Hiking in the presence of the extraordinary: Catching a glimpse of the wild cat that inspired the Luchs Trail’s name would be a rare and unlikely stroke of luck. Nevertheless, its presence is subtly palpable all along this long-distance hiking route. The new Luchs Trail runs through the tri-border area of Upper Austria, Styria and Lower Austria.
Over the course of 11 days, hikers traverse four internationally recognised nature reserves, which are once more able to sustain a stable lynx population: the Kalkalpen National Park, Gesäuse National Park, Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature Park, and the Dürrenstein Reserve. They are characterised by expansive beech forests which have recently been declared a UNESCO Natural Heritage site. The Luchs Trail takes hikers on a remarkable journey through the Wild Heart of Austria – opening up a new perspective of nature and, ultimately, themselves.
The route is distinguished by a unique variation of unspoilt woodlands (Reichraminger Hintergebirge, Urwald Rothwald), spectacular high-alpine landscapes (Haller Mauern, Gesäuse), stretches imbued with art-historical and cultural significance (Admont Abbey, the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature and Geopark) and charming rural villages – with the blue-green waters of Lake Lunzer See making for a stunning final destination.
In terms of difficulty, the Luchs Trail is classed as moderate, though it still requires a certain degree of stamina. The route has been divided into 11 stages, with selected accommodation providers at either end of each stage. This means that those who don’t wish to complete the route in one consecutive journey can simply choose to walk individual sections – and perhaps keep returning to the Wild Heart of Austria, time and again: after all, the new Luchs Trail certainly has the potential to become a real classic among Central Europe’s long-distance trails.
The optimal time for a hiking journey on the Luchs Trail is from mid-May to the end of October.
Spring (March, April, May): In March and April, the Luchs Trail is out of bounds as the majority of paths will still be covered in snow. From mid-May onwards, all sections of the Luchs Trail can generally be expected to be free of snow. If you are in any doubt, please contact our Booking Center or a local tourism office prior to your hiking journey.
Summer (June, July, August): June is a fantastic time for a journey on the Luchs Trail, marked by pleasant temperatures and the unique beauty of an awakening natural world. July and August are equally attractive, with the shaded forests and cool air on the mountain ridges ensuring a comfortable hiking experience.
Autumn (September, October, November): Crystal-clear air, vibrantly coloured forests and pleasantly cool temperatures: hiking during autumn is a best-kept secret on the Luchs Trail. However, there is a possibility that premature winter weather might make the use of certain paths more difficult or even impossible.
Winter (December, January, February): Due to snow cover, the Luchs Trail is not accessible during the winter months.
In terms of technical ability, the Luchs Trail is classed as moderate, and will pose no particular challenge for experienced, sure-footed hikers. The route follows paths marked with the ‘red dot’ rating of the Austrian Alpine Association, signifying a medium level of difficulty. However, you should have some previous experience in navigating alpine terrain, as some parts of the Luchs Trail will take you to altitudes of up to 1900 m.
In terms of fitness levels, the Luchs Trail is slightly more demanding, especially regarding stages 8 to 11. The route continuously undulates, with certain sections involving altitude differences of up to 1400 m. Some ascents and descents go on for distances of up to 22.5 km. We therefore highly recommend that you include endurance training in your preparations for your trekking journey.
The Luchs Trail is suitable for children over 14, provided they have very good stamina.
Our long-distance hiking and trekking routes are not geared towards persons with limited mobility. However, if you would like to discuss your options based on the degree and nature of a particular impairment, simply contact our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center.
For details on the rating system used for Austrian mountain trails, as well as fitness training tips, follow the link .
Standard hiking equipment suitable for navigating unpaved mountain paths is sufficient for your Luchs Trail journey. Aside from sturdy footwear, we strongly recommend bringing a pair of telescopic trekking poles to take the pressure off your knees during some of the longer descents. For an overnight stay at the shelter of Anlaufalm (between stage 1 and 2), a hammock sleeping bag and a towel must be brought along. This is also recommended for Klinkehütte (between stage 4 and 5).
See here for a detailed list of recommended equipment.
