My family and I are a pretty outdoorsy bunch. The kind that thinks any weather is great for an adventure. This one took us to Steinwandklamm, one of the most beautiful gorges located among the dreamy landscapes of Lower Austria, about an hour drive from Vienna.
Starting point: Parking place at the Jausenstation Familie Reischer Steinwandgraben 22, Furth an der Triesting
Entrance fee: Adults EUR 5, children 6-14 years EUR 1.50
Kids: It is advisable to bypass the Rudolf-Decker-Steig with kids under 4 year. With kids approx. 5 – 6 years depending on their skills you can easily tackle the Rudolf-Decker-Steig. With the long ladders, an adult should climb directly under the child with the child tethered to himself/herself for additional security.
Best season: All year round. But the Steinwandklamm does not always have water, even when this happens, it is still an experience in itself, especially on hot summer days when the gorge offers much needed cooling. Along the way there are boards providing information about the flora and fauna of the gorge.
Walking time: approx. 2 hours, might vary with kids, appropriate hiking shoes make for a great experience.
Distance: 3 km (Routenprofil auf bergfex.at)
Altitude: 549 m above sea level
Difficulty level: easy or medium over the Rudolf-Decker-Steig. In damp conditions in the gorges, the footbridges can be very slippery so one has to be a bit careful and extremely so going up the ladders, especially the 10m one.
Our daughter is 3 years old and a very skilled climber so we opted for the Rudolf-Decker-Steig trail which took us through the most beautiful ravines complete with waterfalls. Wooden stairways which led us to some high and seemingly daunting ladders. Up, up we went into dark caves and out onto high rocky cliffs with the most extraordinary view, where we stopped to howl and take a few photos.
This cave was named after a gruesome event from the time of the Turkish siege in 1683. Looking for protection from the Turks, the population of the surrounding towns hid in this small cave. However, the rising smoke of the cooking fire gave them away and they were found, kidnapped or killed by the Turks. Archaeological excavations in 1981 unearthed coins, pottery shards and bone which confirmed this historical lore.
From here it was about an hours walk, through the idyllic woods (where we found the perfect bench to sit and take in the wild beauty as we breathed in that crisp, cold, refreshing air ) to the end of the trail.
As we came to the end, We were rewarded with an absolutely breathtaking meadow, complete with a sea of wildflowers in the most gorgeous colours. this offered the dreamiest picnic spot. If you are anything like my daughter and I, you will want to run, sing out loud, twirl, sprout wings, find some fairies and elves or just turn into one. That’s exactly what we did! No, we did not turn into fairies or elves, we run and twirled till we got too dizzy and just laid there watching the sky above us, It was blissful. I had pictured this moment quite a lot in my daydreams.
Our little one climbed, crawled and marched on without much fuss, as a matter of fact, she was filled with wonder. Letting out sequels of delight as only children can. Proclaiming it the most beautiful place! Every now and then she searched for the elusive salamander to no avail. To compensate this, there were a lot of bugs, bees and butterflies which gave her such a thrill. Having a magnifying glass at hand just heightened the experience. she was a happily satisfied little human, we all were.
For safety reasons the husband brought along some climbing gears, (little ones climbing harness, carabiners, rope, quickdraws) so he could tether her to himself as she went up the steep ladders. We packed a hearty picnic which was a big highlight. Binoculars, a touch ( the Türkenloch is pretty dark), and a magnifying glass which all add to our little explorers fun. Mimi the dolly came along too, she is a dearest companion and an explorer as well.
If you didn’t pack a picnic no worries, there is a restaurant,
Gasthaus-Jagasitz, which sits 706 m above sea level, with a great view of the schneeberg, usually closed on Thursdays and Fridays.
This was an awesome family adventure, not too challenging for the adults and enough of a challenge for the kid. I’m looking forward to visiting this wonderful place again.
PS: About 10 minutes drive from Steinwandklamm is another natural jewel https://www.myrafaelle.at/ Another perfect destination for hikers or families of all ages. With wonderful hiking trails, breathtaking water world and a great water playground for the kids. So if you are overachievers or feeling very adventurous you can easily combine both.