"Herz-Ass"-Trail

Just follow the heart

The route to 50 impressive summits around Villgratental is now signposted. Creating a heart, the 50 impressive summits have lovingly connected the secluded Villgratental since time immemorial. This can only really be seen from a bird's eye view. So nobody gets lost, the legendary 5-Day route, which has up to now been regarded as an insider tip among local people, is now signposted throughout.

 

For "all and sundry", so to speak. That's what East Tyrol people say about this easy variant, which saves you having to do a few summits and in the evenings always leads you to a comfortable overnight stay Option in the valley. The hard tour which has 5500 meters altitude alone to tackle in the climb, covers some 100 kilometers and has two Alpine inns and three nights in a bivy still remains the territory of the map-readers among you.

 

The Villgrater mountains connect the two mountaineering villages of Außer- and Innervillgraten in one big heart shape. Although it has always been there, the Villgrater People only discovered their "heart" in the 1980s. "The route was first tackled then -many People celebrated and did this ridge hike together", recalls Ossi Fürhapter from the local tourist office. "And we are now proud of the fact that we can now invite our guests to enjoy this very special experience". Let the uniqueness of the secluded Villgratental take effect on you, one which will last for a long time to come. Meet like-minded people who are conquering the summit too. On the recently set-up Herz-Ass hiking trail.

 

You get to experience the unique natural surroundings and cultural landscape of Villgratental.

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Herz-Ass Villgratental - circuit

Stage 1: Außervillgraten - Reiterstube

Over 9 alpine pastures to lofty heights
We make it like the great role models of the first ascents and inventors of the Her-Ass Villgratental and climb up the mountain from the village of Ausservillgraten to the ridges of the Tessenberger Alm. The path leads through the battle zone of the high alpine vegetation, past dark spruce and light larch forests, Alpine rose meadows over nine pastures into the Winkeltal. The route connects four mountain peaks with a limitless view over the garden of the giants of East Tyrol, far to Carinthia to Lake Weissensee and into Styria. Below us, the sparsely populated Winkeltal winds up to Volkzein, our hiking destination on the second stage.

Herz-Ass Villgratental: Stage 1

starting point:
Außervillgraten
destination point:
Reiterstube
highest point:
2353 m
total walking time
6 h
distance
17.6 km
🔋
altitude meters uphill
1220 hm
🞽
difficulty
average

Directions

From the village of Ausservillgraten, the path leads across the "Glinzbrücke" on path 7 (forest path) in a northeasterly direction through dense spruce forest in a few bends to the "Alten Hütte" (1.740m). We continue on path 7a (forest path) through lighter larch forest to the "Rautalm" (1,882m) and on a very beautiful path to the "Schupfalm" (1,910m). On path 14b through species-rich flower meadows to the "Wurzalm" (2,001m). From here you have a wonderful view of the valley to Ausservillgraten and the surrounding mountains. From the Wurzalm the path leads slightly down into the Raucheggenbach. From there, a path leads along the tree line, through alpine roses and dwarf larches, over the Enziangrantl to the Kropfkaralm, on which there is a small shepherd's hut, and hike up to the Tilliachalm. This is where the hiking loop to the Sommerwandalm and Herrgottslärche begins. Follow the signs towards Gölbner and Sommerwand-Köpfl and climb up to a height of 2,350m. Now turn left and descend the path to the "Herrgottslärche", this place is also a place of energy. Past the Herrgottslärche it goes to the Sommerwandalm and there descent to the Tilliachalm (2,030m). Descent to Reitersube possible here via forest path or climb. In front of the Reiterstube (1,500m) there is the "Alm-Kneipp-Path Winkeltal" on the right side.

Stage 2: Reiterstube - Volkzeinerhütte

Following old tracks

It wasn't always as lonely as today. We follow the Salzsteig in the Winkeltal, which leads up to 2,583 m via the Villgrater Joch to Hopfgarten. We leave the high valley and climb over the Brunnalm up to lofty heights to the Hofer Kreuz. In between there are spectacular views of Poseidon's spear, the Sichelspitze, the Defereggental, the Kristeinertal. At some point the Gölbner summit cross shows up, ancient cattle pens from stone walls tell of wild animals, of shepherds and their herds, who spent the summer here a long time ago. At the top there is a view to the south and north and the great mountain personalities of the Eastern Alps, the Großvenediger, the Großglockner and many more show themselves in all their glory. The trump card in the game is the summit of the Regenstein (2,891 m).

