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Donausteig Stage 1_S02 Kasten - Engelhartszell: „Summit aussualt onto the roof of the Donausteig!“

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Starting place: 4092 Esternberg
Destination: 4090 Engelhartszell

duration: 6h 0m
length: 16,1 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 570m
Altitude difference (downhill): 751m

Lowest point: 287m
Highest point: 842m
difficulty: medium
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Great panorama

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Gravel, Hiking trail

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Short description:
The Donausteig - simply fabulous! Summit assaut onto the Haugstein - the highest peak of the Donausteig. On this forest rich stage, we walk in the Durchbruchstal (valley) of the upper Danube from Kasten along the Danube over the mystical forest Summit of the Haugsteins to Engelhartszell on the danube. We discover the hidden past of Kasten, the world of the Danube river rafting, the feud Knights of Vichtenstein, the highest situated village of the Innviertel region, the historical Engelhartszell...

Technique: **

Quality of experience: ****

Recommended season:

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October


  • Multi-stage route
  • Scenic
  • Refreshment stops available
  • Cultural/historical value
  • Geological highlights
  • Botanical highlights
  • Faunistic highlights
  • Summit route

Seal of approval:

  • Quality route according to "Österreichisches Wandergütesiegel"

Starting point for this leg of the Donausteig is Kasten. The historical Danube settlement lies in the Gorge of the Austrian side of the upper Danube. The peculiarity of this small village us understood only with the knowledge of a place that wants its history to be discovered! Our Summit assault starts directly in Kasten. After a short stretch of road we walk on a beautiful footpath along a meadow grove to the Donausteig-resting point "Red Cross" just above Kasten. Here, a nice view is opened up of the power station Jochenstein. Hereafter begins a steep forest stretch uphill on an old school way bringing us to Vichtenstein. In the village center high above the Danube an observation deck with stunning views over the Danube valley inspire; far into the Bavarian and the Bohemian Forest - a highlight! In addition, the beautiful parish church and the castle Vichtenstein offer exciting insights into the history of the region. On the outskirts, we cross the legendary Teufelsbach (stream) and hike to a small wooded area over farm meadows with beautiful views into the Bavarian countryside. We then dive into the "eternal" forests of the Sauwaldes (forest). A forest road leads to the Donausteig-resting point "Teich", an oasis in the midst of the mountain forests. The pristine forest section is followed by a short piece of road: Klaubsteinmauern (stone walls), beautiful mixed woodland, overgrown wooded pastures... On a magnificent forest path, does the hike continue through this idyllic landscape. At the settlement of Unterweinbrunn, we reach the road again for a short period. Later, the terrain level gets steeper through the forest. The gentle meadows of the Haugsteigstüberl give time to breathe again and allow wide looks into the highest regions of the Bavarian Forest and Šumava. Hereafter, begins the atmospheric summit forest. On a forest road, we reach the fabled Jagabild chapel on the saddle of the Haugsteins. A detour brings us from there on a beautiful hiking trail over to the mystical forest Summit of the Haugsteins. Congratulations – here we stand on the highest peak of the entire Donausteig! The descent leads along an idyllic Way of the Cross through the summit forest down to Stadl, the highest situated village of the Innviertel region. From there, the Donausteig first follows a trade route almost entirely flat through the forest, then runs via forest roads down to the Donausteig-resting point „Grenzblick Bayern-Österreich“ located at the edge of the forest with a terrace overlooking the Danube river. Lush meadows, small fields and farmhouses are evidence of rural creativity and reclamation. Soon we dive back into the forests where forest roads lead us rapidly downhill into the secluded Leitenbachtal (valley), where we cross the Danube and finally reach on a magnificient walk Engelhartszell. Over the roof of the Donausteig - simply fabulous!


Discover the following features with the Donausteig-diary

-Kasten-Tolls & salt                     

-Donausteig-starting place "Kasten"

-Rafting and their non-swimmers

-Red Cross-an ancient route

-Donausteig-resting point "Red Cross"

-Donausteig-starting point "Vichtenstein"

-Parish Church of Vichtenstein and its miraculous Housemother

-Burg Vichtenstein - of feud and the Bishop's victory

- ...


Download: Donausteig-diary "Stage 1_S02 box Engelhartszell" - Yet to follow!


