Those who know me know I’m a true nature lover. If an activity involves being outdoors I’m always in!
No wonder I was immediately convinced to go on a small hiking tour in Mendlingtal Valley which is located in Göstling, Lower Austria. I’ve been there quite a few times when I was younger but so much has changed since then!
Mendlingtal Valley at a Glance
The Mendlingtal Valley is a great hiking area in Göstling/Ybbs which is a small town in Lower Austria, close to the border of Styria. Formerly a place where lumberjacks cut and transported tree trunks, it’s now an adventurous hiking region for the entire family.
While following the path through stunning gorges, wild streams, and an amazing flora, you can get a great insight into the history of the woodcutters. That’s also the reason why they choose the slogan “Auf dem Holzweg” which means “On the wooden path”.
You can go there from May 1 – October 31 and the opening hours per day are from 9 am till 5 pm.
Prices are € 9,- for adults, € 6,- for students and € 3,50 for children under the age of 15.
From the beginning till the end, the entire route is around 3.5 km long. If you reach the end, you can either walk the way back or take a taxi that brings you to the parking spot at the starting point.
Even though it doesn’t sound that much it can take you quite a while to reach the final point. There are a couple of really cool activities and experiences to make on the way. No wonder it took my sister and me around 1.5 hours until we finally made it! However, back we were much faster as we had already tried the different things on the way before.
I guess it’s time to skip the boring and dry information and tell you how much fun you can have there!
On The Wooden Path in Mendlingtal Valley
After I parked the car at the parking spot we followed the signs to the entrance. However, before we made it there we had to walk for around 15 minutes through the forest as the actual entrance wasn’t directly reachable by car.
While we followed that way, we saw a lot of information panels showing interesting facts about different types of trees. Nearly at the end, we had to climb down steep stairs which led us to the beginning of the actual wander route.
Museum & Mill
Our first stop after we bought the tickets was a small house that was used as a museum. Thanks to a great number of photos and information offered, it was easily imaginable how lumberjacks lived at this place many years ago. Besides the fact it was a museum, it was also possible to buy different souvenirs.
When we left the museum we passed an old forge and an old mill including a so-called “Venetian saw”. It’s basically a huge saw someone uses to cut trees and this one is still usable today.
Of course, we had to take a look inside and admire the big saw. Honestly, I was a bit scared as the saw teeth were very sharp and I saw too many horror movies already! 😀
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Mendlingtal is a place where woodcutters worked decades ago. That’s why timber floating is a very important topic that you will come across many times during the hike.
Pictured below are some of the – I call them – “wooden canals”. Workers used them to transport tree trunks with the help of water. I was truly fascinated as they reminded me of water slides and I really wanted to grab an air mattress to slide them down!
Gorges of Mendlingtal
The hiking path leads you through three awesome gorges in total. While crossing numerous tiny wooden bridges, you have enough time to admire the beauty nature offers.
Something you can also find everywhere along the trail is info signs telling you interesting facts about different plants or the valley itself. Moreover, every now and then, you’ll see signposts with the remaining walking distance.
Between all those gorges, calm and tranquil places with alluvial forest lay there. Furthermore, there are tons of opportunities to get close to the small river and refresh yourself. At some points, you can even find wooden sunbeds placed on sandbanks. A perfect opportunity to take a short break, relax and simply inhale nature’s scent.
Slackline, Wooden Pathway & … a Toilet?
Shortly after we found those sunbeds, relaxed and built up some strength, we continued our hike and found something really cool: A slackline was stretched between two trees! Certainly, I had to try it … and failed immensely. I’d done slacklining a few times before, but I’ve never been good at it. Nevertheless, I had lots of fun!
The next part of the trail was a really lovely wooden pathway that led through a botanical paradise.
I mean look at that photo, can’t you feel the jungle vibes?
By the way, if you really need to go to the toilet, there is one along the hiking path in Mendlingtal!
Just kidding. It’s only a wooden door.
But let’s be honest, it looks deceptively real and they almost got me! 😀
Fish Ponds, Waterfalls & a Restaurant
At this point, we made it through most of the valley already. The closer we came to the end of the hiking area, the lighter the surrounding became.
Some of the gems we discovered before reaching the final point were a couple of lovely created fish ponds and a nice little waterfall from a mountain spring. It was even possible to climb up some stairs and go directly to the spring.
Then, after more than 1.5 hours we finally made it to the end of the Mendlingtal Valley. There we found a lovely restaurant serving typical Austrian dishes – which means nothing for me except fries. 😉
However, we took a seat and drank a “Radler” – a beer with lemonade.
Even though it’s possible to call a taxi, we decided to go back the same route we came as we enjoyed it so much. Moreover, you can also start the hike from this point to follow the flow of the water!
I really hope I could show you the beauty of this place a little bit. For me, it’s a great place to hike and I will definitely go back there as soon as possible!