In the spring of 2017, the approximately 350-kilometer Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail debuts as the first long-distance trail in the Salzkammergut. The trail was conceptualized as a partner project of the tourism organisations of the Salzkammergut region and the Salzkammergut Tourismus-Marketing GmbH as well as the Austrian Alpine Association and the Naturfreunde Salzkammergut. The trail connects no fewer than 35 lakes—a unique feature in the world of long-distance hiking—and is continuously marked with the logo of the Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail. Via ferrata sections are not included on the trail, but hikers will experience several short, exposed-rock segments which require surefootedness, comfortability with heights and appropriately robust footwear. Most stages of the trail end in towns with excellent tourism infrastructure and overnight accommodation. A few particular routes lead to remote inns or alpine huts which guarantee a romantic mountain atmosphere.
Thanks to its well-planned route system, the Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail fulfils the dreams of those who love the Salzkammergut: twenty (or more) days underway on a round trip from Gmunden via Lake Attersee to St. Wolfgang, over into Mondseeland and the Salzburg region to Lake Fuschl, past Lake Hintersee and through the Osterhorn Mountains, over the alpine meadows of the Postalm back to Lake Wolfgang and on to Bad Ischl, up the Katrin Mountain and to the Gosierer Hut, high over Gosau towards the Dachstein Mountain, from the Salzberg Mountain down to Hallstatt, from Lake Hallstatt through the Koppen Valley into the Styrian Ausseerland, past Lake Ödensee and via the Hinterberg Valley to the meadows of the Tauplitzalm, over to Lake Grundlsee and up into the Tote Gebirge Mountains, through the northern precipices to Lake Offensee, onward to Lake Almsee and through the Alm Valley to Lake Laudach and finally back to the trail’s starting point.
If simply reading this list left you short of breath, don’t worry. The use of buses, trains, ships and cable cars can help save you some sweat and reduces the Himalayan-feel of the total change in altitude (148,850 meters) along the trail. Thanks to a good public transportation system, it’s also no problem to explore the Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail in individual weekend tours. For those who plan a few rest days along the way, the long-distance route becomes a hiking trail of pure enjoyment!
On the other hand, there are also those who enjoy a bit more of a challenge, and they will certainly want to try out the alpine variation of the Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail. High up in the rugged Höllengebirge Mountains, in the arctic-like boulder and glacier regions of the Dachstein and on the rough karst terrain of the Toten Gebirge Mountains, one not only needs good stamina but also solid alpine experience. Several of these stages have been designated as ‘black’ level—challenging routes for experience mountain climbers, who embrace the rugged terrain but also know to turn back when dangerous weather situations such as approaching storms, dense fog or snow conditions arise. In contrast, the regional paths of the Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail are much easier, providing additional hikes around Lake Attersee, Lake Irrsee and through the Strubklamm Gorge in Faistenau.