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Granite Beer Tour: Stage 1

  • culturally interesting
  • Multi-day tour

 Interactive elevation profile

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Tour-Details

Starting place: 4113 St. Martin im Mühlkreis
Destination: 4144 Oberkappel

duration: 7h 15m
length: 58,0 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 1.705m
Altitude difference (downhill): 1.482m

Lowest point: 282m
Highest point: 842m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Dreamtour

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Path / trail, Other


Short description:
“Smooth sailing along slopes in the Danube Valley and a dash up to the peak with panoramic views from Pfarrkirchen village”



Technique: ***



Quality of experience: ******



Recommended season:

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



Properties:

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

Description:
A unique stretch of smooth sailing along the slopes of the Danube Gorge forges through magnificent forests, taking you up to the plateau three times and back. Impressive stopover: the 360-degree Donau am Berg panoramic lookout tower (613 metres) at Kirchberg ob der Donau. Next comes a trip through Granite Country’s farm-dotted highlands with a crunchy climb and 7.5 kilometres of blissful downhill riding past the Schlögen Danube Loop – a listed natural wonder. Starting from the deep Danube Gorge, bike to the village of Pfarrkirchen im Mühlkreis (840 metres) at the southern summit of the bevelled uplands and savour the panoramic views. Last but certainly not least, a delightful, free-flowing descent down to Oberkappel. All in all, a spectacular start!

 


Highlights:



  • Untermühl Danube river port (toll tower with viewing platform, terminus of Schwarzenberg Canal)

  • Donau am Berg lookout tower (360-degree panoramic view, former castle site)

  • Obermühl an der Donau (submerged Danube resort, historical salt road)

  • Schlögen Danube Loop (listed natural wonder) & Upper Danube Valley Nature Reserve

  • Pfarrkirchen im Mühlkreis (highest village in the region, panoramic viewpoint)



Directions:
A unique stretch of smooth sailing along the slopes of the Danube Gorge forges through magnificent forests, taking you up to the plateau three times and back. Impressive stopover: the 360-degree Donau am Berg panoramic lookout tower (613 metres) at Kirchberg ob der Donau. Next comes a trip through Granite Country’s farm-dotted highlands with a crunchy climb and 7.5 kilometres of blissful downhill riding past the Schlögen Danube Loop – a listed natural wonder. Starting from the deep Danube Gorge, bike to the village of Pfarrkirchen im Mühlkreis (840 metres) at the southern summit of the bevelled uplands and savour the panoramic views. Last but certainly not least, a delightful, free-flowing descent down to Oberkappel. All in all, a spectacular start!

The Upper Danube Valley is over 90 kilometres long, making it one of the longest gorges along the Danube. This deep, V-shaped valley is home to the starting point for your journey: the riverport village of Untermühl. Inconspicuous today, this was once a highly significant settlement acting as the supply point for shipping on the Danube, housing a toll tower, being terminus of the Schwarzenberg Canal and more. The warm-up is a ride into the romantic Grosse Mühl valley through to the secluded Partenstein pumped-storage power plant. Here begins a unique stretch of smooth sailing through magnificent forests along the slopes. The first ascent (elevation gain: 180 metres) runs via a challenging maintenance track parallel to the power plant’s pressure pipes up to the plateau and the hamlet of Ramersberg. Congratulations! Zoom back down a steep forest path into the depths of the Grosse Mühl valley and Ebenmühle mill. The second ascent (280 meters) leads over a sometimes rough-and-ready historical track to the plateau opposite. At the top, you will ride elegantly through undulating farmland to Kirchberg ob der Donau to the impressive Donau am Berg lookout tower (613 metres). Good job – halfway through the slope sailing! Next comes a magnificent 360-degree panoramic view over the Mühlviertel region, the Danube Valley, the Sauwald forest and more, all the way up to the Alps. At this point, you will be standing at the highest elevation, which rises straight up from the mighty Danube. There follows a free-flowing stretch on to the edge of the Danube Gorge, before the steep descent down the slope of the Danube Valley demands full concentration on a series of woodland trails. And for those who need to unwind a little after that, the next stretch is virtually a relaxed river cruise along the banks of the Danube until reaching Obermühl an der Donau. Attentive bikers will notice the contrast between the historic granary at the beginning of the village and the contemporary architecture in the rest of the settlement. The reason for this is that its historic centre was submerged in the floods following a Danube backwater being released for Aschach power plant. At the ultra-modern, golden-coloured church, the third climb commences (260 meters). An abandoned cobbled road runs quaintly along the steep slope of the Kleine Mühl valley – the old salt road. The salt of the legendary Salzkammergut region was formerly transported to Obermühl by boat, before being taken on to Bohemia by packhorse. It might occur to any philosophers riding the route that many a cycling top also ends up soaked in salt! Next up, on the plateau, the turning point is reached at the hamlet of Unteredt. Nice work! A brief recharging of batteries then ensues through a stretch of cultivated landscape, after which demanding trails along the steep slope lead back into the depths of the Kleine Mühl valley – to the Bruckwirt hotel.


