Austria: Peace in Gesäuse National Park
Tourist information center is to be found by a turn to Johnsbach, 10 kilometers from Admont. Here, you may visit Ökologischer Fußabdruck park. A hedge in a shape of a leg wins our attention. By the heel, there is an auditorium. In the rest of the leg, there is a maze (the start is by the heel). There children answer question on nature – according to their answer they then follow arrows. If they say wrong asnwer, they go into a blind alley. If they answer right, they go through the maze to the following question. Around the maze, there are other posts for children with activities like drawing, creation, slings, little gardens with flower descriptions which children can take care of.
Alpine cabins are among the most popular place around here. These open in the beginning of May. So if you want to look inside, plan your trip for later. Situated at 1 700 m Hesshütte is the most popular cabin around here. No 660 is the shortest way goes by the name Wasserfallweg. It beginst behind the Enns river. On the other side of Kummerbrücke there is a small car park, behind it there is the only way uphills. It goes steeply among boulders and Kummerwald forest. Once you cross 250 meters of elevation, there is a narrow waterfall falling down from high rock wall. The trail goes around the roc. Once you reach the first ladder on the following section of the trail, the trail actually changes to the oldest via ferrata in the Enntal Alps (built in 1982). The entire via ferrata is very easy, of A and B difficulty. Anybody can enter it. Once you manage it, a beautiful vista opens over the opposite massif of Buchstein mountain. The trail goes through alpine terrain (forest, mountain pine, rock) to Hesshüte cabin situated in a romantic location.
There are three circular trails. One goes across Hochzinödl and the other across Planspitze.You can also cross the entire massiv in the direction to the west. You may also stay at Haindlkarhűtte cabin (but keep in mind this is only between May and October) situated in a deep valley below Festkogel mountain (2 269 m). If you happen to be there in the evening hours, I recommend you to make a trip, which takes about an hour, from the cabin and follow the trail to the summit of Haindlwaldspitze to the edge of a klippe at 1 200 m. There is an amazing vista over the valley especially during sundown.
Should you decide to descend along this route (the road ends on the road to Johnsbach), you shall not feel remorse. The downhill trail is secured by steel rope. Then the trail goes among boulders. The netire area seems very instabile. Mountains have been still in the proces of formation which is close watched by motion sensors. At the bottom part of the trail the trail goes through debris field along rocky moulds. Then you reach a plain nto for from the river flowing through Johnsbach valley. And it goes without saying that the vistas are amazing.
Großer Buchstein mountain in the north of the park is another popular place. However, we prefered to go to a water dam above the town of Hieflau which looks very nice. A road goes around the water dam and 3/4 of it are suitable for roller-skates. In case you don't have any, make a walk for this is a place which is quiet, not crowded and offers magnificent vista over the mountains.
Text and photos: Martina Brožková
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