Starting out at Lake Formarinsee, © Verein Lechwege/Gerhard Eisenschink
Starting out at Lake Formarinsee, © Verein Lechwege/Gerhard Eisenschink
Lech at Weissenbach, © Verein Lechwege/Gerhard Eisenschink
Lech at Weissenbach, © Verein Lechwege/Gerhard Eisenschink

Lech River Trail (Lechweg)

From the source to the falls: The Lech River Trail takes hikers through one of the last wild river landscapes in Europe from its source close to Lake Formarinsee to Allgäu, passing through the Lechtal Valley and the Reutte Nature Park Region. Even though 125 kilometres could not be classed as a “stroll”, this long distance hike is relatively easy to accomplish as it runs more or less constantly downhill. Past colonies of alpine ibex goats, through the unique botanical landscapes of the Lechtal Valley and over a spectacular 200 metre suspension bridge at Holzgau. This alpine walking route is split into 15 stages, the final one of which leads to the little town of Füssen – depending on fitness and stamina levels, tours of between 6 and 8 days are recommended. The European Ramblers Association subjected the transnational Lech River Trail to stringent quality tests before certifying it as the very first „Leading Quality Trail“. The Lech River Trail is therefore a trail blazing model for long distance hiking trails throughout Europe.

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Starting point  

Lake Formarinsee

Finishing point

Füssen

Mountain chain

Lechtal Alps

Length

123.7 km

Duration

6 day(s)

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

intermediate (red mountain trails)

Altitude

1,830m 830m

Elevation uphill 4,320m
Vertical metres downhill 5,390m

Fitness level

Technique

Best time of year

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun

Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

* These are approximate values and recommendations. Please take your personal fitness level, technical ability and the current weather conditions into account. Tirol Werbung cannot guarantee that the information provided is correct and accepts no liability.

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Trail description

Stage 1: Formarinsee – Lech
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 212/638 metres, walking time: 5 hours, length: 14 kilometres
The “Lech Journey” through Tirol begins at Lake Formarinsee and with it, of course, the “Lechweg”. Starting at the romantic location of Lake Formarinsee (1,793 metres) the first stage of this long distance hiking trail leads along the banks of the River Formarinbaches, past various stunning vantage points and on to Lech am Arlberg. Particularly in springtime, you can see natural water springs emerging right next to the trail in Lech’s headwater region.

Stage 2: Lech – Lechleiten
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 722/632 metres, walking time: 5 hours, length: 14 kilometres
This stage of the Lechweg leads from Lech into fascinating wild river landscapes. Between Lech and Warth, the trail takes you just above the Lechschlucht Gorge to Grenztobel, the border between the two villages. Behind Warth you cross the provincial border between Vorarlberg und Tirol, before arriving at Lechleiten.

Stage 3: Lechleiten – Steeg
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 334/749 metres, walking time: 3.5 hours, length: 11 kilometres
This stage leads down a long winding trail to Lech. The “Panorama Trail” takes you past spectacular vistas and offers many photo opportunities of Lech, as the magical turquoise of the river flashes from the deep. Enjoy this idyllic route over meadows and a succession of little bridges.

Stage 4: Steeg – Holzgau
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 134/144 metres, walking time: 1.3 hours, length: 5 kilometres
The hike from Steeg to Holzgau is relatively short, but includes some real highlights. Kneipp pools and a wildly romantic waterfall invite you to kick off your shoes and linger for a while. The houses of Holzgau inspire visitors with their decorative frescoes from the late Baroque period.

Stage 5: Holzgau – Bach
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 16/40 metres, walking time: 1 hour, length: 3 kilometres
Part of the Lechweg’s fifth stage takes you over a series of wooden planks to a place of outstanding natural beauty at Schigge in the direction of Bach. Now you are really spoilt for choice: Are you going to cross the Höhenbachschlucht Gorge using the longest suspension footbridge in Europe, or walk through the Höhenbachtal Valley and past the SimmsWaterfall to the village of Bach and the end of this stage?

