Highlights of the Nockberge-Trail hiking route
Stage 01 from Katschberghöhe to the Neue Bonner-Hütte
Goodbye bustle: Over the ridge between Aineck and Theuerlnock down to the romantic Neue Bonner-Hütte.
The first hiking day on the Nockberge-Trail starts comfortably with a short stage. The ascent to Aineck via the ski slope is the most strenuous part. No later than there, peace and quiet sets in: You leave the ski area and hike on a wonderfully scenic ridge over to the Theuerlnock. From there you walk over alpine pastures and through beautiful larch forests down to the idyllically situated Neue Bonner-Hütte. Be glad that this stage is short, because this way you have enough time to enjoy the tranquility as well as the soothing simplicity and closeness to nature of a mountain hut.
The starting point of the Nockberge-Trail is the valley station Aineck on the Katschberghöhe. Here you choose the well-maintained route No. 111 – the so-called motorway – along the slope to the summit of Aineck (the Aineckbahn, originally a Ski lift, can also be used during the summer season). At least from here, it gets quiet: You leave the ski area and continue trail no. 111 on the broad and promising ridge direction south to the Theuerlnock.
From Theuerlnock you hike the path no. 111 over pastures and later through forest to the Neue Bonner-Hütte. A short stage – ideal for resting your legs on the sun terrace of the rustic lodge to bear the stress of everyday life and simply enjoy the scenery and culinary delights.
Stage 02 from the Neue Bonner-Hütte to Innerkrems
Mountains and lakes: Over four “Nocks” and along small mountain lakes in Scandinavian-looking landscape to Innerkrems.
This stage is one of the highlights among the many beautiful stages of the Nockberge-Trail: It takes you on the way via Laußnitzer Hütte, Schwarzwand, Gmeinnock, Kameritzhöhe and Gaipahöhe through a completely unspoilt typical Nockberge landscape, which leaves a scandinavian impression not only because of the many small mountain lakes. Once you are back on the descent from the Blutige Alm down to Innerkrems, you will slowly dive back into civilization.
From the Neue Bonner-Hütte, you first follow a slight downhill to the wide road that leads to the east in the Laußnitztal valley in the direction of Rennweg. After about 800m you come to a junction. Here you stay in the direction of the Ebenwald-Laußnitzer Hütte: at first you walk comfortably up the forest path no. 113 to Ebenwaldhöhe. At the crossroads you stay on your way and go straight downhill first and again a bit steeper uphill to the quaint farmed Laußnitzer Hütte. From here the trail no. 113 leads up to the idyllic Laußnitzsee, which you follow along its eastern shore. Now the trail leads a bit steeper uphill and then gently rising (Take the left way at the junction) up to the Schwarzwand (2.214m), which represents the highest point of the two huts connection path.
You now hike the wonderful ridge (always following the path no. 113) along just below the Gmeinnock (2.130m) past nameless mountain lakes to the beautifully situated lake Anderlesee. Continue with the Kameritzhöhe (2.167m) up till the Gaipahöhe (2.192m). Here you leave the ridge and walk the Wiesensteig about 180 vertical meters down to a track. This path you follow to the left (east) almost without loss of height to the “Blutige Alm Hütte” (1.195m – closed summer 2020).
At the hut you choose the path no. 114 down south, hiking past a reservoir lake along the marked trail, which leads west of the cableway to Innerkrems – about 100 meters above Innerkrems you have the opportunity to take the path on the right to the lower district or on the left in the upper district of Innerkrems, depending on the location of your hotel.
Stage 03 from Innerkrems to Turracherhöhe
Unlimited views: From Innerkrems through the Donnerschlucht gorge to the Königstuhl mountain and in a promising high-altitude hike to the Turracherhöhe.
This – indeed quite long – stage offers everything the Nockberge soul could wish for: The Donnerschlucht gorge at the very beginning on the way to Schönfeld, then an idyllic valley – the Rosanintal – to the Königsstuhl, one of the most famous mountains of the Nockberge. Now follows a wonderful panoramic high-altitude hike via Karlnock, Stangscharte and Pregatscharte to the Turracher Höhe by the lake of the same name.
This stage starts with a highlight: You hike the trail no. 4 east along the beautiful Donnerschlucht gorge to the beginning of the Schönfeld just before the Dr-Josef-Mehrl-Hütte: To get to the start of the trail you go east to the road, pass the hotels Frühauf and Berghof until on the left side a small road with a marking of the path no. 4 branches.
