of the rugged limestone mountains in the Gesäuse National Park. From the Mödlinger Hütte you first hike downhill through the forest and then uphill to the quaint Colonel Klinke Hütte. If you get hungry for a second breakfast or a piece of strudel - this is the opportunity.The further way down over …

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  • Difficult
    08:40
    17.7 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,675 ft
    3,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With a good 28 kilometers, this stage is the longest on the Eisenwurzenweg, so pack up a little more food. You start at the Gasthof Brodjäger in the Triebental and just like the day before, the Triebenbach gives you the direction. Accompanied by the babbling of the stream, you reach the Triebental hut. It goes further and further south through …

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  • Difficult
    05:41
    10.8 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,225 ft
    2,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The nineteenth stage starts in the village of Ingering II and you can take a detour to Schloss Wasserberg. From there it goes up to the Gaaler Höhe, where there is a nice rest area with a small shelter. This is cultivated on weekends and invites you to take a break. From the Gaaler Höhe, the Eisenwurzenweg leads on quiet …

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  • Difficult
    04:46
    8.65 mi
    1.8 mph
    3,650 ft
    250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your day begins in the beautiful town of Judenburg an der Mur. If you want, you can make a detour to Liechtenstein Castle before heading south. You follow the Seetalstraße through a wide forest area and it goes steadily uphill. With the top of the fire bar in view, you will reach a picturesque rest area at the soldier church. …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    28
  • Distance
    342 mi
  • Duration
    171:38 h
  • Elevation
    58,375 ft55,875 ft

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Hiking through Austria from north to south – Eisenwurzen Trail

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