The Best Hike Ever! Is the short version of this story, but you really should read the rest of this blog and check out the pictures and videos that go along with the Mixnitz Hike!
This adventure started while in the Tourism Office, when we were looking for some things todo while visiting Graz. So we came across a small pamphlet located on the wall with numerous others. This pamphlet caught our attention because the picture on the front looked too good to be true.
We checked with the staff to see if this was something possible? Such as where is it located? Can we get there without a vehicle, Well after a brief search to our answers, it was YES! So the following day, we were going to make this happen. As intimating as it is to be in another country, and not speak their language, we were on a mission to try and find this place! The worse case scenario is we end up taking a pricy train ride to a small town and have lunch, then maybe taxi it back? Doesn’t sound that bad actually.
Best case scenario, we finally get to enjoy a hike in the mountains, something we both love and enjoy! However, this is not what happened entirely.
Our day starts at the train station, and purchasing our train tickets to this town called Mixnitz, and we purchased the return tickets as well, just in case! The train goes twice an hour, easy enough. We find the platform, and wait for the train. The kind gentleman whom checks the tickets, was very please to see where we were going and eager to chat with us on our 30 minute train ride.
So…. we show up in this “one horse town” called Mixnitz. Us 2 and 1 other individual get off the train, and it pulls away. We look up the street, and then we look the down the street. Now we are wondering, “What did we get ourselves into?” We won’t even be able to have lunch in this place! Turns out, Mixnitz is most defiantly a small quite town, and everyone knows each other. And then there is 2 Canadians standing in the middle of it.
We located the pub, and lucky for us it was open. The very kind and helpful pub owner gave us some directions to walk up the road and find the trail heading to the hike we are on the search for. To be the kind people we are, we sat down to have a quick beer, and purchase some more water for the hike ahead of us. Up until now, every person we have talked to about this hike has been concerned about what type of shoes we are wearing. Since we were forewarned, we both decided it would be best to wear our Merrell Hiking shoes, it is a hike after all right?
Armed with directions from the pub owner, we set off down the road. Again, here we are, 2 Canadians walking around in a small town called Mixnitz, and can’t read any of the local signs. But the pub owners directions held true, after 40 minutes we did find the trail heading. We paid a couple euros to the lovely lady at the gatekeeper office, and then finally started our Mixnitz Hike. With the beginning of the pathway covered in lush green forest all around, and the creek flowing it turned out to be a very nice hike in the Austrian mountains. Excited to come across our first boardwalk, we took it all in and enjoyed the experience. Continuing on our path, we soon came to the picture on the pamphlet, and it looked just like the picture!
We were super excited to finally get to walk on the “big” boardwalks, and over the water, and start climbing some ground.
So we climbed the first part that we can see, once we make it around the bend, we find some more boardwalks and pathway ahead of us. And we continue following the boardwalk, over waterfalls, huge gorges, over the raging river, breath taking views. Finally we come across a little house on the river path, it marked the halfway point.
We continued to climb, up more ladder/steps, across more boardwalks, over more canyons, and then we round the corner, and look up. It keeps going, and going, and going. We couldn’t get enough of how long this walk up the gorge was turning into, not that we were complaining. But just when you think it’s about to come to an end, it get better. It just keeps going, with more boardwalks and paths leading up the gorge.
Once on more level ground, and nearing the end of the boardwalk area, we had the extremely rare opportunity to watch steinbok with the locals. The steinbok is local to Austria, and is highly endangered, and very rare to see, as the locals continued to share with us. Once the path entered into the trees and started heading another direction, we were blessed with a sign that informed us of beer a short distance ahead. So onward we headed, to find this place of beer. We come out into an opening which included a building to serve cold beer, and a warm meal, but this is also where all the trail headings come together at.
We took a seat and enjoyed a cold beer, we reminisced over our amazing hike that turned out to be so much more then we expected and to see the rare steinbock as just a bonus. Once we were ready to head down, we picked the correct path and headed back down to the pub in Mixnitz. We promised him we would be back, and the smile on his face when we returned was ear to ear, and by now more locals were in the pub. We sat down to enjoy a nicely home cooked meal, then caught the train back to the big city of Graz.
Our entire day was spent with very few people, and only the local Austrian people. We really could not of asked for a better day in the Austrian mountains. This hike is actually called Bärenschützklamm Gorge, and we really do highly recommend good hiking shoes/boots, as well we wouldn’t recommend taking small children on this hike as some of the bridges have large gaps that would allow small feet to fall into. As well the wood become wet and slippery from the mist produce from the waterfalls. Packing some supplies such as water, and a snack is recommended too, and a camera of course!
Thanks for reading about our Mixnitz Hike. Watch our Video!