Hermit trail and wildcat trail

Hiking route from Hardegg, National Park House

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Elevation profile

5,90 km length

Tour dates
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Route: 5,90 km
  • Ascent: 214 egm
  • Descent: 214 egm
  • Duration: 1:30 h
  • Lowest point: 284 m
  • Highest point:422 m
  • Round tour
  • Nice views
  • Accessibility by train and bus
  • Geological highlights
  • Botanical highlights
  • Faunistic highlights

Details for: Hermit trail and wildcat trail

Brief description

Start / Finish: Hardegg


At the end of the route is the stone dwelling of the mysterious hermit who is said to have lived here at the time of the Crusades. The hermit's meadow with colourful flowers invites visitors to take a short rest.

Starting point of the tour

Hardegg, National Park House

Route description Hermit trail and wildcat trail

At the entrance to the National Park House, cross the main road and take a dirt road to the edge of the forest. This is where the National Park begins and a forest road leads into the middle of the natural landscape. Where the Thayatalweg 1 crosses the Einsiedlerweg 2, a romantic hollow path begins that leads to the Bärmühl meadow on the Thaya and ends at a rock face. A rock dwelling can be seen at a height of about 5 metres. Legend tells of a hermit who lived here at the time of the Crusades and helped the people of Hardegg to obtain a silver mine. On the way back, the path runs along the hollow path for a short distance, a path branches off to the right uphill and runs through oak-hornbeam stands.

Two vantage points convey the impressive river landscape of the Thaya. At a fork in the path, the Einsiedlerweg trail meets up again with the Thayatalweg 1. The trail leads down to Hardegg via the steep Gabrielensteig. Via the Kirchensteig, which starts behind the fire station or opposite the car park of Hardegg Castle, you return to the National Park House.

Wildcat hiking trail

At the same time, the part of the Einsiedlerweg between the National Park House and the Einsiedlerwiese is designed as a nature trail.

The forest trail leads visitors through the habitat of the wildcat. A detective's instinct is called for: along the way, 11 wildcat (silhouettes) have hidden in dense bushes or on trees! Small information boards facilitate the search and provide interesting background information on the habitat and current situation of the wildcat in Austria.

The hermit's meadow at the end of the hiking trail invites you to rest on the Thayaufer. Children can try out a sneak trail here and test whether they are as skilled at climbing as a wildcat.

After a hike, visitors can experience the fascination of "real" wildcats up close during the show feedings in the enclosure.


Vienna: A 22 - Stockerau - S3 - B 303 to Hollabrunn - to the roundabout with the L 1027 (Unterretzbach) continue to Niederfladnitz on the L 38 to Hardegg.

Linz: A 7 towards Freistadt - B 310 to Freistadt - B 38 via Zwettl to Rastenfeld - turn left here towards Horn - B 45 to Sigmunsherberg - L 1155 to Weitensfeld - L 1065 to Waschbach - L 1044 to the junction with the L 38 (turn left) and follow the L 38 to Hardegg.


Parking available at the National Park House

Train Vienna-Retz, or Znaim-Retz, continue by bus from Retz to Hardegg /National Park House.

Traffic days and more info: Rail information: 05/1717

More info/links



Sturdy shoes

Map recommendations

National Park Thayatal (information request and in the National Park House)

Author's tip

In a romantic location, directly in a high rock face next to the Thaya, you can see a simple stone dwelling. A hermit lived here at the time of the Crusades. His tragic story has been kept alive in a legend!

As a souvenir of your hike around the National Park Thayatal, you can get a hiking token at the cash desk of the National Park Thayatal and in the Ruin Kaja.

Hiking stamps are round plaques designed and inscribed by wood firing, which serve as a souvenir and at the same time as an award for outstanding achievements. Diligent stamp collectors are rewarded with a free premium stamp. You can find more information at http://www.wandermarken.at/

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