Sustainable Tourism

Following the lynx through Austria’s wild heart

People often call the lynx, with its fluffy ears and pointy beard, the wizard of the forest. Rarely seen, he lives in wild, mountainous forests without significant human presence. There are currently just a handful of lynx in Austria. Most of them live in the remote forests of the border region of Styria, Upper and Lower Austria. A new long-distance hiking trail through this area explores the unique and diverse home of the lynx. The trail was developed on behalf of the ARGE Luchs Trail, a co-operation of the tourism agencies of the Enns Valley and the Gesäuse, the Mostviertel Tourism GmbH, the National Parks Kalkalpen and Gesäuse, and also the Nature- and Geopark Steirische Eisenwurzen and the Wilderness Area Dürrenstein.

Please also read: Exclusive Interview with a Lynx

Through primeval forests and rocky peaks

The lynx trail is located in the border triangle of the provinces of Styria, Upper and Lower Austria. It crosses through the National Park Kalkalpen, the National Park Gesäuse, the Nature- and Geopark Eisenwurzen and the Wilderness Area Dürrenstein. The 200km long and demanding trail partialy leads through wild beech forests, which are part of Austria’s first UNESCO world heritage site. The 11 stages go through a mountainous area that the Alpine Convention designated as a pilot region for ecological connection. The trail follows ecological stepping stones created for the lynx and crosses through its habitat. The presence of the lynx is noticable, however, the chances of acutally seeing the shy animal are low.

Compared to the wolf, the solitary lynx prefers wilder places. The lynx trail raises awareness for the protection of the rare lynx and the necessity to preserve the wild areas the lynx lives. ARGE Luchs dedicates this trail through Austria’s wildest places to the lynx:

The lynx acts as a medium for the spiritual approach to Wilderness and satisfies the desire to connect with our roots. You are part of something wonderful while hiking this trail, even if you will not spot a lynx.

It will be possible to book your hike on the lynx trail starting October 29th for hiking it next spring here. More information can be found on the trail’s homepage.

Wilderness in Austria

Whilst this hike does not lead directly through any part of the European Wilderness Network, Austria has three Wilderness areas; Hohe Tauern, Kalkalpen and Thayatal. Additionally, Kalkalpen WILDForest and Thaya WILDRiver can be found in Austria. These areas are an important habitat for a number of species, including the lynx, wildcat, ibex, chamois and golden eagle.

The European Wilderness Society encourages people to explore nature and learn about Wilderness and wildlife. Because of this, we are able to better understand and protect the environment for future generations.

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