Here you do not turn north into the Schönfeld, you choose the gravel road (trail no. 126) following the Kremsbach to the south; it leads uphill through the scenic valley of Rosaninalm. Noteworthy is the strong meandering Kremsbach, whose strongly winding brook bed results from the very low gradient. A little later, the path turns away from the creek and the terrain becomes steeper. Passing an ecologically valuable wetland, you reach the Rosaninsee lake at 2.057m above sea level and you hike around it southeast. From the lake, the trail leads up in serpentines up to the crest of the northwest foothills of the mountain “Große Königstuhl”, where you meet the trail no. 125. Follow this trail to the left until you reach the summit of the “Großer Königstuhl” (2.336m), one of the most famous mountains in the Nockberge mountains.
The following section of the trail brings out the vastness of the Nockberge particularly well: From the Königstuhl you take the path no. 125 over the ridge to the slightly lower Karlnock. On the other side you descend a few meters and now leave the ridge: You cross west below the Stangnocks, over the Stangboden to the Stangscharte. Continue trail no. 123 (later no. 126) below the Gregerlnock over the Schneegrubensattel to the Pregatscharte. Now you cross the path no. 126 north of the Simmer Leak until a crossroad at 1.969m above sea level appears.
Here you choose the path no. 126 down to the Winkleralm, which leads first horizontally across the Schafalm and then after a short ascent on the Steinturrach down to the Turracherhöhe and the beautiful lake Turrachsee.
Stage 04 from the Turracherhöhe to the Falkerthütte
In the heart of the Nockberge mountains: From lake Turrachsee to lake Falkertsee via Rinsennock mountain, Prießhütte and Flache Scharte.
The first destination of this stage, the Pregatscharte, you have already crossed on the previous stage – but you will reach it via the Rinsennock and thus via a different route than the day before. The further way leads you down to the Prießhütte and then a short distance over the Nockalm roads before you reach the “Flache Scharte” on beautiful trails. Then you hike over a wonderful ridge to the Hundsfeldscharte in front of the Falkert summit and down to the lake Falkertsee.
The starting point of stage 04 is located at the valley station of the Nocky-Flitzer, a summer toboggan run with a cableway on the Turracher Höhe. From here you walk along the Barbara Weg direction southwest: First, you climb through forest to an avalanche barrier and then come into an elongated side valley, the so-called “Kormulde”. Here you choose the right path, over which you will shortly reach the old mine – cinnabar was mined here in the past.
From here you continue to the ridge that descends from the Rinsennock to the southeast and reach with this trail (no. 149) the summit of the Rinsennock – the highest point for today (2.334m). From there, once again you can enjoy a wonderful view of the lake Turrachsee.
From here you walk down west until you reach the path of yesterday’s stage. The next section (route no. 126) is identical to yesterday’s stage, except that you walk in the opposite direction: This is how you reach the next destination, the Pregatscharte. There you follow the trail no. 126 direction Königstuhl/Prießhütte (Salzsteigweg) for another good half hour, until the left lane branches off towards Prießhütte. Now follow this path (no. 123) in an arc beneath the Koflernock until you reach the Prießhütte, where you can take a little rest.
After this short relaxation you continue uphill along the Nockalm Road, which is heavily frequented by cars and especially by motorcycles. But do not worry, this section of the trail is not long: after a few bends (about 2 km, 35 min walking time), the trail no. 123 or 3 branches off in a right turn. This leads first to the Auernighütte and then steeply uphill to the plateau “Flachen Scharte”.
This is where the wonderful high-altitude hike to the east towards Falkert begins: you always keep to the ridge with its panoramic views (trail no. 3) and bypass the summit of the Steinnock on its southern side – this is how you reach the Hundsfeldscharte between Falkertköpfl and Falkert. Here you leave the ridge and descend eastwards to the lake Falkertsee, where your hotel and a cool drink is already waiting for you on its northern shore.
ALTERNATIVE ROUTE WITH OVERNIGHT STAY ON LÄRCHENHÜTTE OR FALKERTHAUS:
Both paths are identical up to the “Flaches Scharte” – but here the paths separate: from the “Flaches Scharte” you hike over the ridge of the hill a few meters to the west (right), until path no. 1611 or 10 branches off to the left (south). Follow this path for about 500 meters downhill to the Lärchenhütte (1.670 m).
If your overnight destination is the Falkerthaus (1.557 m), you pass the Lärchenhütte and continue out of the valley until you reach the stream St. Oswald Bach. After crossing the stream, you will soon reach the Falkerthaus.
The walking time is about the same as on the original route.