Herz-Ass Villgratental: Stage 2

starting point:
Reiterstube
destination point:
Volkzeinerhütte
highest point:
2579 m
total walking time
7 h
distance
13.7 km
🔋
altitude meters uphill
1190 hm
🞽
difficulty
average

Directions

From the Reiterstube into the valley on the left side, passing the Mooshofalm 1530m. The Niederbruggeralm 1600m is passed on the left side of the stream until the road towards Volkzein is reached again. There at the Brunneralm 1630m, the path 58 shows the way up. First the Unterarnalm is reached, then the Oberarnalm at 1960m. The path leads uphill from the Upper Arnkaser to the Bodenhütte. Along the marking no. 323, an old cattle trail leads us up over a medium-sized lawn flank and we reach the signposts after a short log valley. At the signpost we follow the marking no. 23 to the Mitterberg and from here the path no. 24 to the Hoferalm. A bit after the Hoferalm, the way points right up to the Villgrater Joch at 2583m (Hofer Kreuz). The same descent from Hofer Kreuz and a tablet on a Steinmann point to the Volkzeiner Hütte (No. 324). Following path no. 324, we come up slightly to a cattle pen made of stones and later on a slope shoulder. Behind it spreads a wonderful terrace floor, on which we reach the Leisacheralm. Descending over alpine pastures and meadows, we can already see the alpine pastures of Volkzein down in the valley, with accommodation in the Volkzeinerhütte.

Stage 3: Volkzeiner Hütte - Unterstalleralm

On the way to the water spring
Our first goal on this stage is the legendary Schrentebachboden, an alpine pasture and spring landscape at approx. 2.380 m above sea level, where a roaring mountain stream begins spectacularly. On the way over the Arntaler Lenke you should take a little detour to the fabulous Goldtrögele at 2.630 m and to Degensee (2.720 m). A completely new view opens up at the Lenke, the Dolomites are tentative for the first time and in the north the Großglockner says goodbye to us

Herz-Ass Villgratental: Stage 3

starting point:
Volkzeinerhütte
destination point:
Unterstalleralm
highest point:
2698 m
total walking time
6 h
distance
12.5 km
🔋
altitude meters uphill
840 hm
🞽
difficulty
average

Directions

Our hike begins at the Volkzeiner Hütte (1.886m). We follow the alpine path to the Raineralm, then on to the Heinkaralm (approx. 2.100m). From here you follow trail no.19 (Tyrolean jubilee path) past the waterfall to the Schrentebachboden (approx. 2.380m) - a wild, mossy meadow between rock and water. From this high-alpine terrace, past the barren remains of a former shepherd's hut, we climb a rocky lawn rib and, keeping slightly to the left, we come to a green carbody with an elongated pool (approx a path branches off to Falkamsee, approx. 20 min, which is always a worthwhile destination and invites you to take a break). Follow trail no. 326 in an easterly direction across a flat trough valley and through countless rivulets and later ascending over rocks to the Arntaler Lenke (Volkzeinerlenke, 2.655m). From here we have a nice look back into the Winkeltal and in front of us is the Arntal, in which we descend, following path no. 326, to the place “Beim Garten”. From there it goes over the alpine path through sparse larch forest and alpine roses (Zetten) directly to the steep rock faces of the almost 3.000 meter high Rotspitze (2.956m) and the Weißspitze, the highest mountain in the Villgrater Joch Hochpustertal (2.962m), the kings of our mountains , along to the worth seeing Almendorf Oberstalleralm. From the pasture we follow the asphalted mountain road down to the Unterstalleralm. With overnight accommodation in the Gutwenger alpine hut. Or you can continue climbing to the Schwarzsee and spend the night in the bivouac hut.

 

Stage 4: Unterstalleralm - Kalkstein

"Via smuggler and shepherd trails"
For centuries, well-tended mountain meadows, along old shepherd and cattle paths with strange field names, the hiker reaches a rocky and rugged mountain landscape before reaching the first yoke, right in the middle like a dark pearl, the Schwarzsee, a place to stay. If you have bypassed or exceeded the Riepenspitze (2.774 m), a wide view opens up over the Heimwaldjöchle (2.644 m) to the south, to South Tyrol and its famous Dolomites, which accompany the hike from here to the end. Here, too, we follow ancient shepherds', hiking and smuggling trails, which tell that people used to travel not up in the valley but high up in the mountains. The personal trump card in the game is the 2.774 m high Riepenspitze.

Herz-Ass Villgratental: Stage 4

starting point:
Unterstalleralm
destination point:
Kalkstein
highest point:
2645 m
total walking time
6 h
distance
12.6 km
🔋
altitude meters uphill
1230 hm
🞽
difficulty
average