 


A crunchy climb through mixed forest (elevation gain: 170 metres) calls for some deft trail handling in places on the way to Lembach im Mühlkreis (552 metres). Here begins a wonderful opportunity to encounter the varied landscapes that form the highland: an elegant sea of hills, breath-taking long-distance views, a patchwork of fields and woods, a scattering of farming hamlets and more – all side by side in perfect harmony. The next stretch takes you up a hill with panoramic views, after which you will approach the edge of the bevelled highland. At 690 metres, the hamlet of Starnberg marks the highest point of this journey across – good job! The 7.5-kilometre descent into the Danube Valley plays out like a dream: brief wooded thickets, small plateaus supporting local farms, weaving stretches of asphalt … until reaching the point above a famous natural wonder: the Schlögen Danube Loop. It is here that the storied Danube twice changes direction by 180 degrees within just a few kilometres. The last downhill section consists of enjoyable trails through the forested gorge, which is part of a nature reserve along the steep Danube valley slope.


Next, a relaxed jaunt alongside the mighty Danube leaves room for reflection – about the compelling appeal of Granite Country biking, gratitude, happiness and anything else that makes its mark. After around two kilometres begins an uphill dash (elevation gain: 550 metres) to the village of Pfarrkirchen im Mühlkreis, which offers stunning panoramic views. The first third of this ascent heads up the shady mixed forest in hairpin bends through the Danube Valley’s steep slope. At the legendary Schloss Marsbach castle, once a feared nest of robber barons in feudal times, the route swings up even more steeply for a short interval. Then the landscape opens up, with the first realisation of the elevation reached ensuring a welcome sense of success. You will subsequently pass through lush meadows, fertile fields, scattered farmers’ hamlets, woods and more besides –  in short, idyllic Mühlviertel countryside! Along relatively leisurely country lanes used to supply the nearby settlements, you will pass the mystical Labyrinth der Verwandlung (“Labyrinth of Transformation”) sculpture installation, before taking a wide arc and arriving at the edge of the historical market at Hofkirchen im Mühlkreis. Slightly above the village stands the surprising Labyrinth der Begegnung (“Labyrinth of Encounters”) installation, from which a majestic view of the Alps can be taken in. A dirt road, itself with a panoramic vista, then ascends to the next stretch of high land – with some steep sections along the way. The last climb leads through wonderful mixed forest on the mountainside – initially on trails, then finally on a quiet country lane towards the village of Pfarrkirchen im Mühlkreis, which boasts breath-taking views of the surrounding scenery. This is the highest village in Mühlviertel Granite Country’s highlands and uplands. At the edge of the forest above the centre of the village is a magnificent panoramic viewpoint (840 metres), which is sure to delight those visitors who make it up there. Congratulations, you are standing at the southern summit of the bevelled uplands! Sensationally beautiful views down the valley reinforce the elevation you have reached, while the Alpine backdrop is no less astonishing. And last but far from least, there is 8.4 kilometres of downhill fun to be had! The first part offers intoxicating speeds through natural mountainside forest with views over secluded faraway areas. The second part offers four small counter-climbs with even more visually beautiful landscapes through to Oberkappel, the destination for the day.

Starting point: Untermühl
Destination: Oberkappel

further information:
  • Multi-day tour
  • Board possible

Accessibility / arrival



Public Transit
Location and getting there

How to arrive in the Danube Upper Austrian region?


The fast way to your destination – by train, bus, car, boat or plane.

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

Please get in touch for more information.


Granite Beer Tour: Stage 1
WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz

Phone +43 732 7277 - 800
Fax machine +43 732 7277 - 804
E-Mailinfo@donauregion.at
Webwww.donauregion.at
http://www.donauregion.at

 Interactive elevation profile

Download GPS data
Create PDF

Tour-Details

Starting place: 4113 St. Martin im Mühlkreis
Destination: 4144 Oberkappel

duration: 7h 15m
length: 58,0 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 1.705m
Altitude difference (downhill): 1.482m

Lowest point: 282m
Highest point: 842m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Dreamtour

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Path / trail, Other