Stage 05 from Falkertsee to Bad Kleinkirchheim
Another highlight! From lake Falkertsee up to the probably most famous summit of the trail – the Falkert – and over the long back of the Totelitzen down to Bad Kleinkirchheim.
The most famous peak of the Nockberge is the first goal of this stage – you reach it through the lovely valley Sonntagstal at the foot of the south flank of the Falkert, which is unusually steep for the Nockberge. The long and panoramic grass ridge of the Totelitzen then leads you in a long descent to the eastern end of the elongated village of Bad Kleinkirchheim, which you finally cross on beautiful paths to the St. Kathrein thermal baths and the Information Center on the opposite side.
Starting from your accommodation, you circle the Falkertsee first on the north and then on its east side. From the south end of the lake you walk along the trail no. 1591 through the beautiful Sonntagstal up to the Falkertscharte. From here you should definitely make a detour to Falkert (2.308m) – one of the most famous peaks of the Nockberge – across the southwestridge. This summit visit takes about 30 minutes extra effort – the last few meters to the imposing summit cross are a bit steeper and requires surefootedness.
Back at the Falkertscharte you take the path no. 1, which leads downwards to the west and further below the Moschelitzen (Rödresnock) on to the elongated grass back of the Totelitzen. You descend this slightly sloping ridge in its entire length, past a shelter hut until the path drops steeper to Bad Kleinkirchheim (point 1.990m). Here you choose the left path (no. 1), which leads steeper through open terrain and later through the forest (crossing forest roads several times), directly to the church near the Römerbad Thermal Spa in the center of Bad Kleinkirchheim.
From the church you walk down the asphalt road to the main road. Turn left here a few meters and then right again before the Römerbad spa. Pass the thermal bath on the right to the valley station of the Kaiserburgbahn and diagonally right over a parking lot to the beginning of the hiking trails “Talweg” and “Spaziermeile”. You walk directly left past the Pension Hubertushof and follow the right path at the next fork (Ww. “Spaziermeile”). After a bridge you will reach houses, which you bypass on the left over a small asphalt road along the brook. Continue along the path of the “Spaziermeile” on the right side of the brook until it crosses a small bridge to the other side of the brook. Continue along the “Spaziermeile” – alternating between asphalt roads and footpaths – until you see the Therme St. Kathrein on the other side of the road. Here, or at the tourist information office opposite, you will find your stage finish.
ALTERNATIVE ROUTE WITH OVERNIGHT STAY ON LÄRCHENHÜTTE OR FALKERTHAUS:
From Falkerthaus you walk a few minutes on yesterday’s path back towards the Lärchenhütte. Before you reach the hut, turn right onto hiking trail no. 12 (if you stay overnight at the Lärchenhütte, simply walk a short distance out of the valley to reach this place) and follow a forest road, which you sometimes cut off over steep paths, uphill to the edge of the forest – here the forest road ends. Continue on path no. 12, which now becomes a steep path, over the Tanzboden to the Falkertscharte. Here you will find the original route coming from the lake Falkertsee – see the above route for further directions.
Stage 06 Bad Kleinkirchheim – Erlacherhaus
To lofty heights: Comfort in Bad Kleinkirchheim prior to a steep ascent to the Priedröf and narrow paths to the rustic hut Erlacherhaus.
Relaxed after the great comfort in Bad Kleinkirchheim – perhaps you have visited one of the two thermal baths to relax – the steep and lonely climb up the Priedröf is certainly no obstacle for you. At the top, the image changes again: You walk along the edge of the ski area along the panoramic ridge towards the summit station of the Biosphere Park lift Brunnach, but before that you turn off onto a small and lonely path that takes you through larch forests, always crossing a slope, to the Erlacherhaus.
Your stage starts at the tourist information office opposite the St. Kathrein thermal baths. You turn west (i.e. left) of the Therme St. Kathrein to the north into the Bacherweg and follow it for 100 m. Now turn left and follow the road in a right-left turn past the Pension Auer until you reach another street. Here turn right and immediately left again onto the hiking trail (“St.-Oswald-Bach-Weg”), which leads out of Bad Kleinkirchheim to the right of the gorge of the St.-Oswald-Bach with beautiful views of the gorge.
You will now come to some houses very close to the main road that leads to St. Oswald. Shortly before the main road, however, you turn left onto an asphalt road, cross a bridge and follow this road straight on until the last house. There you turn sharp right and follow the road until you reach a farm. This is where the loneliness begins: the road becomes a cart track and later on a small forest path, which continues up the mountain, keeping left and steady, sometimes quite steep. You always follow the Ww. “Priedröf” and cross a forest road again and again or use it for some meters. After a while you will reach a gate: pass through it on the left and follow the alpine pasture path up the mountain on the left. After a few meters the markings point to the right again and you follow it over a partly steeper alpine meadow on tracks to the southern ridge of the Priedröf and over this to the summit, becoming flatter and flatter.
