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near Möderndorf, Carinthia (Austria)
Beautiful and eventful hike through the outstanding Garnitzenklamm. The local mountaineering society has created a beautiful trail through the gorge, with bridges, waterfalls, geological formations and much more. See http://www.garnitzenklamm.at/ for more information, also on accessibility (trail can be closed for maintenance or other reasons). There is also a pdf file there in English with a map and hiking suggestions. You get this map also when you pay the entrance fee required to keep the trail in good condition. The trail through the gorge consists of 4 parts. The latter 2 parts include stretches which are a bit more difficult and you should not suffer from giddiness. The 4th part you walk to and fro. The return to the start is via forest roads and forest tracks on the edge of the gorge, including the St. Urbani chapel. Watch the weather as the water can rise quickly in a storm. Sturdy and waterproof shoes are recommended.
You park at the entrance of the gorge or the restaurant next door. You pay a fee and get a map and then follow the well-marked trail through the gorge. There are frequent education boards on the way. You cross 4 bridges and when you get to the fifth you are at the end of the first two parts of the gorge. Here you can cross the 5th bridge if you want to avoid the 3rd part of the gorge. You pass a refuge, and cross 3 more bridges. The ninth bridge you only cross to get to a particularly neat viewing point of cascades and whirlpools. Back on the track you have to cross a stream and shortly after arrive to a forest road. Here the fourth and last part of the gorge trail starts. This part includes some scrambling and holding on to cables on slippery rocks before you get to a man-made stone weir. Here, the trail through the gorge ends and there is a great view of a wild mountain valley. You can walk on, but I returned back to the forest road. Here you can go the same way back to the start, but I followed the forest road along the edge of the valley for 3 km, and then followed trail 410 for 2.7 km past the St. Urbani chapel back to Möderndorf. Here, you walk back to the starting point along the asphalt road for 600 m.
Only at the start of the walk you will find a restaurant. In the gorge, the GPS sometimes behaves oddly, but the trail is well-marked so you will not loose your way.
Fifth of 9 bridges. This bridge you will not cross unless you want to skip part 3 and 4 of the gorge trail.
Ninth of 9 bridges. This bridge you cross to and fro as it only leads to a viewpoint. You continue the trail on the northwest side of the river.
Here the official gorge trail ends at a stone weir. Until here you have to pay the entrance fee. From here the valley floor widens.
Here you start on a forest gravel road taking you along the edge of the gorge with occasional good views of the Garnitzenklamm.
Here you cross a forest road, and part 3 of the trail ends. Here the fourth part of the gorge trail starts. This part requires some clambering
Here you join the 410 route again after having visited the St. Urbani chapel to go down to Möderndorf, and then follow the asphalt road back to the starting point.
Here you leave the forest road to take the 410 route towards the St. Urbani chapel. On this crossroads I also saw a sign advertising the occasional presence of brown bears visiting from Slovenia and Italy.
Here you will find some geological curiosities, nicely polished stones. There is an information board explaining the phenomena.
Here you will find a refuge
Here you will find the St. Urbani chapel
There is a stone weir here, more or less marking the start of the Garnitzenklamm
Here you cross a stream. A cable is strained across the stream, helping you cross it without getting wet feet.
Here there is a nice viewpoint, just below bridge 9, giving a nice view of waterfalls and whirlpools.
Here, near the chapel, you have a good viewpoint of the Garnitzenklamm and the Garnitzwasserfall.
Here you have a good viewpoint of St. Urbani chapel, and the mountains surrounding the Gail valley.
Here you will find the Garnitzwasserfall