Winter trek to Mount Eisenstein in the Türnitz Alps

Mountain range, region / State

/ Austria



13. 01. 2024


2 / 5


↑ 883 m

↓ 883 m


16.4 km

6 hours


max. 1174 m n.m.

min. 466 m n.m.

Elevation profile of the route

Meters climbed: 883 m
Dismal metres: 883 m

Useful information

Winter trip to Eisenstein in the Austrian Foothills

Starting point

Türnitz, there are plenty of free parking spaces, e.g. just off the road to Mariazell.

Description of the hike

In Austria, you can walk in the mountains in all seasons, in winter on snowshoes or skialps. I tried one such winter trail for beginners in Voralpen in the Türnitz Alps, about 2 hours drive from Czech border.

I arrive in the town of Türnitz at 9am and minus 9 degrees. I park right next to the B20 road to Mariazell. Directly from the parking lot the hiking trail to Eisenstein (1185 m) starts. I head up the asphalt road along the stream. After a few hundred metres there is a farm with deer on the left, the animals snuggle together in the frosty morning and watch me curiously. Information signs direct me to local attractions. Alte Müllen is two old wooden mills, one of which still has a nicely preserved mill wheel. The second sight is the Schuβluck Kapelle in a rock niche near the lower mill.

Shortly after the upper mill, I turn right and start climbing through meadows between lonely farmhouses. The path follows wider dirt tracks until a footpath turns off in the woods. There was only a dusting of snow down below, here it is well over 10 centimetres. But it is good to walk, the snow is hard, it does not slip. From the next solitude Hochgrasser there are nice views. Above Türnitz stands the almost perfect cone of the Türnitzer Höger, to the right of it the thousand-metre-high Eibl, which used to be reached by cable car. The slopes are still recognisable on the hillside. Above it the bump of the Gippel and the completely white Göller. I continue up the narrow forest path.

At about 1000 m above sea level I don't give up and put on snowshoes, although it is not necessary yet, the trail is well worn. It's my first time wearing snowshoes. My fears that it will be clumsy, that I will be slow, or that I will step on them are fortunately not confirmed. The snowshoes are like slippers, they are wonderful to walk in. I climb up to the ridge, where it's a real winter fairy tale, with about 20 cm of snow, trees covered with snow. A white plain spreads out before me. Finally, the prominent peaks appear - behind the Türnitzer Höger, the two-thousand-foot Schneeberg shines, the peaks of the Rax, the Hochschwab and, to the very west, the Ötscher and the Gemeindealpe. The plain is blown smooth, with a fine crust on top that crunches like chocolate on a popsicle. A fresh wind leans against me, but I don't mind it at all. I can't help admiring the beauty around me - blue skies without a cloud over the Alps, a blanket of inversion clouds towards the Danube. It's only a short walk to the Julius Seitner Hütte at the top of Eisenstein. A wooden cross stands on a rock nearby. The hut is open even in winter, but somehow I don't want to go inside and leave the beautiful views. So I walk a little way to the forest, find a spot in the lee and bask in the sun.

After resting for a while, I descend down the plain. There are curves left by ski mountaineers who descend back to the valley. The path is traversed by a small snowcat servicing the hut. I keep my snowshoes on my feet, the spikes prevent slipping on the descent. Through the forest and across the meadows I return towards Türnitz. Above the town, I am still tempted by the turn to Wackelstein - a several-metre-high wiggle on a steep rock. You have to climb a bit to reach it (beware of slipping and falling off the rock in wet or snowy conditions!), but it offers a nice view of the town. And as a bonus, the legend of the hunter who didn't go to mass on Sunday and the devil in the form of a chamois seduced him to the rocks where he died. The legend is commemorated by a metal chamois on top of the wigwam. From the wigwam still down, the direction is indicated by the white tower of the church. The centre of Türnitz is small but picturesque. In addition to the church, the museum of old firefighting technology just outside the Freiwillige Feuerwehr is worth a look.




Easy route on the first Alpine hills, on marked trails. I went in winter, I used snowshoes in the upper parts. Trekking poles are definitely useful in the snow.

Water availability

Refreshments are available on the trail at the Julius Seitner Hütte, which is open all year round.

Sleeping options

Julius Seither Hütte, or in the valley of Türnitz.

Mountain peaks

Climb to Eisenstein 1,185 m above sea level, views of Reisalpe, Türnitzer Höger, Schneeberg, Gippel, Göller, Gemeindealpe, Ötscher, Ybbstal Alps and more.


The route is not dangerous, be careful if you decide to climb the Wackelstein - steep rocks. In wet or snowy conditions it is slippery.


Refreshments available at the Julius Seitner Hütte or to go. In Türnitz or nearby Lilienfeld shops, restaurants, petrol station.


The route leads past the Schuβluck Chapel, which is located in a rock niche near the lower mill. It was built to thank the parents for saving a child who swallowed badly and started choking. When the desperate parents took their already half-dead son to the town to see a doctor, he miraculously managed to spit out the object at this very spot.

Posted by: 15. 01. 2024
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