From the Priedröf you have a wonderful panorama of the surrounding mountains. With great views – you can admire, among other things, the route of the two previous stages – you hike over the ridge down to the summit station of the Nockalmbahn. Behind it, turn right (Ww. “Biosphärenparkbahn, Wiesernock”) and walk along a fence directly over the ridge to the summit of the Wiesernock (summit cross).
Now you hike a few meters down to a point where two tracks meet. You choose the left one and descend the slope at its left edge until another slope brings you to the right into the gap between Wiesernock and Spitzeck. Here you descend about 50 m – crossing a forest path – to a somewhat hidden crossroads with yellow signs. Follow the small path, which at first leads along the slope to the north at about the same altitude (path 162 “Nockalm-Rundweg”). After a few minutes you will reach a flattened ridge, at the upper end of which the path continues more clearly. It’s a bit strenuous (you’ll find yourself wishing you had a shorter right leg for this part of the trail because of the hillside crossings), but always very beautiful, rustic and lonely. You’ll cross steep wooded slopes for about an hour on narrow and not very distinctive paths until you reach a crossroads. Here the now wider hiking trail leads you down towards the “Erlacherhaus” (don’t take the path on the right towards St. Oswalder Bockhütte). When you reach a gravel road, you can already see the house, which you will soon reach on the right along the gravel road.
Stage 07 Erlacherhaus – Millstätter Hütte
Through the lonely heart of the Nockberge: long stage past the Rosennock past the beautiful Wolitzenalm to the famous Millstätter Alpe.
This stage – together with stage 3 the longest of the Nockberge-Trail – connects two well-known hiking regions (Langalmtal with Erlacherhaus and Millstätter Alpe with Millstätter Hütte) to another famous hiking area (Millstätter Alpe) over yet very little-known paths.
The first 15 minutes of your today’s stage are identical to the final part of the previous stage: You walk down the gravel road to the right until a hiking trail branches off to the left just after the right-hand bend. Follow this path uphill on the left until you reach a fork in the road. From here on, the path is no longer identical to the previous stage: you choose path no. 122 straight ahead and follow it until you reach a crossroads near the St-Oswalder Bockhütte (not visible). Turn left here towards Erlacher Bockhütte. You cross a small bridge and follow the hiking trail in a long right loop underneath the Arkerkopf to the Arkersattel. You pass the gate and follow the path down to a crossroads just before the already visible Erlacher Bockhütte.
You choose the right track towards “Predigerstuhl”. The path winds through a small valley until shortly before the Erlacher-Bock-Scharte, where you follow the signpost to the left towards “Predigerstuhl”. The path leads you through a steep grassy slope up to the crest, from where you can reach the summit cross of the “Predigerstuhl” (the “Predigerstuhl” is not the highest point of the Nock, but the place that is clearly visible from the valley and looks very impressive).
From the summit cross of the Predigerstuhl, keep right (west-northwest) down the gentle meadow slope on barely visible tracks to a crossroads in the Törl (be careful, the crossroad is not at the lowest point, but you ascent slightly uphill from the lowest point for 5 minutes in the same direction). Here you keep to the right and hike first without any trail marks to the right parallel to a fence over gentle alpine pasture land to the north, climb over the fence at a crossing and then keep to the right above the stream on a now better visible path towards Kaninger Wolitzenhütte.
The hut is situated incredibly idyllic in a wide saddle near a small lake. You hike past a crossroads on the south side of the lake to the left to a driveway , which you follow to the west down the valley towards Koflachtal. The valley is really idyllic not only because of the meandering brook. After quite a while you will see the roof of a mountain hut just below a sharp left turn. 50 m after that a shortcut branches off to the right from the driveway along a hiking trail. Soon you will reach the road again, which you follow further down the valley until you reach a more distinctive left turn. Here again a hiking trail branches off to the right, which you follow through the valley parallel above the brook through partly wet areas. After some time, you will reach a road again and follow it further out of the valley to the hut Lämmerhütte. The small alpine hut is open in summer and you can quench your thirst there.
