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Hiking Destination Upper Waldviertel: Highlights of the new Long-Distance Lainsitz Trail.

Gourmet Travel, Austria, Travel With Locals, Europe, Travel Blog , 0

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We laughed. We ate our way through. We got creative! We enjoyed. We connected with nature. Here in the Upper Waldviertel. And now? Now’s the time to tell you all about the actual hiking trails here in this hiking district of the Upper Waldviertel. After all this eating & gourmet-style travelling, we are now face to face with …

… hiking along the Lainsitz river. Newly signposted, this long-distance hiking trail leads through the Upper Austrian Waldviertel in four days, crossing the border with the Czech Republic all the way to the Moldau river.

I do have to admit it: We have not walked all of this trail’s 220 kilometres on our short “tasting trip” here in Waldviertel. However, even in just a few days, the area as well as the local people we have met have given us a good feeling of this international long-distance trail. Starting from the source waters of the Lainsitz river, the first day leads past the highest elevation of the Waldviertel, the Nebelstein at 1.017 metres above sea-level. At the Nebelstein, a cosy mountain hut provides rest and great food for all hikers. Walking there, you will also come across the last Austrian paper mill run by the Mörzinger family, who gave us a taste of paper-making by inviting us to do a creative workshop with them! Hiking in Waldviertel is everything but boring – highly entertaining and creative, rather!

"Xundwärts": Der Motorikpark am Eingang zur Xundheitswelt am Fuße des Nebelstein in Moorbad Harbach.

Close to the Nebelstein mountain, you find this “Xundwärts” fitness parcours that helps us getting underway. Here I am travelling / hiking with my friends (from left to right): Christina Leutner & Thomas Posch, of CitySeaCountry.com, Katja Wegener of WellSpa-Portal.de as well as Angelika Mandler of WiederUnterwegs.com!


"Setz di her do" - Mach es Dir gemütlich, zu Deutsch!

“Setz di her do” – meaning “have a seat” here in Waldviertel!


Die Nebelsteinhütte besticht durch ihre Gemütlichkeit, vor allem aber den regionalen Bierspezialitäten des Waldviertels die nach dem letzten Aufstieg besonders gut schmecken. Prost, liebe Angelika!

The Nebelstein hut is all about typical Austrian hospitality, serving you a whole range of beers as well as local hot & cold food. Prost, dear Angelika!


Der Blick aus dem Fenster am nächsten Morgen verrät: Hier sind Urkräfte am Werk; die typischen Granitfelsformationen des Waldviertels unschwer zu erkennen.

Waking up the next morning, our view from the window welcomes us to the typical granite boulders of the Lower Austrian Waldviertel district.


Die Beschilderung: Der Weg entlang der Lainsitz ist mit diesem Symbol hier durchwegs gut gekennzeichnet.

The trail along the Lainsitz river is marked everywhere by these new signposts: Watch out for the “river L”.


From the Nebelstein, we continue towards Austria’s oldest brewing town Weitra. Our tip is this: Try their great beer variety & ask for a tour with local expert, thriller author & night watchman Ernest Zederbauer!

On each trip, I find the same: It really is the people you meet that make it count. Ernest Zederbauer is such a typical local personality: Listening to his stories about the brewing town of Weitra is just as fascinating as hearing more about his local Waldviertel thriller “Draussen im Walde” – or his plan to have the next European Night Watchmen meeting in Weitra … Ernest himself is a wonderful local host and takes visitors around Weitra as a historical Night Watchman. Arriving during the day, we explore Weitra with him and its many charming nooks and crannies.

Ankommen in der Stadt Weitra, Österreichs ältester Braustadt ...

Arriving in Weitra, the oldest brewing city in Austria …


... bedeutet bei all dem Bier auch gleich zu wissen, wo die (historische) Apotheke liegt. ;)

… means it is good to know where the (historical) pharmacy is located, what with all the beer specialities on display. 😉


Das Holzgebälk in diesem Haus hat mich nachhaltig beeindruckt!

Isn’t this wooden ceiling, well over 500 years old, impressive?


Sowie natürlich unser lieber Ernst selbst, hier mit seiner Hellebarde zu Nachtwächters-Zeiten.

As well as dear Ernest himself, of course, getting us interested in coming back to do a Night Watchman’s tour with him! Next time it will be, then.


In Weitra lohnt weiters der Besuch des Schloss Weitra.

Weitra also has a pretty historical castle that merits your visit.


Die clevere Schirmarchitektur im Innenhof ist einzigartig - und gewaltig!

