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Fitting the pre-Christmas time, we have chosen the Austrian “Francis – Path” for today’s excursion tip. We start at “Schöpfungsweg” (“creation path”) in Pitten; yet, one can start anywhere. There are two routes: a short one, about 2,3 kilometers long, and a long one, 37,5 kilometers long. One can also walk the latter one in several stages.

Today, we are focusing on the short tour and start at the rose garden in Pitten. Yellow signposts with the inscription “Franziskusweg” lead us direction town center. Right at the beginning, a steep rise to the so-called Bergkirche is awaiting us along the creation path. From here, we enjoy the first magnificent view of Pitten and Hohe Wand. Then, we continue uphill on the asphalt road and cover a steep rise into the forest, always heading direction fortress. However, we ignore it and follow the narrow path uphill. Soon, we arrive at a fork on a forest road; there, we spot a signpost and turn right. Afterwards, we walk through the light and colorful woods until we eventually reach a dirt road. We follow it until we immerse in the forest again. Attention: we stay on the path to the right with the yellow marking; behind the barriers, we spot a small plate with the inscription “Franziskusweg” on a tree to the left. We then continue straight ahead for a while and arrive at another dirt road. Afterward, we hike direction Bad Erlach to the town center.

Stopover at the café

If you wish to stop for a bite to eat you should do so in the town center, as this is more or less “halftime” of the short route. Refreshed and recovered, we follow the signposts throughout the park until we arrive at an old chimney flue with a stork’s nest on top. We keep right and find the yellow plate a little bit hidden. We traverse a few more alleys, then, pass the railway line through an underbridge and hike direction Waldfriedhof (forest cemetery). If you would like to you can go on a short detour to “Gläserner Kreuzweg”.

The next plate is leading us steeply uphill for a short while until we reach a forest path and follow it for quite a while. We eventually arrive at a fork without any signpost. However, we are free to make our choice as both tracks become one again quickly afterwards. When we walk out of the forest and reach a field, we keep left. Soon, we are able to see the church towers from Schwarzau from afar. In the afternoon, the sun is spoiling us with magnificent light, warmth and a nice view. Even a little bench is awaiting the tired hiker here. At the next fork, a plate directs us to the right and across a hill and we arrive at the asphalt road. We cross it and enter the park area of “Mater Salvatoris” nursing home. The plate is attached to the fence. 

Then, we find ourselves again in a light forest and the signpost clearly indicates the direction. We are in the final sprint and reach Pitten, enjoy a gorgeous view of the Mountain Church lit by the sun, traverse the railway tracks and soon arrive at the rose garden again. 

For the short route, one has to calculate a walking time of two and a half hours. Stopping for a bite to eat is only possible in Bad Erlach or Pitten. Nice forest paths, splendid views, little incline – yet, the tour offers “hiking feeling”. A tour recommended all seasons.


Dolores Marie Schärf unterrichtet Englisch, Französisch, Spanisch
sowie Italienisch und ist als  Dolmetscherin bzw. Übersetzerin tätig.

Portrait Erwin Jung

Tip from the Mountain Security Service

Dear leisure time sportswomen,
dear leisure time sportsmen,

The current excursion tip is a pilgrimage around Pitten. At least since the publication of Hape Kerkeling’s Book “Ich bin dann mal weg“, making a pilgrimage has experienced a boom. More and more people are looking for quiet and some distance from the often very demanding daily routine. This year, for my birthday, I took the opportunity to hike to Mariazell with my family and many friends. Going on a pilgrimage is a wonderful way of contemplating and, at the same time, communicative and uniting – therefore, I wish for many special moments for us all when making a pilgrimage. No matter if we do a little loop trail in Pitten or hike all the way to Santiag de Compostela. Get home safely and in a healthy state. I am looking forward to a nice encounter in our beautiful region.

Erwin Jung
Photo: Bergrettung

Photos (9): Egerer