A comfortable hike across a picturesque alpine landscape. The Gemsteltal is a naturalist valley surrounded by an impressive mountain and rock landscape.
The circular track begins in Mittelberg-Bödmen and passes several possibilities for rest and refreshment: Bernhard’s Gemstelalpe (1310 m), Hintere Gemstelhütte (1320 m) and Naturalpe Gemstel-Schönesboden (1310m), Bernhard’s Gemstelalp offers homemade products such as organic mountain cheese, milk, yoghurt, soups, different sausages, bread, omelet, «Kaiserschmarrn» and cakes. You can enjoy a hearty lunch break, cakes and traditional Austrian apple strudel at the Hintere Gemstelhütte at the foot of the Widderstein. There also is a playground for younger guests. The Naturalpe Gemstel-Schönesboden (GenussHütte) is open (depending on the snow conditions) from mid-May till the end of October. There is a big sun terrace and a playground. It also provides snacks and drinks. Specialties include warm and smoked ham, homemade mountain-, alpine- or goat cheese. Alpine products like alpine cheese, alpine ham, sausages, goat cheese and butter can be purchased at the alp.
WALSER ALPINE FARMING Walser settled in the high-altitude region of Vorarlberg during the 13th/14th century – including the Kleinwalsertal. They came from the Swiss canton Wallis and were experienced farmers that got along well in the alpine surroundings. They introduced a three-tier system of farming alpine pastures that is still being practiced in Vorarlberg today. To optimally use the existing food sources for livestock, people and animals moved several times a year. Summers are spent at the high alpine pastures that provide fresh alpine grass and herbs that give alpine milk its good taste. Most alpine pastures process milk to alpine and mountain cheese. During early and late summer cows grass at «Maisäß»/«Vorsäß». Its grass/hay feeds the stock during winter that they spend in stables.
Presented by: Themenwege Vorarlberg,
Difficulty: leicht Technique: Condition: Experience: Landscape: Altitude: Best season: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Safety instructions:
140 alpine emergencies Austria
144 alpine emergencies Vorarlberg
112 Euro emergency call (if there is no reception at the site of the emergency, first switch off your mobile phone, and when switching it on again, immediately dial 112 or press the SOS button instead of entering the PIN code).
Festes Schuhwerk und entsprechende Wanderausrüstung sind notwendig.
More info & links:
Walser alp farming
In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Walser people settled some high-lying areas of Vorarlberg, including the Kleinwalsertal. They originated from the Swiss canton of Wallis and were seasoned farmers who fared well in mountainous regions. Amongst other things, they introduced the three-tier system of farming alpine pastures which is still practiced today in Vorarlberg. To fully exploit all supplies of cattle feed, animals, kith and kin move several times a year. They spend the summer on high-lying alps where fresh alp grass and fine herbs give a wonderful taste to the milk. On many alps, milk is being processed into alp and mountain cheese. In early and late summer, the cattle grazes on intermediate alps called maisaess or vorsaess. Having returned to their stables for winter, they feed on the grass and hey of these pastures in the cold season.
From Bödmen the track leads across the Breitach river up to the other side of the valley to Gemstelboden, where the circular trail starts. There are no major differences in altitude during the hike through the valley that is located at the foot of the Widderstein (2533 m). The mountain marks the border between the municipalities of Warth in Bregenz Forest and Mittelberg in Kleinwalsertal.
Start Mittelberg – Bödmen bus station
Geogr. 47.31492 N 10.14488 E
Destination Mittelberg, Bödmen
Kleinwalsertal – Walserbus: http://www.kleinwalsertal.com/aktuell/walserbus.html