Hiking to the Hohensee
Somehow one of our favorite tours for the first day is the walk up to the Hohensee. I can remember us going there on day one a few times when we were still children.
The trail begins at St. Nikolai in the Großsölktal, and first leads through the Bräualmtal on a broad tractor track. The scenic walk follows a stream and usually there are a lot of cows and horses around to watch. Without much change in altitude you reach the end of the valley. Until here the trail is a really easy walk.
And at the end of the valley there is the Dürrmooswasserfall, on of the biggest and most impressive waterfalls in the Sölktal.
When we were kids we walked this track almost every year in our holidays. It holds a very special place in my heart – I have so many fond memories of playing below the waterfalls, watching the cows and trying to pet the horses.
From the waterfall a smaller track starts up the slope, climbing towards the Hohensee. While this path used to lead through rich coniferous forests, most of the trees are now gone. Many have fallen through storms or have been cut since, to make passage safter.
These days the tractor track continues upwards cuts through the mountainside, and for people that prefer less steep climbing it is a good alternative to the small track that used to be the only way up there. But the small track is still there and leads up, even though it is now crossing the driving track multiple times.
When we started the ascent, it started raining. Just a drizzle, but for a moment we wondered whether we should just turn around a walk back to the car. Since it wasn't downright pouring we weren't willing to give up yet though, and continued on our way. Because of the steep ascent and the warm temperatures all of us did without a rainjacket and instead just let it drizzle down on us. Better be soaked from the top that soaked in your own sweat, we thought.
After climbing up for a while through failry steep sections of trail, the path leads off to the left. There it passes a fenceline through a little gate, then continues up a few meters, past a small hut, before offering a wonderful view down onto the Hohensee. The lake is nestled into the valley, flanked by pine trees and bushes. On the slope down to the lake is yet another hut with a long bench and table in front of it, inviting you to sit and rest for a while.
When we made it to the hut there were even soft drinks and beer, cooled by the flowing water in a little well. To buy them all you have to do is drop the fee into a little box fastened to the hut. If it had been a less rainy day this would have been even more perfect. We were probably a funny sight. All of us a little bit soggy, including Shani the dog. But by the time we arrived the drizzling started to grow less, so we got to enjoy our picnic without rain.
Then the sun came out again, drying us and our wet gear. Low clouds were partly hiding the mountains and hanging low just over the lake. With the sun coming out shining through it all it had turned into a really beautiful day after all. We decided to sit for a little longer. Then the owner of the hut suddenly came out of the hut - we hadn't even been aware that anyone was currently staying there - and we had a nice little chat with him.