Arriving at its inner courtyard, we find these huge modern umbrellas protecting us not from the sun, but the rain that day!


Im Inneren des Schlosses locken der Besuch temporärer Ausstellungen sowie dieses Rokoko-Theater aus dem 18. Jahrhundert.

Inside the castle, we are taken around on a short tour, exploring among others this wonderful Rococo theatre dating back to the 18th century!


Schließlich hat man vom Turm des Schlosses aus einen schönen Blick über Weitra und die umliegende Umgebung.

The tower of the palace allows you a good overview of the small town of Weitra as well as its surroundings.


Starting in Weitra, we “hijack our Ernest” to serve as our hiking guide for the next section of the Lainsitz trail, leading to Gmünd on some leisurely 20 kilometres.

Now this part of the trail does actually not lead right by the river Lainsitz, but across meadows & forests including ancient estates & country houses. The trail is easy featuring only minor slopes; we are walking with our lunch pack from the Brauhaus restaurant in Weitra and only on a day pack as our luggage transport is all arranged for. Nice! Everything can be organised here – including local guide Ernest with all his tales & stories of times past and present!

Los geht's am Weg entlang der Lainsitz: Der erste Aufstieg durch den Wald ...

Off we go hiking along the Lainsitz long-distance trail: Walking through the forest …


... lässt auf- und durchatmen vor so viel GRÜN & wunderschöner Natur!

… nature in all its GREEN glory gives us a real breather!


Unsere liebe Christina ist sichtlich motiviert unterwegs!

Our dear Christina is off highly motivated!


Katja & Angelika beim gemütlichen Wandern / Plaudern ...

Katja & Angelika chatting away during the hike …


... die Landschaft ist aber auch zu schön!

… while looking at the typical landscape of the gently rolling hills here in Waldviertel.





Wir lieben den Wald, die Sonne, die frische Luft ...

We also love the forest, the sun, the fresh air …


... und genießen Ruhe & Stille auf unserem Weg.

… as well as the peace and quiet on our way.


Last but not least, Schrems along the Lainsitz hiking trail impresses us with a visit of its tree house lodge, its “Stairway To Heaven” as well as the local Moor Nature Park.

The fascinating world of the ponds & moors in Waldviertel … “No moor bodies have been found here”, our guide tells us right away looking at our expectant eyes. Thanks to her insights and stories about the moor, we have a better understanding of its role, its use and its significance to people leaving here throughout the centuries. Right by the nature park, Franz Steiner has created a “monument” of a kind: Welcome to one of Austria’s first tree house lodges, inspired by the one he saw in Kaikoura, New Zealand! A luxury hideaway, you get to spend the night here for € 200,- including breakfast. If you only want to burn calories (not cash), then you are well advised to climb the local “Stairway To Heaven” Himmelsleiter at the nature park of Schrems. We have taken a look around and can recommend you to do the following:

.. die Fischotter hier im Naturpark Hochmoor Schrems sind einfach zu süß!

.. visit the otters of the local nature park: Aren’t they just too cute?!


Ähnlich gut gefällt mir die lokale Linie aromatischer Kräuter-Tees aus dem Waldviertel!

I also really like the local herbal tea variety, as shown here in the shop area of the nature park visitor centre.


So sieht's aus im Moor: Diese Erde ist Goldes wert was ihren Nutzen für die Menschheit angeht - und zwar in Form von Kur- und Schlammpackungen als auch als früheres Heizmittel hier im Waldviertel.

This is what you get: Healing earth from Waldviertel used in the local spa centers and formerly, dried on racks, as a substitute for wood to heat up the houses.


Ich liebe die kleinen & groß(artigen) Details in der Natur. Ihr?

I love all the little details nature provides us with. And you?


Den Besuch der Himmelsleiter dürft Ihr Euch nicht entgehen lassen!

So this is the famous “Stairway To Heaven” … Make sure you get to climb it and enjoy the views!


Last but not least, die Baumhaus-Lodge im Naturpark Schrems hit hirer einzigartigen Architektur in mitten des Waldes.

Last but not least, I recommend a visit to the Tree House Lodge here in Schrems!


Hier lohnt es sich doch, eine luxuriös-anmutende, einzigartige Nacht zu zweit zu verbringen ... ? :)

It might well be worth bringing your partner here to enjoy a unique night on your own in the forest … ? 🙂


Check out even more photos & impressions of our hiking trip along the Lainsitz river as well as in the hiking district of the Upper Waldviertel in this virtual photo album.


Disclaimer: We have been invited by Waldviertel Tourismus in order to travel in the hiking destination of the Upper Waldviertel district. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

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