Ötscher Mountain, © Mostviertel Tourismus, weinfranz.at

High peaks, deep gorges

At 1,893 metres, the Ötscher is the highest peak in the Mostviertel.

The word “Ötscher” is of Slavic origin and means “father mountain”. This name was chosen for the mountain probably because of its majestic stature. Both from the north and the south it presents itself like a broad, massive ridge. From the east, it appears as elegant as a pyramid.

Wild tranquillity

The nature park is an inspiring refuge for all those who want to draw new strength from the tranquillity of nature. For mountain adventurers, it is rich in mysteries and treasures to discover. All visitors are particularly taken by the pristine nature of the park. The interplay of gentle pastures, deep gorges, bizarre rock formations, waterfalls, caves, quiet forests, and magnificent viewpoints is a delight for both young and old.

Gorges and rifts

Distinctive and exceptional features of the region around Mt. Ötscher are the deeply incised valleys of the Erlauf river (called Vordere and Hintere Tormäuer) and especially those of the Ötscherbach brook – the so-called “Ötschergräben” (Ötscher Gorges) also known as the “Grand Canyon of Austria”.
Besides the famous Tormäuer, which very roughly translates to “gate walls”, the Ötscher region has another 40 steep “walls” known under the following names: Zwölfermauer, Brandmauer, Stierwaschmauer, Putzenmauer, Fliegermauer, Hollerbrandmauer, Hohe Mauer, Schlaglmauer, Weißmäuerl and many more.

Places and starting points

The nature park extends over the municipalities of Gaming/Lackenhof, Puchenstuben, Annaberg, Mitterbach am Erlaufsee and St. Anton an der Jeßnitz. Many hiking trails – with route difficulties ranging from easy to challenging – lead through the nature park. Starting points are the entrances to the nature park which are easy to reach, and all have their own parking areas. The best way to travel to and within the nature park, however, is the Mariazell Railway with a total of six stops in the middle of the park. You can take a break and have refreshments and food in the numerous inns and huts in the area.