R1.08 Danube Granite Circuit
“With Danube waves, granite and hops”
Quality of experience: ******
- Refreshment stops available
- Geological highlights
- Botanical highlights
A mountain-packed cycle circuit from the Upper Danube Valley up to Kirchberg ob der Donau, to the 360° panorama viewing tower 'Donau am Berg' (613 m). Followed by pleasure-filled cycling across Mühlviertel's hilly granite uplands: sublime panoramic views, a rural cultural landscape, hidden granite quarries ... cultural highlights: Neuhauser Granite (art), beer.
- Kettenturm (the only preserved toll point along the Danube, viewing platform)
- 'Donau am Berg' viewing tower (360° panoramic views, Burgstall)
- Granite experience world (learn about inspiring granite)
- Neuhaus Castle / St. Martin
Upper Danube Valley – spanning over 90 km (!) is one of the longest breakthrough valleys in the Danube. The starting point for this attractive highland granite tour is a very tranquil section of this deep narrow valley – in the harbour town of Untermühl. Unremarkable today, at one time it was significant. A supply town for the Danube boats, Kettenturm (= toll station), lading port for the famous Neuhauser Granite ...! After crossing the Große Mühl mouth of the river, the 300 metre ascent to the plateau of Mühlviertel's granite highland area begins. In the natural mixed woodland area on the steep valley flanks, the route proceeds in serpentines high up on a tranquil municipal road. The rural cultural landscape makes the ascent more propitious. Once you reach the well-kept mountain village of Kirchberg ob der Donau you've done it. Congratulations! The surprising highlight: the fantastic 360° panoramic views from the 'Donau am Berg' viewing tower (613 m) – across the Mühlviertel, the Danube Valley, Sauwald, ... all the way to the Alps! Incidentally, you are standing on the highest elevation point here, rising straight out of the Danube. Pleasurable cycling now begins, taking in the rhythm of the undulating Mühlviertel granite highland area: pastures, fields, fruit gardens, farm hamlets, small forested areas ... a pure rural idyll! On the way to Altenfelden, the plateau offers unrestricted views and seclusion. You ride via agricultural roads and a short forest/field section down to the secluded Hötzendorfer farmstead. There follows an agricultural district road uphill from Unteredt, in an area of shaded mixed woodland, until you come to the market town of Altenfelden – situated on a gentle ridge. Congratulations, you are on the second highest point of the circuit! The historic market town was once a church village (= church in the centre), which is why it does not feature a classic market square. At the edge of the town you become aware of the elevated location – fantastic panoramic views deep into the hinterland of the plains enable you to get a sense of the expanse! After a brief detour to the settlement area of Neufelden, you ride on the cycle path next to bustling Rohrbacher Straße across the long Mühltal bridge. From Apfelsbach proceed through cultivated arable land via a gentle ridge to the agricultural one-street village of Kleinzell. As you continue your ride, concealed at the edge of the town is Resilacke – a disused granite quarry which is used today as an idyllic natural pool. A tip for those in the know! In this area you also get to explore a few of Mühlviertel's well-known hop gardens. The short descent into the hidden wooded valley in Diesenbach is challenging on the counter slope and also on the short uphill section. The granite village of Plöcking conceals another highlight: a granite experience world! This provides exciting insights into the special features of the granite region. Incidentally, it was here that renowned Neuhauser Granite was mined in the surrounding area. Through atmospheric farmland, up and down hills, with sublime views into the distance ... passing the oldest brewery in Austria, Brauerei Hofstetten, you reach St. Martin im Mühlkreis. The pretty town centre recounts a proud tradition and contemporary everyday life. However the town's special feature only reveals itself when you know about its history – it was the base for the salt route to Bohemia! Tip: In the parish church an artistic ribbed vault made from Neuhauser Granite is inspiring. A speedy descent, with two short counter ascents, takes you down to the magnificent Neuhaus Castle. Then you once again become immersed in the earthy ravine forest of the Danube Gorge and are soon at the starting point. With Danube waves, granite and hops!
The main section of this granite highland cycle route uses tranquil, asphalt (side) roads. The few sections along busier roads have designated, wide cycle paths. Three sections – between 300 - 400 m respectively – proceed via woodland/agricultural roads. Basic command of gears is advantageous for the long climb sections. Basic braking technique is necessary for the long descent.
To make orientation easier, the Danube Cycle Path has been signposted with its own cycle guidance system. This circuit follows the"R1.08 Donau-Granit-Runde" signposts.
- Board possible
Please get in touch for more information.