R1.04 Danube loop circuit
Interactive elevation profile
'Schlögener Donauschlinge loops – Changing perspectives'
Quality of experience: ******
- Refreshment stops available
- Cultural/historical value
- Geological highlights
Experience the inspiring natural wonder that is Schlögener Donauschlinge loops up close. Fantastic views down from the top of this natural wonder, fun-filled passage through the Danube loop and ferry crossing on the first 180° loop! With panorama ascent via the Sauwald high plateau and short hike to the famous Schlögener Donaublick viewing point. A highlight!
- Meditation pyramid on Etzinger Hügel (Architectural highlight, Alpine views)
- 'Schlögener Donaublick' viewing platform (famous views to the depths of Schlögener Donauschlinge loops)
- Natural wonder 'Schlögener Donauschlinge loops'
- UNESCO World Heritage Site Roman baths & Roman Park Schlögen
- Ferry trip
Upper Danube Valley – Spanning over 90 km (!) this is one of the longest breakthrough valleys on the Danube. Unusual gorges and mixed forests on sloping hillsides make it a natural gem, with a Central European format. The starting point is located in the depths of this gorge, somewhat upstream of the natural wonder that is the Schlögener Donauschlinge loops – the Danube market town of Wesenufer.
Inconspicuous today, it is the third oldest Danube location in Upper Austria! Incidentally, the denomination '-ufer' is derived from 'Überfuhr' (ferry). There is even a former castle – Niederwesen castle, which today is the Hotel Wesenufer. The 280 metre ascent to the Sauwald high plateau starts on the banks of the Danube. In the superb ravine forest, the steep valley sides proceed up the mountain on a tranquil rural road. Perspiration flows; thoughts flow. Shortly after the ruins of Wesen castle, the forest clears and you are on the Sauwald high plateau at the Waldkirchen crossroads. Congratulations, the hardest part of the ascent is over! The Sauwald panorama road now starts. On the smooth agricultural roads you cycle over an undulating panoramic altitude ridge. Lush pastures, fertile fields, scattered farmsteads, little areas of woodland ... the essence of the rural idyll of Sauwald. Breathtaking expansive views to the Mühlviertel, across the Alpine foothills up to the Alps ... all enable you to get a feel for the elevation. Pure joy! The panoramic view - 'Paschinger Hügel' – is the prelude, while a little later the impressive Etzinger meditation pyramid (642 m) is the high point. Congratulations, you are standing at the highest point of the circuit! There now begins an undulating descent to the top of Schlögener Donauschlinge loops.
After the idyllic altitude village of St. Agatha, you dart down through the shady hillside woodlands, taking in the rhythm with the bends. On Nibelungenstraße, the high plateau of the Schlögener Donauschlinge loops begins. A short ascent takes you to Haibach ob der Donau. A picture-perfect church village (= church in the centre) radiates a proud and vibrant rural idyll! Christoph Zeller, leader of the farmers during Upper Austria's peasants' revolt in 1626, was once a landlord here. Lovely farm roads continue via the slightly undulating plateau – with a trough section running through. Speed downhill into the Fuchsbach forest trough already mentioned, then head uphill again on the counter climb slope. There follows a pleasure-filled ride through agricultural countryside to the 'Schlögener Donaublick' cycle parking area. A short walk (~ 15 mins) takes you through a superb area of mixed hillside woodland slightly uphill to the famous viewing platform, 'Schlögener Donaublick'! The magnificent view to the depths below enables you to take in the natural wonder that is Schlögener Donauschlinge loops. Within just a few kilometres this mythical river, deeply embedded in the landscape, twice changes course through almost 180° - simply tremendous! Afterwards you cycle in a bend to the other edge of the plateau, then a brisk forest descent through the steep valley flanking the Danube provides inspiration.
On the legendary Treppelweg you now enjoy a leisurely pedal at eye level with the natural wonder that is the Danube loop. The narrowness of the gorge, the secluded woodlands, the powerful current ... stimulate your thoughts. Almost forgotten today, the Schlögener Donauschlinge loops were once one of the most dangerous points of the Danube stream due their rapids and treacherous rocks. The lovely little church in Inzell, in the heart of the second 180° loop, is a reminder of this. According to legend it was founded by a survivor of a shipping accident. On the first 180° loop in Schlögen, Roman excavations are a reminder of another facet of the river. It is here that a Roman fort – a UNESCO World Heritage site- The Danube Limes, is located! The local Roman Park enables this heritage to shine forth again in a new light. The crowning finale of the highlights at this natural wonder – the crossing on the cycle ferry from Schlögen to Au – where you enjoy an up-close perspective of the river! On the Treppelweg, enjoy a leisurely ride along the wide Danube stream. In Niederranna continue via the Danube Bridge, a contemporary version of the former crossing, and you then are back at the starting point. Leisure riding which provides a change of perspective!
This cycle circuit has plenty of contrasts, making the most of the proximity of tranquil, asphalt (side) roads and agricultural roads. Basic command of gears is advantageous for the long climb sections. Basic braking technique is necessary for the long descent. Please note the timetable for Schlögen – Au bike ferry. Should this not be operating, you can, if necessary, continue riding on the same bank of the Danube to Wesenufer.
To make orientation easier, the Danube Cycle Path has been signposted with its own cycle guidance system. This circuit follows the "R1.04 Donauschlingen Runde" signposts.
Please get in touch for more information.
Interactive elevation profile