Though the surrounding mountains are still snow-capped, spring has already arrived in the valley. The first spring blossoms are sprouting, insects are humming through the air and songbirds start their concert when day breaks in the early hours. That’s a good time for a stroll through the alluvial forest along the Ill river from Schruns-Tschagguns to St. Anton im Montafon.
The alluvial forest is a special habitat that hosts many varieties in the heart of the settled valley. Willows, alders, beeches, maple, ash trees and other species line the river banks as the final remnants of the original extensive alluvial forest complex in the valley and hillside locations along the Ill. A unique geological feature of the river landscape is visible at Daleu and Vandans: the river bars are not made up of the silicate stone typical for the valley locations in Montafon, but primarily of limestone gravel from the Mustergielbach and Rellsbach streams, which join the Ill river here and transport the limestone from the Rätikon mountains into the valley.
The meadows at the estuaries are also home to several rare plant species. In spite the industry and construction along the Ill river, several natural oases have been preserved here. There is an astonishing variety of species on the gravel banks and with a little luck, you may spot a water ouzel with the striking white patch on its breast, or a bright yellow grey wagtail beside the running water.