© Donauschlinge Schlögen © Oberösterreich Tourismus / Steininger
Donauschlinge Schlögen © Oberösterreich Tourismus / Steininger

Donausteig Stage 1_N02 Obernzell - Niederranna "Between the Danube and the High plateau"

  • Suitable for groups
  • culturally interesting
  • Multi-day tour

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Path number: Etappe 1_N02
Starting place: 94130 Obernzell
Destination: 4085 Hofkirchen im Mühlkreis

duration: 8h 0m
length: 23,3 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 694m
Altitude difference (downhill): 703m

Lowest point: 282m
Highest point: 636m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Dreamtour

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Gravel, Hiking trail

Short description:
The Donausteig-simply fabulous! On this stage, we follow the forested Durchbruchs­tal (valley) of the upper Danube - partly along the mighty Danube river, partly above on the rural plateau. We discover Obernzell as a jewel of the Danube, the highly demanded Passau porcelain clay, the frontier of upper bavaria, the natural jewel called the donauleiten, the importance of fishing in the middle ages...

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

Seal of approval:

  • Quality route according to "Österreichisches Wandergütesiegel"

This Donausteig-stage starts in Obernzell. The historic Danube market is nestled in the wooded Gorge of the upper Danube. The beautiful village with pretty facades and narrated by prosperity through salt and kaolin...., a multi-faceted Pearl of the Danube! From Donausteig-starting point we follow the mighty Danube River along the embankment downstream for approx. 2.5 km. Passing ships and magnificent views along the road underline the fascination of the "Danube valley". At the Kohlbachmühle (mill) begins the forest climb through the protected donauleiten up to the overlying plateau of the Bavarian forest. Over the Kohlbachgraben on forest paths we reach the upper edge of the donauleiten. Arrived at the impressive high plateau undulating landscapes shaped the scenery: lush meadows, fertile fields, traditional farm hamlet, small woodlands,... simply idyllic! On farm paths we walk comfortably in a wide right curve over the rural plateau and finally return to the donauleiten. A beautiful hiking trail leads through the rustic hillside woodland of the valley side, always close to the top. A highlight is the chapel of Ebenstein with its fabulous view deep into the Danube valley - simply inspirational! In the village of Riedl, we soon encounter the high plateau, and discover the ruins of Neujochenstein. The ruins are followed by one of the most beautiful descents through the donauleiten leading towards the Danube. After a short forest path to the Dantlbach (stream) (border between Germany Austria), we descend on the wild and romantic Öttlsteig (trail): mixed forest, rare stone runs, "Alpine" climbing...an experience in itself! Some stations of the LIFE nature forest road help us recognize the natural treasures of the valley flank. Along the wide Danube, we continue to the ferry of Engelhartszell. The idyllic Frauensteig (trail), also know as smugglers way, leads steeply through mixed forest of the donauleiten up to the high plateau - part of the Mühlviertler highlands. At the top, we continue downstream along the edge of the valley side and reach the adventure highlight of this stage the fabled Penzenstein! The pulpit behind the popular forest chapel opens up wonderful views down into the danube valley, especially of Engelhartszell. Following this, we trek through the rural landscape of the plateau. Farm, field and forest roads bring us in a wide right curve passed Pühret back into the forest of the donauleiten. Now, an idyllic forest path accompanies us beside the forest edge. The rock pulpit of the Pühretsteins (rock) allows us to once again deep inspiring views - a place to ponder! After a short detour out to the plateau and then we descend slowly passed the Castle Rannariedl to the Danube. The last stretch of the trail runs along the Treppelweg to Niederranna. Between the Danube and the plateau - pur fascination!


Discover the following features with the Donausteig-diary:

-Obernzell bof fire pots and white clay

-Kaolin-the secret of porcelain

-Donausteig-starting point"Obernzell"

-Schloss Obernzell-an Episcopal summer residence

-The Danube, a water feature

-Attention shallow!

-View "Kasten & Vichtenstein"

-Crossroads- thank god!

- ...