Directions

Our hike takes us from the Unterstalleralm to the Oberstalleralm (1864m). The Bärentalerwald is adjoined by large meadows with a slight incline, via which we arrive at a signpost to the Schwarzsee, which then leads us to marking No. 15a. From here, slightly ascending over mountain meadows and with a beautiful view through the Arntal, we reach the Elplanschupfe after a short hike. Then the path leads us over two ditches past a haystack and along the stream to the Schwarzsee, which rests in a deep rock trough (according to legend, a silver treasure is hidden at the lake bottom). On the northern shore of Lake Schwarzsee, the marker no. 12 leads us over gentle terrain into gorges and gullies and over ridges on the east side of the Riepenspitze in serpentines up to the Heimwaldjöchl (2,644m). From here, the trail descends through broadly scattered rock debris and overgrown moraines to the thin Köflerbachl. Later we come to a small and a large stone man, who stand there like guards. We cross the lawn slopes along the eastern edge of the Geilspitze and arrive at the Kalksteiner Jöchl (2,325m). The Kalksteiner Törl deserves a longer rest in every respect: All around us is a colorful alpine flora that should delight the botanist's heart, and the view over mountains and valleys is exquisitely beautiful (Roßtal, Gsieser Tal, etc.). Descent over soft meadow grass into the Roßtal via the hiking trail and further along the alpine path to Kalkstein, with overnight accommodation in the Alpenpension Bad Kalkstein.

Stage 5: Kalkstein - Thurntaler

The parade of the Sexten Dolomites
After a wonderful ascent through the Alfental valley, past beautiful alpine huts and flower-strewn mowers, they ascend in all their glory, the Sexten Dolomites and their famous Three Peaks. They are the undisputed stars of this stage and make you forget that there was once a hotly contested border, the remnants of which still stand out as a reminder in the landscape. The view from the Toblacher Pfannhorn (2.663 m) represents a high point of the Herz-Ass Villgratental and reveals much older traces in the landscape, a geological seam zone of continents, the collision of the African and European plates, along which the Pustertal valley today runs far down moves to the Vintschgau. The personal trump card is a detour to Lake Thurntaler and the Parggenspitze (2.323 m) with the "Jugendkreuz".

Descent options:
a.) over the "Tafine" from the Astattsattel to Innervillgraten
b.) via Sennersteig and road to Ausservillgraten

c.) At the Gadein mountain station, take the cablecar to Sillian
d.) from Thurntaler Rast pick-up by Herz-Ass Villgratental hiking taxi

Herz-Ass Villgratental: Stage 5

starting point:
Kalkstein
destination point:
Gadein Thurntaler
highest point:
2663 m
total walking time
7 h
distance
19 km
🔋
altitude meters uphill
1250 hm
🞽
difficulty
average

Directions

Our hike takes us on the path no. 13 through the Roßtal past alpine pastures to the Maxer Leck (indication). We leave the alpine path there and climb on path no.13a over soft meadow grass to the Kalksteinerjöchl (2.325m), where the "Bonner Höhenweg" path also joins. We now follow the Bonner Höhenweg No. 12, leisurely go south to the Bürglerslenke and then, following a slightly ascending path, reach the Pfanntörl (2.508 m national border). From the Pfanntörl we reach the Toblacher Pfannhorn (2.663m) on the rocky ridge and see the Sexten Dolomites in all their glory. Here you also have the opportunity to spend the night in the Bonnerhütte. Following the Bonner Höhenweg past old military punkers from the First World War, we reach the Marchkinkele (2.546m). Along the old military road we come to the Hochrast (2.436m). A worthwhile destination, less than 15 minutes from the "Schwarzflecken" (legend), lies the Thuntaler See and the Thurntaler Jugendkreuz (Parggenspitze 2.323m). From here over gentle pastures to the Astattsattel (2.295m). Here there is the possibility to descend to Innervillgraten. For this purpose, the ridge is left again and descend on the Villgrater side (path no. 4) through forests and meadows to the Tafinalm (1,906m). Continue through the Tafin valley past the Lanzlisilans Schupfe jetty and through the Oberhofertal to Innervillgraten. However, the route continues along the Tiroler Jubiläumsweg "Around the Thurntaler", so we continue descending to the east and arrive in alpine meadows to the Sillianeralm (Ausseralm) with a view of the Sexten sundial and over the Puster Valley with the Lienzer Dolomites and the Carnic ridge. From there, the path leads us to the mountain restaurant Gadein.

At the Gadein mountain station, you can take the cablecar down to Sillian. Otherwise, the hiking tour can be continued via the path to the Thurntaler Rast, at the end you have the opportunity to spend the night again, or the Herz-Ass hiking taxi can pick you up there with a reservation. The last descent is now about 500m following the street, you will reach a sign (Sennersteig Ausservillgraten), which will delight us over alpine pastures and through larch and spruce forests with a beautiful view down into the Pustertal Valley and over the Carnic main ridge and the Villgrater mountains. Very soon we will come back to the road "Thurntaler Bergstraße", which we will follow past beautifully situated mountain farms with a view down to Außervillgraten. The hiking tour is thus completed.

no package for this category available

Herz-Ass Villgratental

starting point:
Dorfzentrum Außervillgraten
destination point:
Dorfzentrum Außervillgraten
highest point:
2698 m
total walking time
34 h
distance
79 km
🔋
altitude meters uphill
6200 hm
🞽
difficulty
average

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