A natural bridge and a moor, sunny places for rest and panoramic views of the snowy mountain slopes from Nebelhorn to Widderstein and Ifen – this winter hike has a lot more to offer than just trails along the Schwarzwasserbach.
The creek Schwarzwasserbach is the "golden thread" of this winter hike from Hirschegg to Walserschanz. Your first encounter with its waters happens at the fabled natural bridge, then you see his pure energy at a rushing waterfall and finally you follow its twisty flow to the confluence with the Breitach. Occasionally you leave its stream to draw your attention to the snow-covered morrs and mountains around. It is also very likely to meet cross-country skiers and fox tracks in the snow. You will walk along the waters of the Schwarzwasserbach all the way to the entrance to Breitachklamm directly beneath the Walserschanz. Refreshments halfway between the route at the Genussgasthof Sonnenburg and Gasthof Bergblick (Schwende).
Next time bring your cross-country skis and test the trails along the hiking trail.
Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen
Updated: October 01, 2018
Best time of year
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Sturdy shoes and hiking poles for steep sections recommended.
Tips, hints and links
Hiking trails, huts and attractions can also be found in the nature adventure map, which can be purchased at the tourist office in Hirschegg.
Hirschegg (1102 m)
32T 587985 5245304
At the starting point at the sports ground of Au the winter hiking trail crosses the cross-country ski run Küren-Wäldele towards the natural bridge. The trail forks at a wooden hut; turn left here into the forest and down to the creek Schwarzwasserbach. Follow the signs to the natural bridge (Naturbrücke) and cross the bridge. At the next fork turn left onto the Karolinenweg direction Schwende/Mahdtalhaus. After passing a waterfall and a toboggan lift, there is a short piece of path through the forest, until the open moor of Höfle is reached. Turn left at the sign and cross the bridge of Höfle. After the bridge, follow the Schwarzwasserbachweg along the creek for ½ h. At the old Schwendebrücke, keep left and follow the bends under the car bridge to Außerschwende. To do so, you need to cross the road and re-enter the prepared winter hiking path towards Hörnlepass-Straussberg at the Genussgasthof Sonnenburg. For a few meters, follow the cross-country ski trail. Then turn right onto the Straussberg trail (driveway) towards Breitach Waldhaus. At the Straussberghof the highest point is reached. From here prepare for a partly steep descent to the Breitachweg via Schmalzloche, Fuchsloch and Fuchslochalpe through the woods. At the junction, you can shorten the hike by ½ h by turning right and walking via the inn Waldhaus to bus stop Waldhaus. For this tour, turn left towards Walserschanz and follow the course of the Breitach to the entrance to the Breitachklamm (gorge). From here to the Walserschanz there is a steep uphill trail; above the bus takes you back to the villages of Kleinwalsertal.
Public transport friendly
Leave the car where it is!
The Walserbus is a convenient way to reach your starting point. Line 3 takes you to the the district Wäldele Küren. For this tour you need to get off at the bus stop "Sportplatz Au". Return: line 1 from Walserschanz.
Most routes from Germany lead to Ulm before carrying on along the A7. Take the Allgäu junction over a section of the A980 to the Waltenhofen junction, then take the 4- lane B19 via Sonthofen and Oberstdorf to Kleinwalsertal. From Austria (Vorarlberg) and Switzerland you reach the Kleinwalsertal via the Bregenzerwald (Hittisau) – Riedbergpass – Fischen – Oberstdorf. From Tyrol the fastest route is over the A7 to Kempten carrying on along the B19 direction Oberstdorf. A motorway vignette is not required to reach the valley.
A parking area (fee required) is located directly at the starting point. For the return you can take the Walserbus at the end point.