5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
We leave the hospitable hut of the Ebenforstalm 1,105 m, head northwest across the pasture area to an insert with a fence crossing, before we look back again at the cheerful, pre-alpine landscape of the Reichraminger Hintergebirge and then walk down in a westerly direction into the wooded area towards the Bodinggraben.Shortly before we reach the small settlement Bodinggraben, the brook below us has created interesting erosions in the rock formation, so-called "Bottiche" (popularly called "Bodinge", hence the name of the area).
The small gastronomy in the "Jagahäusl" offers us a welcome place to stop for a bite to eat.
Nearby there is a beautiful chapel dedicated to St.
Anna and Rosalia the Rock Dweller (Annamesse on 26 July, Rosalia Mass on 4 September).
To the west above us sits the newly restored, former Lamberg Forester's Lodge.
Yes, in this forest and game rich landscape one still feels transported to the time of the lamberg hunting dominion, which set the tone here from the 17th century to the era of Hitler in 1938.
After the Second World War, the entire area was assigned to the Austrian Federal Forests.
Bodinggraben 641 m in the valley of the Krummen Steyrling in the municipality of Rosenau am Hengstpass.
Geographical dividing point: Reichraminger Hintergebirge in the east, Sengsengebirge in the west.
Starting point for tours into the Sengsengebirge Feichtauhütte - Hoher Nock, in winter well-known national park game feeding in the Blöttenbachtal - Hillerboden.Father Gottfried Hauenschild wrote the "Tour über den Bodinggraben" as early as 1866...
The Thal is adorned by a friendly chapel dedicated to the rock dweller Rosalia, next to it stands a stately one-storey house with outbuildings, the Kaltenbrunner Alm, where you can get frugal food and a good bed for the night.
Every year the Windischgarstner organized a procession here, which was very popular in former times and counted hundreds of devout people ...
Soon we part from this world-far mountain angle.
Downstream the road leads over the Breitenau to Molln 21 km.
However, we now head south along path no.
472 along the forest road downhill and after some time we reach a crossroads, the so-called "Iron Lord".
The valley narrows, the mountain flanks become steeper and rockier.
The landscape is enhanced from the charming into the magnificent.
After a few hairpin bends the forest road becomes a riding path, soon we find ourselves in the gorge of the Krummen Steyrling (one of the most beautiful breakthrough valleys in the pre-alpine area in the middle of the Kalkalpen National Park).
On the right we see the eastern crashes of the Sengsengebirge and the stepped rock flank of the Größtenberg, furrowed by scree and avalanche channels (danger of falling rocks!!!).
We hike past a torture - soon afterwards mighty concrete walls become visible.
What's that supposed to mean? Some people mistakenly believe that this is a relic from the Hitler era.
No! In the years 1960 /1961 there were plans to open up this rather lonely region for summer tourism, which was again topical in 1975 when a power plant storage facility was planned in the Bodinggraben.
So in this gorge-like narrow valley, concreting was carried out diligently in order to realize the thoroughfare.
Apparently the financial framework was exceeded and the project was discontinued.
It may be that there was premature action here, so these giant walls are witnesses of a misplanning.
The bottom of the valley widens a little.
Crystal-clear water pools invite you to take a refreshing swim.
To the left you would go in the direction of Weingartalm - Größtenberg.
Shortly afterwards we cross a concrete bridge 946 m (once a wooden bridge = Steyrsteg) and reach the National Park Camping Steyrsteg (instead of the old forester's lodge, which was the residence of the Lamberg foresters for centuries).
From the watery valley bottom we follow the narrow forest road in bends upwards through the wooded valley bottom (once the charcoal piles steamed here) to the idyllically situated alp spot of Rumplmayrreith (unmanaged; Reith = Niederalm).
The beautiful spring alpine flora transforms into magnificent troll flower meadows in early summer and in some places in summer produces turquoise crests, red kohlröserl, etc.
From here we take the alpine and forest road southwest to the forest saddle of the Haslersgattern with hunting lodge 1154 m (today forest road junction at the edge of the national park, ancient transition from Windischgarsten to Molln).
To the east, the Langfirst mountain bike route leads to the Hengstpass.
In case of bad weather one could reach Windischgarsten from here along the road leading south down to the valley.
When the weather is good, we pull the Senderstraße, path no.
9A, to the right at the junction Leitersteig (see variant!), partly flat, finally steeper up to the top of the Kleinerberg 1287 m - the view balcony of the Windischgarstnertal valley.
The Kleinberg transmitter was built in 1970.
The launch pads for hang-gliders and paragliders were erected by massive deforestation of the summit region.
A magnificent 360° panorama opens up before our eyes: Ennstal Alps, parts of the Niederen Tauern, Warscheneck and Prielgruppe, Höllengebirge, Kasberg, Traunstein, Sengsengebirge, Hintergebirge, Hengstpass area.
From here we already have an overview of the wonderful alpine landscape, which we will hike through in the next daily stages.
From the small summit cross (summit book) at the southern edge we follow the little trail marked with red spots downwards.
We cross a forest road several times and hike west on dust-free roads.
Then there is a slight ascent to the snack station Wurbauer (mostly weekend operation), on to the mountain station of the chair lift Wurbauerkogel (local mountain of Windischgarsten with wonderful panoramic view) and to the mountain inn "Beim Turm".
Right next door is the National Park Panoramaturm (entrance fee!) with information point and exhibition "Das Leben im Fels".
From the tower you have a view of 21 two thousand meter peaks! (Alternative: by chair lift or summer toboggan run to Windischgarsten).
Descent from the car park vis à vis the transmitter (Wegtafel) north of the Steiglein - here it goes a bit parallel with the summer toboggan run, then at the west ridge (path no.
2 - Simberg) in places falling to a fork in the path.
Then we take the Naturfreundesteig (path no.
5) downhill and reach the Hans-Gmeiner-Ruhe 715 m via a forest road with a short uphill gradient.
Here we walk in serpentines down to a gravel pit and further down the road south through the Kühbergsiedlung.
Passing the Alpine Coaster and the valley station of the chairlift, you reach the centre of Windischgarsten.