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Almsee, Austria – Mountain Lake Hike

Hello again from Austria. You know, one of the many great things about
Austria is the hiking. In this video I’ll show you a hike along
the beautiful Almsee mountain lake. Now, almost every time I see a lake in Austria
I think, “wow, that’s gorgeous.” This is one of those lakes. It’s much smaller than the nearby Traunsee
that featured in an earlier video and you can walk right round it. And it’s not as busy either, at least not
at it’s northern end. Here it is from above. So, a few Almsee facts:
It’s a lake in the Almtal valley, in Upper Austria’s part of the Salzkammergut region. The lake lies in the northern portion of the
Totes Gebirge, or “Dead” mountains. On the other side of these mountains is the
Austrian state of Steiermark. The lake’s elevation is 589 meters and its
average depth is just 2,5 metres. And it’s 2,3 kilometres long and up to 700
meters wide, so it’s small enough to walk around in a
couple of hours. Almsee formed behind a large ice age landslide
and the lake’s water comes from the surrounding mountains. Some of the inflow is from mountain streams,
but water also emerges from springs that open into the lakebed – this is mountain water
that has been channelled through faults in the rocks And you can actually see that water, mixed
with air, bubbling up into the lake. All that mountain water entering a small,
shallow lake makes the lake relatively cold, and cool water can hold plenty of oxygen. And this is an “Oligotrophic” lake:
low pollution levels keep algal blooms at bay which also helps to maintain oxygenation. So, like a lot of Austrian lakes, the water
is clean and full of fish. In fact, the water was so clear when we visited
that the fish almost seemed to be flying on top of the water. If you’re hiking in this area, there are
plenty of information boards. This one shows the Almufer trail which spans
over 50 kilometres from the Traun river, following the river Alm to the Almsee. But we only had a few hours so we started
just near the Almsee end of the trail and followed the river upstream. The Alm is the primary outflow for the Almsee
and this water will eventually flow down into the Traun and then into the Danube. We began our hike from the small car park
at Habernau, next to the rather neat sign for the Gasthof Jagersimmerl, and then followed
the well-marked trail for maybe just over a kilometre. Now, by Austrian standards, hiking here is just
an easy walk. Better watch out for exposed tree roots though. I managed to trip over one and we needed our
first aid kit to patch up my grazed knee. Still, it’s worth approaching the lake on
foot this way, because you suddenly arrive at the lake’s northern end and a panorama
opens up. This is where you can join the circular route
around the lake and there’s a car park here too, so you’ll probably encounter a few more
people. It’s definitely worth just pausing here
for a few minutes to admire the view and the almost perfect reflections in the water. After a brief pause, we walked south along
the eastern shore which is on the right side of the lake in this picture. We headed for the large car park at the south
end of Almsee and you can also see that the road to the car park follows the opposite
shore of the lake, on the left. As you follow the path and peek through the
trees, you get idyllic views of a couple of boathouses sitting on shimmering reflections
of themselves. And there are a couple of small gravel beaches. This one was occupied by a family of mute
swans and cygnets. At the southern end of the lake, there are
more people, not just hikers. And you might well see tour and school groups. This is a Nature Reserve, so there’s plenty
to see and learn here. Still, it’s a bit of a shock to leave the
peaceful bit of the hike behind. The car park here is big enough to accommodate
a large number of cars and tourist coaches. I should add here that there is also a scheduled
bus service, which makes it accessible for travellers without their own transport,
and lots of people means that there’s also somewhere to get refreshments. In fact, there’s a very pleasant restaurant
here, nestled right under the mountains! It’s called Seehaus and it was getting quite
busy with the lunchtime crowd when we arrived, just a little before 1 pm. I think a bus load of people were arriving,
but we managed to find a table outside, which we shared with two friendly strangers. I had Schnitzel here, which was really rather
good. You’re never far away from a Schnitzel in
Austria! After leaving Seehaus, we walked further round
the lake to take in the spectacular view but the road here is quite busy so we decided
to backtrack. And it was well worth it. In just a couple of hours the sun had shifted
enough to make the panorama subtly different, with new patterns of shade on the mountains
and light glittering on the water. Well, we had a great day out at Almsee. The heat of summer was already gone but the
winter chill hadn’t yet arrived. The bottom line? I’m looking forward to exploring more of
this amazing country! Well, that’s all for this video. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, please click the “Like” button
below and subscribe to my channel, and maybe leave some comments in the Comments section
below. I hope to see you again very soon with more
from Austria, and in the meantime you can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. So, that’s all for now. Bye!

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