Hot tip: Travel with a light-weight backpack containing only what you need for the day, while we transport your main luggage (up to 20 kg) to your next accommodation. We recommend taking out luggage insurance for complete peace of mind.
For a closer look, check out the detailed information for each stage along the trail here. The times are average values and may vary depending on personal fitness, number and length of breaks, weather conditions, etc.show Stages
Feel free to load map material from Google maps.
Along the Luchs Trail, you are able to choose from three accommodation categories (regional rating):
Basic: clean, functional – mountain lodge, inn or B&B
Classic: good-quality, mid-range accommodation – 2 or 3-star inn or hotel
Comfort: high-end accommodation – 4-star hotel (some with spa area)
Children (ages 6 to 14) staying in their parents’ room are charged at a 35% discount (provided both adults pay full price).
Dogs incur a surcharge of €5 to €15 per day (excluding food), payable directly to your accommodation provider.
Our partner establishments offer two types of catering:
Breakfast: generous buffet or hearty table-service breakfast
Half-board: breakfast and dinner (usually a 3-course menu)
Please enter any individual dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, food intolerances etc.) in the ‘comments’ box. Our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center will do their best to accommodate your request.
For an especially carefree Trail journey, you might like to take advantage of our comprehensive transport service:
Luggage Service: Hiking with a light-weight day backpack, while your main luggage (max. 20 kg) is transported from one accommodation to the next. For peace of mind, we recommend taking out luggage insurance.
Exceptions: please note that the luggage transport service is not available for Stage 01.
In these case, the luggage will be transported to your subsequent accommodation.
Return Transfer: A collective transport service takes you from your final Trail destination back to your departure point.
Shuttle Service: All shuttle transfers that are essential for the completion of your Trail journey are included in the package price. Additional shuttle services (i.e. in the event of bad weather, illness etc.) can simply be requested at the Trail Information & Booking Center, and will be charged separately.
The Trail Info & Booking Center offers a comprehensive range of services to make your Trail adventure run as smoothly as possible:
Trail Hotline: Our team is at your service with advice and practical support for the duration of your Trail journey. Even outside our normal office hours, you can reach us daily from 8:00 to 20:00.
Trail Guide: Our highly trained, certified mountain guides are not only familiar with the local terrain, but can also offer fascinating insights into the natural world and cultural development of the Kalkalpen and Gesäuse National Parks and Dürrenstein Nature Reserve – making your Trail journey both safe and informative. All costs incurred by the guide (overnight stay, meals, travel costs) are included in the Guide package price.
Comprehensive Travel Information: an expertly compiled folder (PDF, print@home) with detailed, in-depth information will be sent to you in preparation for your Luchs Trail journey.
You have three travel options (not included in the price) to reach the starting point of your Lynx Trail journey:
By car: Parking is available at the beginning of each stage of the Trail (please note that the parking facilities in Johnsbach are very limited). Further details can be found in your booking documents. The majority of car parks are free of charge, and unmonitored (parking at your own risk). At the end of your Trail journey, our return transfer takes you back to your vehicle.
By train: We suggest the following train stations: Reichraming; Waidhofen an der Ybbs (followed by a bus journey to Lunz, taking the MO1); Scheibbs (followed by a bus journey to Lunz, taking the MO1); Liezen (followed by a bus journey to Admont).
By plane: We recommend the following international airports: Vienna; Linz; Graz An optional shuttle service (charged separately) is available to take you to the departure point of your Trail journey, and back to the train station or airport of your choice. Our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center will be happy to arrange this service at your request.
This is where Trail travellers find an especially warm welcome: ranging from 4 star spa hotels to simple B&Bs, our partner establishments have been hand-picked, and actively contribute to the development of the Trail.show partners
Here you will find all relevant information about your travel destination such as currency, entry requirements, food & drink, health and vaccinations and literature tips.Show Travel Information
Trail Information & Booking center, Travel Agent
Trail Angels GmbH
9821 Obervellach 15
We arrange your tour operator
Trail Angels GmbH
Obervellach 15, 9821 Obervellach, Österreich
Eintragungs-NR. Veranstalterverz. des bmwfi: 2016/0005
Tel: +43 4782 93093