From the Donausteig-starting point "Kasten" we go on the Nibelungen Street a few meters upstream and then follow the road to Vichtenstein. In a tight left turn, does the Donausteig turn right. Now, mostly forest paths lead quickly uphill. During the ascent, we cross three times the serpentine road after the Donausteig-resting point "Red Cross". Arrived in Vichtenstein, the road continues left further into the city center to the Donausteig-starting point "Vichtenstein. Subsequently, the intersection in front of the Church allows for a short detour to the parish church of Vichtenstein. The Donausteig however runs here downhill to the left. It is possible for a short detour to the Castle Vichtenstein situated on the left. At the end of the road, we cross the Teufelsbach (river). Now a roadway brings us first through the forest, later over meadows in a wide right curve uphill. At the crossroads after the farm, turn left into the forest. Approximately 400 m further we leave the forest road to the right and cross over the Donausteig-resting point "Teich" up to the paved road. Follow it left for 400 m, then turn right and continue up on the forest road. In Unterweinbrunn do we again reach the asphalt road and turn uphill, at the next intersection. Then continue in the second street turn, branch of right onto the forest road. Soon after comes an asphalt road that leads us left past meadows to the Haugsteinstüberl (inn). On the edge of the forest the road turns into a forest path which leads to the Jagabild Chapel, via the saddle of the Haugsteins. Here, a short detour to the Haugstein to the right is definitely worth it. Descend to Stadl along the Way of the cross. At Stadl, after the church turn left downhill and at the graveyard continue immediately to the left. Now we follow the asphalted road almost at level height past Zigeunerbrunn (village) up to a sharp left turn. Take a right here. Through the forest, continue downhill to the Donausteig-resting point „Grenzblick Bayern-Österreich" situated on the rural terrace of Berg. On the tarmac turn right and left and follow the trade route "Maierhof" downhill. From Kollergut we walk slightly diagonally across the Meadow down, and then follow a narrow winding forest path leading down to the Leitenbachtal (valley) to a dock. There, the parking lot of the Jochenstein power plant can be reached. We however cross the creek and walk along a forest path almost precisely up to the outskirts of Engelhartszell. Turn left across the meadow and down to the Berndoblstraße (street). On this street continue right, until left path brings us downhill to the Brunngasse (alley). There continue right to Sauwaldstraße (street), which leads us down to the Donausteig-starting point "Engelhartszell".


To facilitate the orientation, the Donausteig was provided with its own orientation system - you will find the description here.


The Danube market Engelhartszell offers many wonder - take time to admire some of the sites!

Standard hiking equipment

Additional information:
WGD Tourismus GmbH 
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz, Austria
Tel. +43(0)732/7277-800
Fax. +43(0)732/7277-804 


Tourism center Vichtenstein
4091 Vichtenstein 70
Tel.: +43(0)7714/8055
Fax: +43(0)7714/8056


Market office Engelhartszell
Marktpl. 61
4090 Engelhartszell
Tel.: +43(0)7717/8055-16
Fax: +43(0)7717/8055-22

Starting point: Kasten - the Donausteig-Starting point „Kasten“ is located to the right of the shipping dock „Kasten“.
Destination: Engelhartszell - The Donaustieg-Starting point "Engelhartszell" is located to the right of the exhibition building „Donaugeschichten“ of the Engelhartszell Danube-world at the playground (on the Sauwaldstraße (street) prox. 30 m southeast of the municipal office of Engelhartszell)

further information:
  • Multi-day tour
  • Board possible

Accessibility / arrival

Getting there
The starting point of this stage is located directly on the Nibelungenstrasse (street) at the shipping dock "Kasten", prox. 150 m north of the church (Navi: A‑4091 Vichtenstein, Kasten 15).

Public Transit
Kasten can be reached by Bus. There even is a transfer back from Engelhartszell by bus. However take notice of the sparse direct connections! Infomation on Bus Timetables online at http://www.ooevv.at  .

Directly across from the shipping dock is a public parking lot, free of charge.

Travelling by public transport
Route planner for independent travellers
Most economical season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn

Please get in touch for more information.

Donausteig Stage 1_S02 Kasten - Engelhartszell: „Summit aussualt onto the roof of the Donausteig!“
WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz

Phone +43 732 7277 - 800
Fax machine +43 732 7277 - 804

We speak the following languages


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Starting place: 4092 Esternberg
Destination: 4090 Engelhartszell

duration: 6h 0m
length: 16,1 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 570m
Altitude difference (downhill): 751m

Lowest point: 287m
Highest point: 842m
difficulty: medium
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Great panorama

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Gravel, Hiking trail

powered by TOURDATA