Not that far away from Vienna, in Lower Austria, there is a mountain called the Eibl. This little mountain is well-known for nice skiing tours and snowshoe hikes. Furthermore the winter in Austria was returning in its former magnificence and so I decided to hike up the Eibl with snowshoes and the snowboard on the back.
As this was my very first hike with snowshoes, I underestimated the phisical endeavour. Lifting one foot after another up that hill whilst every footstep was getting covered again and again with snow turned out to be way more exhausting than expected. The goal was to reach the top within one hour – in the end it took us (me and two of my friends) up to almost two hours.
Nonetheless the effort was worth it. It was snowing and we really enjoyed the winter wonderland atmosphere.
At the mountain we entered the cabin straightaway and refilled our engines with some awesome and typical Austrian food. Here you can see one of the meals we had – the Hüttentoast.
After a break of approx. one hour, we exchanged the snowshoes with the boards and prepared for the descent. A beautiful and with deep powder snow-covered slope awaited us.
The descent took us only about ten minutes and the almost untouched slope was just amazing. All together this trip took us about 4-5 hours. So even if you have plans for the afternoon, this a trip you can do easily in half a day. I think its worth a try 🙂
Last weekend I went for a hike in the vienna woods (Wienerwald) as I bought new hiking boots and wanted to test them on a moderate terrain before proving them in the real mountains. Almost everyone will advice you to try new shoes on a shorter and less demanding trail as you can never know how your feet will respond. Nobody wants to abort a hike because of blisters or aching feet.
My new boots – the Meindl Island MFS seem to be a good investment. Even after about 10 km I had a very good feeling in those shoes. Only at the shaft I felt a bit of a pressing during more ascending paths, but I did not experience it as a serious issue. Next weekend, I will go for a more challenging hike and afterwards I can give you a more detailed impression about the boots.
Coming back to my actual hike – I can tell you that if you are looking for a little escape from the city daily life in vienna, the Wienerwald is a good choice to start with. You can check the official city homepage, which is offering several hiking trails. All of them are quite nice and they can be found here – Hiking around Vienna.
I decided to hike a combination of the official trail 4 and 4a. My overall goal was to visit the Jubiliäumswarte, which is a well-known lookout post. I have started the hike from Neuwaldegg, the end station of the tram 43. At the beginning it took me through a little park, where you slowly get accustomed to the atmosphere in the woods. At the end of the park I decided to make a turn to the left and hike up a mountain bike down hill trail. I wanted to check out how my new shoes will do their job on a more challenging path. As soon as I left the park, the rest of the trail took place in the woods.
Mountain bike trail
Trail in the forest
Overall, it was a nice scenery and I really enjoyed the walk through the forest. It offers a lot of hiking trails and you often meet other hikers. So the risk to get lost is not very high and even inexperienced hikers can fully enjoy the natural area.
After about only 1 hour of walking, I reached the Jubiläumswarte, which is located 449 meters above the sea level. It was obviously not a challenging hike and easy to be reached for everyone. If you want to enjoy the amazing panorama view over vienna and the surrounding area, be prepared to climb 183 stairs 😉
After passing all the 183 stairs, you can finally enjoy the panorama. You will be able to see the whole city, the forest surrounding vienna, several other hills/mountains and sight seeings like the Stephansdom from the distance. Even the Kahlenberg (from which you also have a nice view over vienna) its lookout post can be seen, which can be passed when hiking the official trail 1 of vienna.
When standing still on the top of the Jubiläumswarte, you can feel how the tower is slightly wobbling. Maybe this is not a feeling for everyone, but I kind of liked it.
When I made my way back home, I decided to head into the direction of Ottakring. Even this is way is part of a offical trail – the 4a.
The descent – if I can call it like this – was very relaxing as it was not steep at all and therefore easy to go. Another big advantage of the official trails is that all routes can be reached via public transport.
So if you are located in vienna and want to give hiking a try, this is probably one of the best starting opportunities. I would give it a try 🙂