Blockheide Gmünd - a hike in the Waldviertel

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The autumn sun shines through the birches

Hiking in the Waldviertel

I almost wait to see trolls behind the next block of granite, that's how mysterious the heath region is. It looks a bit mystical, the landscape of the Blockheide in Gmünd Waldviertel in Lower Austria with their lakes and ponds, the stacked granary blocks and the forest pieces that we pass on our way. There are still light morning mist over the damp grass on which the dew has collected during the night. It is fresh on this October morning and we can see that the nights are already getting colder. Of the Autumn has found its way into the high areas in the Waldviertel. We're going there in October on one Hike through this heathland in Gmünd-Eibenstein.


Hiking in the Blockheide Gmünd in the Waldviertel
Hiking in the Blockheide Gmünd in the Waldviertel


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In the Blockheide in the Waldviertel
In the Blockheide in the Waldviertel


As soon as we leave the village of Eibenstein, something is actually moving on the edge of the forest. But trolls aren't. It is a group of deer that, in the early morning silence, dare to venture out of the protection of the forest into the fields in front of it. It takes a while for them to notice us. But then suddenly they start running and after seconds they have disappeared into the darkness of the forest. A nice start to our hike through the Blockheide im Waldviertel.



Heathland in the protected area

This heath landscape has been under protection since 1960. Our companion is Anna Laister, who is very knowledgeable in this region and takes regular tours through the Blockheide. She enthusiastically tells what we will see and shows us the five hiking trails that lead through the area on a display board: “I want to show you the pond and the lookout tower. And definitely some of our granite formations, ”she laughs. "These are the highlights of a hike through the Blockheide."


Autumn in the Blockheide in the Waldviertel
Autumn in the Blockheide in the Waldviertel


What you should pack for a hike through the Blockheide Gmünd in the Waldviertel


Pond in the block heather
Pond in the block heather


The names of the trails make you curious: there are the granite tour, the mythology tour, the landscape tour (sic) and the ladybug path. We pick a snippet of them all because we lack the time to explore the whole area. But for an overview it is enough. First, we pass old crossroads and reach through a short piece of wood the central pond of the block heath. A family of ducks is loudly chattering from the small island that lies in the middle of the pond. It looks nice as the mother of the duck swims ahead and follows her offspring in rank and file.

Meanwhile, the sun breaks through the clouds and makes the colorful autumn leaves of the birches sparkle, blowing in the wind. It looks nice, how the sunrays reflect in the pond. And there is a heavenly peace - perfect for stressed-out urbanites. On such a hike through nature, you can recharge your batteries.


Huge granite blocks
Granite blocks in the Blockheide in the Waldviertel


Wobbly stones in the Blockheide Gmünd

Shortly after the pond the path leads into the forest again, and this time it's uphill. Large granite stones lie here between tall conifers. Their round shapes make them look like huge marbles. Some lie side by side, others in layers. For some, erosion grinded the stones so that they were only in a small place on the boulder below. They are easy to move and rightly bear their name "wobble stones".


observation tower
Lookout tower in the Blockheide


Observation tower in the Blockheide Gmünd

A wooden observation tower rises above it, offering a beautiful panoramic view of the forest and heath landscape. Next to it is the shelter, which was built under Emperor Franz Josef I as a water reservoir. Today there is an exhibition about the creation of the wobbly stones.


Gmünd in the Waldviertel
Gmünd in the Waldviertel


I go back to the pond and sit there for some time on a bench that is damp from the dew to get the mood around the water and in the autumnal To enjoy the sun a bit before I go back. A few quiet hours away from the hustle and bustle in the midst of nature - that is a stay in the Blockheide Gmünd in the Waldviertel of Austria.

For the night we recommend the great Castle Rosenau. You might also be interested in our Hiking tip for Stift Lilienfeld and the Muckenkogel in Lower Austria? Or are you looking for ideas for instead Autumn decoration for outside?


Blockheide Gmünd in the Waldviertel
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Source: own research on site, with the kind invitation of Waldviertel Tourism. However, our opinions remain our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Blockheide Gmünd - a hike in the Waldviertel

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn