On this premium trail you explore the wild water of Ötztaler Ache in contrast to the silent water of lake Piburger See.
From Oetz you walk southwards along the thunderous waters of the Ötztaler Ache on a gravel road. Scenic Weller Bridge can be found in a wooded area. It leads over one of the most demanding stretches of white water sports, where the extreme kayaking world championship were held for years.
On the other side you follow the signposted hiking trail and later a forestroute towards lake Piburger See. Suddenly you reach a forest clearing and you enjoy a perfect view of the picture-book and myth-enshrouded lake in its center. Keep left and walk up to Seejöchl.
The steep ascent is rewarded with a breathtaking view of the fabulous Alpine landscape. Then the loop trail continues towards Piburg, further down again and around the scenic lake.
Following the descent, you can savour the peace and quiet on one of the benches situated around the lake or take a refreshment break in one of the restaurants before continuing the descent to Oetz. At the lakeside swimming center, keep to the left and follow the signposted trail down to Oetz.
Tips, hints and links
- The Piburger See ranks not only among the most protected lakes in Tirol (natural monument, landscape protection area, lake protection area), it is also one of the most researched.
- Almost 40% of the water flow into the lake takes place underground.
- The outflow was directed into an underground channel in the 19th century which lowered the lake level by approx. 1.5 m.
- This is the warmest lake in Tirol reaching up to 24°C.
WATER IN THE ÖTZTAL VALLEY
Water, the element which has shaped the Ötztal valley.
The glaciers are melted by the sunshine, releasing fresh water which feeds into the meadows and the Ötztaler Ache river which winds its way along the 65 km long valley. The Ötztaler Ache catchment area extends over 893 km² with an elevation from 700 to 3,774 m. This glacial meltwater fills the reservoir used by the local population and provides a supply of drinking water.
Glaciers store ¾ of the world’s freshwater reserves and therefore represent the biggest natural waterstorage in the world.
In the year 1770, the advancing ice dammed many of the big lakes here which triggered catastrophic flooding across the entire Ötztal and Inntal regions when they burst their banks. Natural hazards and disaster made people want to know more about and better understand nature, which also facilitated glacier research. The many facets of water in the Ötztal is not just of interest for scientists. The Ötztal glaciers are recreational destinations for locals and guests alike as these ice worlds offer great hiking and skiing in surroundings of outstanding natural beauty. Crystal clear river waters swollen by icy glacier meltwater make for superb rafting, white water canoeing and other action-packed activities.
More details about hiking In Ötztal: https://www.oetztal.com/wandern
Getting thereOetz is located in the western part of Austria in the state TYROL, in a southern side valley of the Inn valley - the ÖTZTAL. For your arrival by car, you can plan the best route from your home town with the route planner online at https://www.google.at/maps
ParkingThe following parking facilities are available in Oetz / Piburg:
- Parking Acherkogelbahn - free for guests of the gondola lift, camping prohibited
- Parking lot Raftingeinsteinstelle (at the end of Oetz on the right side) - free, but limited parking (alternatively Acherkogelbahn 150 m), camping prohibited
- Oetz parking area (subject to a charge)
- Parking at night during several days' tours: Central parking place Oetz, The ticket is available at the information office Oetz.
- Parking Piburg at the Hotel Seerose, subject to charges.