Download: Donausteig-diary "Stage 1_N02 Obernzell Niederranna" - yet to follow

From the Donausteig-starting point "Obernzell", we follow the Danube approx. 2.5 km downstream. First along the Danube promenade, then along the Danube embankment. At the Kohlbachmühle (mill), the Danube route turns left and accompanies the Kohlbach (stream) on forest paths. After a pedestrian bridge, a short footpath leads up the right side of the Valley to the next forest road. On this keep right to the Donausteig-resting point "Kapelle Endsfelden" at the upper edge of the Donauleiten. On the rural plateau, we continue on a farm road from Endsfelden to Stollberg. Here keeping to the right we pass Hitzing and turn right after a small forest at the intersection in the direction of Krottenthal. Before this settlement turn left onto the dirt road and in a right curve continue to a Donausteig-sitting bench. As a result of crossing the asphalt street, we reach the Gasthaus (inn) Riedler Hof. There we cross as well the street and follow the road approx. 130 m. Then to the right leads a dirt road to the edge of the forest and continues downstream. Soon, the donausteig dips into the forest of the donauleiten. Passed the chapel of Ebenstein, we reach the village of Riedl. Turn right down to the castle ruins Neujochenstein (Donausteig-resting point). Then it goes through a short forest path down to the Dantlbach (stream) (border between Germany Austria). Continue straight you can reach in approx. 2 km the Jochenstein Danube power plant. The trail however continues to the left on the wild romantic Öttl-Steig (trail) downhill through the steep donauleiten to the Danube River, where a paved path brings us downstream to the ferry of Engelhartszell. At the ferry we turn left along the beautiful Frauensteig, also called smuggling route, through the woods of the steep donauleiten up to the rural plateau. Arrived at the top continue right along the forest edge to the Penzenstein (Donausteig-resting point). On the ensuing asphalt road turn right after about 360 m towards the Woods and continue through it. A side road leads straight into the village of Pühret. At the Eastern exit, turn right to the cemetery. The asphalt road passes into a magnificent forest, which brings us passed the Pühretstein and across fields in a left arc. Immediately prior to the settlement of the peasant village Dorf turn right and soon follows an idyllic walk through the woods of the Donauleiten up to the Donausteig-resting point „Bastei Schloss Rannariedl“. Now follow a short piece of road downhill, to the Castle Rannariedl and continue left on a forest road down to the Rannamühle (mill) (Donausteig-starting point) on the banks of the Danube. After the Rannabrücke (bridge) we walk right on the Treppelweg (path) of the Danube up to the Donausteig-starting point "Niederranna" in front of the Gasthof (inn) Draxler in Niederranna.


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

Obernzell is a true jewel of the Danube valley - take your time to explore!

Safety guidelines:
Dangerous terrain at the Ebensteinfelsen vantage point

Sturdy shoes

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


Tourist Information Obernzell
Marktplatz 42
94130 Obernzell
Tel. +49(0)8591/9116119
Fax: +49(0)8591/9116150


Tourism Agency Pfarrkirchen i.M.
Tel. +43(0)7285/415 Fax: 415-4

Starting point: Obernzell - the Donausteig "Obernzell" is located on the promenade at the same height of Castle Obernzell.
Destination: Niederranna - The Donausteig-starting place 'Niederrana' is located directly next to the ship dock 'Niederranna' (South of the Draxler Inn) Only reachable by foot!

further information:
  • Multi-day tour
  • Board possible

Accessibility / arrival

Getting there
Coming from the market place in Obernzell turn right the junction in front of the Castle Obernzell. Approx. 60m further on is the Donausteig-starting point on the right hand side  (Navi: D‑94130 Obernzell, Schloss Obernzell).

Public Transit
Obernzell can be reached by bus. Information on timetables online at www.vlp-passau.de. A transfer back form Niederanna is possible by bus as well. However, there is no direct direct connection and bus ride can take a few hours! Information on timetables online at http://www.ooevv.at  .

The city center of Obernzell is mainly a short parking zone. One can park free of charge along the walls of the castle Obernzell across from the dock of the Danube ferry or in the hostpial street.

Travelling by public transport
Route planner for independent travellers
  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for schools
  • Suitable for seniors
  • Suitable for single travelers
  • Suitable for couples
  • Suitable for children
Most economical season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn

Please get in touch for more information.

Donausteig Stage 1_N02 Obernzell - Niederranna "Between the Danube and the High plateau"
WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz

Phone +43 732 7277 - 800
mobile +49 5891 9116150
Fax machine +43 732 7277 - 804

We speak the following languages


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Path number: Etappe 1_N02
Starting place: 94130 Obernzell
Destination: 4085 Hofkirchen im Mühlkreis

duration: 8h 0m
length: 23,3 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 694m
Altitude difference (downhill): 703m

Lowest point: 282m
Highest point: 636m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Dreamtour

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Gravel, Hiking trail