Hiking in the Salzkammergut Lake District
The best hiking and walking trails in Salzburg, Austria
In summer, spring and autumn the Salzkammergut in Austria is a hiker's paradise, with a wide range of stunning walks and hikes for varying levels of fitness and experience. For those looking to start off with a gentle walk, we can highly recommend the round the lake walk which follows the shoreline and takes about 2,5 hours, or the short walk up to the Waldhof-Alm mountain hut restaurant to enjoy a tasty snack, a refreshing drink and fantastic views. If you're hoping to conquer a few peaks during your hiking holiday in the Salzkammergut Lake District, the three local mountains are just the thing.
The Schober Mountain is the highest of the three local mountains which overlook Lake Fuschlsee. The ascent is quite steep and at time challenging but you are rewarded with absolutely spectacular views of Lake Fuschlsee and five other lakes in the district. Leaving from the Hotel Garni Sonnleitn it will take you about an hour to reach the Wartenfels Ruins (it's well worth taking the short detour to take a closer look at the medieval castle ruins). From here you continue for another hour until you reach the summit, just before you reach the top you have to overcome a short climbing passage - a good level of fitness, good footwear are imperative.
Slightly less demanding is the Filbling Mountain, the flat-faced mountain opposite the hotel on the other side of the lake. The path first takes you to the secluded Alpine lake Filbingsee which you will reach after about an hour or an 1,5 hours. From the lake it's then a relatively short ascent through the woods to the summit.
The third local peak is the Ellmaustein Mountain at the far end of the village. At the beginning the ascent is very steep, but after a short stretch on a wider forest trail, the path then cuts through the woods to the summit. You'll need between 45 minutes and an hour to reach the summit.
When you set out for the three local peaks, Schober, Filbling and Ellmaustein, you should take your own provisions with you, especially something to drink. There aren't any mountain hut restaurants on any of the peaks.
Another fantastic hike offering breathtaking views of the Lake District is the Schafberg Mountain at 1780 above sea level. The Schafberg is on the St. Wolfgang side of the Wolfgang Lake and the ascent will take approximately four hours. Here you will also find Austria's oldest cog railway.
The Zwölferhorn Mountain is St. Gilgen's local mountain and can be reached on foot from Fuschl in approximately three hours. Of course the summit can be reached more quickly by taking the nostalgic cable car from St. Gilgen. Whether you walk or ride, once at the top, you are rewarded with fantastic views and a whole host of further hiking and walking trails to choose from.