Precipitous limestone peaks, green forests and mountain pastures, mountain huts with fabulous views and the turbulent, foaming river rapids which give this high Alpine region its name await you in the Gesäuse National Park.
For centuries the Gesäuse has been famous for its breathtakingly beautiful, inaccessible scenery. Ever since Alpine sport began, the name Gesäuse has been synonymous with unique outdoor experiences for hikers, climbers, water sports enthusiasts and ski tourers. Over millions of years the waters of the Enns have deeply eroded this mountain range. In the process it created a gorge with steep walls soaring up to 1,800 metres into the air. The Gesäuse is home to the last unregulated sections of this great Alpine river, starting at the entrance to the Gesäuse, where the gentle Enns turns into white water. It drops more than 150 metres over the 16 kilometre gorge.
Why not visit us here in the Gesäuse? Nowhere else can you experience such a variety of fascinating habitats in such a small space.
Water, forests and rocks!
The Enns – the main river in the Gesäuse National Park – is a source of unforgettable experiences:
- challenges for water sports enthusiasts
- impressive cataracts and gentle river stretches that can be admired by everyone – from a bicycle, on foot or from a kayak or canoe
- signposted areas for relaxing and cooling down on hot summer days
- crystal clear water at normal water levels
- bubbling, frothing torrents at high water
- a rare opportunity to experience an unspoilt slice of nature
The marked access and exit points can be used by all experienced kayakers and canoeists.
Rafting trips are offered and run by licensed professional organisations on site – fun and action guaranteed! Please book directly with the official outdoor activity provider on site.
(Commercial trips must be approved by Nationalpark Gesäuse GmbH)
Please note that entering the Enns river bank area at points outside the marked visitor areas is not permitted.
You can download the water sports leaflet here:
Many of the hiking trails in the Gesäuse National Park lead through forests and across meadows to the high mountain peaks.
Alpine huts are the perfect place to relax, enjoy a meal after a long mountain hike and admire the surrounding countryside.
This landscape is not just for serious walkers planning hikes over several days. It is also perfect for families and people who simply want to recharge their batteries in the countryside and get away from it all. Leisurely paths like the Rauchbodenweg offer surprising, impressive views of the mountains and the River Enns as it carves its way through the valley. And the Lettmair Au trail lets people of all ages discover fascinating aspects of the riparian forest.
Forests cover around 50% of the park and there are lots of things to discover. If you tread carefully, you may even see some wild animals.
Please note the difficulty levels on the path markers! Not all paths are suitable for everyone!
Winter is a fascinating experience in the Gesäuse National Park. Pull on snowshoes to explore the snow-covered paths, fortify yourself with good food in the warm alpine hut before going ski-touring up to the snow-covered summit cross.
The marked trails, which avoid the resting places of wild animals, offer a range of routes: from long and demanding hikes to easy and magical walks. By following the visitor guidelines, it is possible to take part in winter sports in the National Park while respecting nature.
When hikers reach their limits, that is where the realm of the mountain climber begins. Many of the routes in the summit regions of the Gesäuse mountains are classed as difficult. At the very least, anyone attempting them needs to be sure-footed, have a good head for heights and be well equipped.
Fans of long alpine climbing routes will find plenty in the Gesäuse National Park. Although many of the climbing routes have been improved, the climbs are still very alpine in character and require a good sense of orientation.
Climbers who reach the top of these strenuous routes are rewarded with secluded peaks and fantastic panoramic views.
Exploring the national park by bicycle
Explore the Gesäuse National Park away from the main roads on easy, unspoilt cycle paths, or demanding mountain bike trails.
The R 7 Enns bike trail (some of it on the main road) will take you right across the Gesäuse National Park.
Bicycles are available for hire at some locations.
The Lettmair Au and Leierweg trails are wheelchair-accessible. Special wheelchair pullies can be hired from the Willow Dome discovery centre in the summer months.
The Gesäuse National Park has something for everyone: from a leisurely family stroll to an adventurous rafting trip on the Enns or a mountain climbing expedition.
Further information about the National Park is available in English. For more information about events and news please visit the German pages of our website.