“Pretty maids all in a row“ – along the Queen’s Trail

For some months now the world has been a very different place. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore. And this year, for sure, we won’t not be spending our summer holidays in far-flung destinations, but at home amid our wonderful countryside. We’re lucky it’s so beautiful here. Austria is the country of mountains, lakes and unspoilt nature. Exercise is healthy and good on your holiday too. Walking revitalises your body, mind and soul and allows you to get close to nature.

Clear mountain air and lush green alpine meadows – pure nature!

The last patches of snow are slowly melting away and I can at last start this year’s hiking season. My new hiking boots are ready and waiting. Today I’ll take you with me on my tour along the “Queen’s Trail“. Like so many others, I’m a real flower-lover and there are plenty of blooms for me to wonder at on this tour. The alpine flowers are at their prettiest now, especially the “queens” along the trail from the Aualm, Sulzkaralm and Hofpürglhütte to the Hofalm.

Discover the flora and fauna around Filzmoos

So today I set off with qualified mountain guide, Coen Weesjes and my friend in search of the queen of all the flowers – the orchid. In our lovely mountain village up to 25 different types of orchid have been found, some of which are under strict protection.

Starting point of the “Queen’s Trail“ is the Aualm. From here an easy trail leads to the Sulzkaralm. The Sulzkaralm is popular for its tasty home-made cheese platter and the accompanying farmer’s bread. Therefore, a refreshment stop is an absolute must. After a short break there is a steep ascent of about 15 minutes up to the Austriaweg path.
Coen tells us all about the various types of orchid which can be found on the wayside. He reminds us that it is very important not to pick the wonderful flowers, but just to admire them - as many are endangered and therefore protected species. The Austriaweg path leads us along on the level, beneath the Bischofsmütze mountain to the Hofpürglhütte. Again and again, I have to stop and savour the fabulous views of the Torstein, Tennengebirge and the power mountain Bischofsmütze.
We hike mindfully, carefully and with open eyes, in order to discover the queen of the flowers. They are, however, quite rare and they only wear their prettiest clothes at certain times. But we are lucky, as the orchids we see today, glow in the most beautiful colours. The blooming period of most orchid types is from June to August.
Due to the protected location at the foot of the Bischofsmütze, the sunny south-facing slopes and the varying terrains of slate and limestone, the queens feel at home in this region. From the Hofpürglhütte we can see the peak cross on the Bischofsmütze without binoculars. Plus the area of the giant rockfall back in 1993 can be seen really clearly. At the Hofpürglhütte we treat ourselves to some refreshment and savour the wonderful view down into the valley and the magic of nature. Breathe in, breathe out and savour the tranquility. We can feel nature and its healing powers.
Along the Wastl-Lackner-Steig we head back down to the Hofalm. On the terrace of the Unterhofalm we round off our day. Before we take the Wanderbus back down to the valley I take a last look upwards. She’s not called the “Benevolent Queen” for no reason. The Bischofsmütze reminds us how small we humans are. She tells us a very special story and teaches us to recognise the wealth of our own lives.

Tips & Info: If you want to look for some pretty maids and experience our queens in all their glory:The mountain specialists from the Mountain School Filzmoos Aktiv offer two to three guided walks daily.You’ll find further info here: https://www.filzmoos-aktiv.at

The Queen’s Trail:

Starting point: Aualm How to get to the Aualm …… on foot: walking time approx. 1.5 hrs. from Filzmoos, blue trail… on the Wanderbus to the Marcheggsattel turn-off, continue on foot (walking time approx. 1 hr.)… on the "Almi" shuttle… by taxi

Aualm – Sulzkaralm: walking time approx. 1 hr., blue trail
Sulzkaralm – Hofpürglhütte: walking time approx. 1 ¼ hrs., red trail
Hofpürglhütte – Hofalmen: walking time approx. 1 hr., red trail
How to get from the Hofalm back to Filzmoos …… on foot: walking time approx. 1 hr., blue trail... on the wanderbus from the Oberhofalm… by taxiHave you already booked your hiking holiday in Filzmoos? We’re happy to help: https://www.filzmoos.at/en/holiday-austria.html

Photo credits: TVB Filzmoos | Foto: Coen Weesjes