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The Path of Life — A (spiritual) hike through northeastern Austria

sipazigaltumu (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Path of Life — A (spiritual) hike through northeastern Austria

Hiking Collection by Mareike

13

Tours

78:46 h

172 mi

20,275 ft

Walking is the natural speed of humans so a hike is the perfect way to reflect. In the southern Waldviertel region, you walk through your life — symbolically and also in reality. The German name “Lebensweg” of the 275-km-long (170 mile) hiking trail translates into the “path of life”.

Between the mighty river Danube and the deep, mystical forests in the valleys of the smaller rivers you will discover the region and yourself anew. Each stage symbolizes a phase of life. Thus, you walk in spirit from your childhood, which is probably already behind you, into the future to what lies ahead. The topographical ups and downs can also be understood as being symbolic of the ups and downs in life — except that the downs are just as beautiful as the ups when you hike them.

The perfect setting for this journey of reflection is the picturesque Waldviertel with its pristine forests, lovely fields and unusual rock formations. The region is very idyllic. Here you walk through green meadows, dark forests and poppy fields that flower in summer. Your path of life leads along river banks and to streams and lakes. On the way, you explore deep gorges and impressive caves. In addition to nature, you can also enjoy some culture as you discover ruined castles and palaces as well as chapels, churches and a basilica.

The Lebensweg is a combination of the Ysper-Weitental Trail (trail mark 22) and the Kremstal Trail (trail mark 625, komoot.de/collection/920827). Together they paint a somewhat creative figure of eight on the map. Because of its shape you can start your journey at any of the 13 stages. The towns en route can be reached with regional buses. The current timetables are listed at vor.at. Take a careful look at them, as many of the buses only run from Monday to Friday. If you want to follow the whole story of the journey, it makes sense to start in Laimbach. You can get a tour diary from the tourist information office to use as a guide for the hike.

The route only crosses the 1,000-metre (3,280 feet) mark twice. Anytime from Spring to Autumn is ideal for this hike. The woods are also beautiful even during a milder winter or when there’s a dusting of snow. However, bear in mind that there are some very long stages ahead of you. The Waldviertel is relatively sparsely populated. This makes it very nice for hiking, but also means that there is not always a place to stop for a bite to eat. On some stages, you have to carry your food in your rucksack. So the Path of Life is a long distance walk, where you have to engage with your body and mind in equal measure.

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Lebensweg

164 mi

19,450 ft

19,450 ft

Last updated: November 9, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    08:08
    16.5 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,975 ft
    2,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first stage of the life path symbolizes the love of your parents and thus the origin of your life. The route is tough. If you start your life in Laimbach, you will climb the Großer Peilstein first. It is just over 1,000 meters high. So you have a nice view of the Waldviertel from your first summit

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  • Difficult
    05:48
    12.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,875 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This day represents a kind of rebirth because it should remind you of the beginning of your life. After the long first stage, your legs may be a little stiff this morning. But that goes away quickly once you've hiked a few steps.

    

    

    On clear days you can look from Nöchling over the Danube to the Gesäuse

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  • Difficult
    05:29
    11.7 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,775 ft
    975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the third stage, you remember your first years of life. Today you see everything with different eyes. You leave Ysper heading north and you will soon pass the forest pond. A short distance further the path runs below Schloss Rorregg - which is privately owned - and along the banks of the Puschacherteich

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  • Difficult
    06:46
    15.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you disappear into the forest in the morning and only really emerge from the trees in the evening. You cross the Weinsberger Forest, the largest closed forest area in Austria. It takes its name from the Weinsberg, the summit of which you are climbing today. This stage represents your first school

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  • Difficult
    05:36
    12.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    850 ft
    1,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you may have a little fun about your past on your way through life. Because on the fifth stage of your life path you reflect on your puberty. From place to place you walk a bit on the Kremstalweg.

    

    

    Immediately after breakfast you hike to the shore of the picturesque Edlesberger See, which is north

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  • Intermediate
    04:47
    11.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    575 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Slowly it becomes more serious on your life path. You have left your childhood and puberty behind and are going through the sixth stage as a young adult. It guides you through the cultural landscape of the forest district with its fields, meadows and small forests.

    

    

    To the east of Kirchschlag you orientate

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  • Difficult
    08:14
    18.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,100 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The seventh stage of the journey of life requires some effort on your part. Your imagination is required on a spiritual level. Because today it's about settling down and building up a place to live. With this topic in mind, you are anything but sedentary. Because today you have about 30 kilometers ahead

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  • Intermediate
    04:45
    10.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,050 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's stage takes you along the picturesque banks of the Große Krems, both through beautiful forests and across vast fields. Here you can let your eyes and thoughts wander. This day is themed the middle years.

    

    

    First you come from Sallingberg to Armschlag. This place is also called Mohndorf and if you

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  • Intermediate
    04:11
    9.70 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Every hiker experiences the topic of today differently. It's about the fifties. They are still ahead of one, the other is already behind them. The third is right in the middle. As varied as this phase of life can be, the ninth stage on the path of life is just as varied. The route is relatively easy

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  • Difficult
    08:09
    17.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,050 ft
    3,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On stage 10 you retire sportily. You mentally deal with the time when everything may become a little calmer. Physically you have a very long stage with a lot of ups and downs in front of you.

    

    

    It starts from Martinsberg to the southeast. You stay on the field and forest paths above the country road until

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  • Difficult
    07:27
    15.7 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eleventh stage on the long-distance hiking trail represents your last years of life. But that doesn't mean that the hike is a leisurely one today. Today it goes up and down 25 kilometers, always roughly south towards the Danube.

    

    

    The path to Zeining is still relatively easy. Then you walk partly steeply

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  • Intermediate
    04:08
    9.22 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,150 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today we are facing death - luckily only symbolically! The rest of the day compensates for this sad topic with splendor and pomp. On the twelfth stage you will pass a magnificent castle and an opulently decorated basilica. You hardly need to worry about time. The length of the tour allows for long breaks

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  • Difficult
    05:18
    11.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Before you start, enjoy the view over the Danube again and gather new strength for the last day of your life. Because today it goes back to the beginning. The path of life closes while you dedicate the last stage to your ancestors and make yourself aware that you will also take their place one day.

    

    

    You

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    13
  • Distance
    172 mi
  • Duration
    78:46 h
  • Elevation
    20,275 ft

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The Path of Life — A (spiritual) hike through northeastern Austria

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