Just after the Lämmerhütte you turn right into the forest path (Ww. “Lamprechthütte”). Follow it into the valley until you cross the brook and on the other side of the brook out of the valley again, until a hiking trail branches off to the right at a gate. Follow this path for a short distance until you reach a very overgrown road and turn left here. The road becomes less and less overgrown; after the second gate you come to a forest road fork. You choose the right forest road and follow it in a slight uphill and downhill to the Hoisbauerhütte. Through the hut area and further along the forest road, up a right-left bend and underneath the Thomannbauerhütte – this is how you reach another large gravel road more or less straight ahead at the Nöringsattel.
Now follow the road for about 150 m to the right, until a beautiful hiking trail leads uphill on the left through forests and over alpine meadows towards Alexanderhütte/Millstätter Hütte. At the top you reach a forest road again, which you follow to the right until you reach a fork. Follow the left forest road uphill – soon you will have a beautiful view of the glaciated Hochalmspitze – until after a while you reach the Törl west of the Kamplnock. Here you will for the first time see the destination of the Nockberge-Trail with the lake Millstätter See. Continue straight ahead along the forest path to the hut which is already visible.
Stage 08 Millstätter Hütte – Seeboden
The best comes at the finish: a last scenic hike to the Tschierweger Nock and a long descent to the beautiful lake Millstätter See.
Now you deserve this conclusion: First you hike comfortably towards the Alexanderhütte and up to your last peak, the 2.010 m high Tschierweger Nock, from where you have fantastic views of Lake Millstätter See, the tempting destination of your long journey on the Nockberge-Trail. Before you can jump into the waters of the lake, a long but beautiful descent via Sommeregger Alm and Hansbauerhütte to Treffling and further on past the historical castle Sommeregg to Seeboden is ahead of you.
From the Millstätter Hütte you hike along the road more or less level to the southwest until the road drops off more steeply (you are just above the Alexanderhütte which is not yet visible). At a signpost you choose the hiking trail straight ahead towards “Tschierweger Nock” and reach this summit with its beautiful cross over its southern ridge. Enjoy once again the beautiful view of the lake Millstätter See from your last summit on the Nockberge-Trail.
If you have stayed overnight at the Alexanderhütte you have to take the road to Millstätter Hütte again, disregarding the first signpost to Sommeregger Alm in the first bend and choose the second turn to Tschierweger Nock.
Now slightly descending over the ridge to the north to a crossroads. Now you take the left hiking trail, first at the same altitude and later descending on a cart track to the hosted Sommeregger Alm. Now you walk over the terrace of the Sommereggeralm to the start of the beautiful “Jagasteig”, which will take you to the Hansbauerhütte, which is also operated, in a few minutes. Here or at the Sommereggeralm you can stop for a bite to eat and recharge yourself for the last descent.
You now pass the Hansbauerhütte on the left and immediately turn right into hiking trail no. 11 towards Treffling/Seeboden. Shortly you will reach the old Hansbauerhütte. Cross the gate and immediately afterwards do not follow the cart track straight ahead, but diagonally left downhill on climbing tracks across the meadow to a decaying small hut. Here begins a more obvious meadow path, which takes you right down into the forest and over which you will reach a small asphalt road after a while, always descending. Follow this road for about 700 m and descend to the right until a shortcut on a hiking trail (no. 11) begins on the left. Back on the paved road for a short distance to the left until you reach a shortcut on footpath no. 11. Cross the paved road twice and you will reach an access road near a house. Turn right again and follow the path down until you finally reach the paved road of the “Panoramastrasse”. Turn right down the road and you will soon reach the village Treffling.
Right after that you will see a mill on the left side. You turn left behind it into a path, which you follow along the brook and past the church, always descending until you reach a larger road. Now left downhill past the Pension Kärnten until you reach an enlarged paved road. Cross the road and follow the small asphalt road opposite (path no. 4). At the next fork in the road turn right, pass the fortress Burg Sommeregg on your right and downhill you can see the church tower all the way to the church. In a left turn descend to the main road. Turn left onto this road, but immediately right again into a small asphalt road. A bit oddly through a farmyard you reach a meadow path, which you follow straight down to the brook. Cross a bridge and turn left of the creek on a nice hiking trail down to the main road – you are now already at the outskirts of Seeboden.
You walk straight down the road until you see a memorial cross on the right side of the road. Here you turn right towards the restaurant Bierwirt, but immediately left again onto a path that takes you right of the stream down to the main road that leads along the northern shore of Lake Millstätter See. You cross the road and choose a small road on the other side which takes you straight ahead to the very beautiful Klingerpark, the final destination of the Nockberge-Trail and situated directly on the shore of Lake Millstätter See. A wonderful destination of a fantastic trail!