Stage 6: Bach – Elbigenalp
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 16/40 metres, walking time: 1 hour, length: 3 kilometres
This section of the Lechweg takes you comfortably along the riverside from Bach to Elbigenalp in the geographic centre of the Lechtal Valley. Elbigenalp is also the birthplace of the legendary “Geierwally”, Anna Steiner-Knittel and a traditional stronghold of the art of woodcarving. You will have to leave the Lechweg briefly in order to get to the village centre.

Stage 7: Elbigenalp – Häselgehr
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 150/186 metres, walking time: 3 hours, length: 7 kilometres
After leaving Elbigenalp, continue walking alongside the Lech River. Just before reaching Köglen you will reach a small pond, where you may want to stop and linger. The route then leads along forest and woodland paths to a section with stunning views, before reaching Häselgehr.

Stage 8: Häselgehr – Elmen
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 309/274 metres, walking time: 2 hours, length: 5 kilometres
This relatively short stage of the Lechweg takes you along the “Panorama Trail” to Elmen and past the beautiful Doser Waterfall. Every year the waterfall dries up on St. Martin’s Day (November 11th) and springs back on St. George’s Day (April 23rd).

Stage 9: Elmen – Vorderhornbach
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 297/361 metres, walking time: 2.5 hours, length: 6 kilometres
The Lechtal Valley landscape changes along this section of the hike. From the centre of Elmen you return to the Lechweg via Klimm and encounter a beech forest for the first time. The trail then leads to Vorderhornbach, known as the “Merano of the Lech Valley” because of its warm climate and where you can recuperate from all your exertions at the “Badino” natural adventure pool.

Stage 10: Vorderhornbach – Stanzach
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 45/82 metres, walking time: 1 hour, length: 3 kilometres
This stage leads from Vorderhornbach to Stanzach. Just before the Lech Bridge, whilst still in Vorderhornbach, a trail branches off towards Bailstein. After around 45 minutes you will reach a wonderful vantage point with spectacular views of Vorderhornbach and downstream to Lechzopf.

Stage 11: Stanzach – Forchach
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 40/65 metres, walking time: 2 hours, length: 5.5 kilometres
The Lech and its riverbed change character again along this stage from Stanzach to Forchach. The Lechweg leads you from Stanzach along the gravel banks through the characteristic wild river landscape. Birdwatchers are recommended to stay longer on this section of the Lech River. The gravel embankments offer the best conditions for spotting many species of breeding birds, such as the sandpiper or the little ringed plover.

Stage 12: Forchach – Weißenbach am Lech
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 115/141 metres, walking time: 2 hours, length: 7 kilometres
This part of the Lechweg takes hikers from Forchach to Weißenbach am Lech. Nature lovers shouldn’t miss this as it is a place of special ecological importance with an array of dry and damp areas. The wide-open meadows and pastures at the foot of the slope are the perfect habitat for ground-nesting birds, such as the whinchat and skylark.

Stage 13: Weißenbach am Lech – Wängle
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 177/123 metres, walking time: 3 hours, length: 9 kilometres
You walk during the first idyllic part of this stage through the Rotlechschlucht Gorge, before arriving at Lake Riedener. Shortly afterwards you have the choice of two paths: you can pay Ehrenberg Castle a visit, or just stay on the trail alongside Lech River to Wängle.

Stage 14: Wängle – Pflach
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 383/486 metres, walking time: 3 hours, length: 9 kilometres
You can savour the tranquillity of Lake Frauensees along this stage of the Lechweg from Wängle to Pflach, as well as the wild naturalness of Lech and the vibrant market life in Reutte. This section has something for everyone – from incredible vistas, to watching wildlife and pure relaxation in the spa.

Stage 15: Pflach – Füssen
Uphill/downhill metres in altitude: 704/748 metres, walking time: 5 hours, length: 15 kilometres
The last stage of the Lechweg is also the longest. You leave the banks of the River Lech and walk along forest paths to Sternschanze (star shaped entrenchment and the remains of an upstream fortification for Ehrenberg Castle). Shortly before Lake Alpsee you will leave Austria and enter Germany. The Lechweg then leads along the “Alpenrose Trail” towards Kalvarienberg and on to Füssen.

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Your destination address: Steeg im Lechtal

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