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Hiking | Hiking Trail

Natural Bridge – Kessellöcher

Blick auf den Ifen
Leiter zur Naturbrücke
Schotterweg in die Au
Wasserfall Schwarzwasserbach
Auf dem Rohrweg


Difficulty: leicht
Distance: 5,1 km
Ascent: 185 m
Descent: 163 m
Duration: 01:45 h
Deepest point: 1069 m
Highest point: 1253 m



  • Beautiful tour along the Schwarzwasserbach with many shady passages and several occasions for cooling down. Perfect for hot summer days.

    The first highlights of this hike are not long in coming. After a few minutes we reach the natural Kneipp area Kesselschwand and just a few meters later on a root path, the natural bridge. An idyllic, shady place that radiates an almost mystical charm with its turquoise water and the green moss. Next we walk up through woods and meadows into the Au. This opens us a beautiful view of the Ifen and into the Schwarzwassertal. Shortly thereafter, we dive into the nearest forest. (For filling up the batteries, you can stop here for coffee & cake at the Berggasthof Hammerer.) With the Schwarzwasserbach rushing beneath us, we walk on a narrow path for about 15 minutes steep uphill past a beautiful waterfall. Above we reach a fork and go straight ahead towards the “Kessellöcher”. Here we walk right along the water and can cool our feet before the next short but intense climb awaits us. It is worthwhile, however, because after a short time we reach a small bridge with a fascinating view of the Kessellöcher – cut by the water masses in thousands of years. In summer you can go canyoning in this place. After another two minutes we reach the road. Here we can take the bus from Schröflesäge back to Riezlern. Alternatively, we walk along the road to the Fuchsfarm, turn right and then left on the Rohrweg. For a second refreshment: Café Walserblick. After a snack we continue on the beautiful high route trail. Here we enjoy the view of Elfer, Zwölfer, Bärenkopf and Widderstein and pass another natural Kneipp area. At the Haus Bergfelder we can turn left and reach Hirschegg. We continue straight to Mittelberg.

    Don't miss the root path to the natural bridge and don't forget to take detours to the water. There is a lot to discover down there!

    Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen

    Presented by: Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen, Author: Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen
    letzte Änderung: 19.11.2021

  • Difficulty: leicht




    Altitude: 1253 m 1069 m Best season:
    Safety instructions:

    140 Alpine Emergencies Austria wide 
    144 Alpine Emergencies Vorarlberg 
    112 Euro-Emergencies (works with every mobile network) 


    Sturdy boots and hiking poles for steep passages recommended.

    More info & links:

    How do you consciously experience nature?


    Nature is so much more than the backdrop for unforgettable mountain experiences. It is a habitat for animals and plants. It provides drinking water and supplies us with high quality food. Not only does it provide valuable raw materials such as wood, it also protects against avalanches and mudslides and regulates the climate. It is up to us to support nature in everything that it does for us. One thing is certain, together we can achieve more:


    Smart in NATURE

    CONSCIOUS together

    EXPERIENCE foresight


    Smart in NATURE

    Take a deep breath and recharge your batteries, be outside and feel free. When we enjoy nature, we are guests in the living room of shy animals and rare plants. If you behave smart, they will be happy to share their living space with you in the future too.


    Stay on paths and marked routes

    If you follow the marked paths and routes, you are sure to come to new favorite places. In this way you also respect protected areas, because many animals and plants need special protection. Especially in winter, any disturbance unnecessarily costs the wild animals the strength they need to survive.


    Avoiding twilight times

    Standing on a mountain at sunrise is a special experience. The morning and evening hours are also the time when most wild animals are in search of food. If they are disturbed, they get stressed. If it cannot be avoided, please stay on the marked path, do not use a bright headlamp and enjoy the silence.


    Stay clean & take rubbish with you

    It goes without saying: You take rubbish with you again, on the mountain and in the valley. Please also organic waste, because it is composted much more slowly at altitude. You can dispose of the rubbish properly at home or in your accommodation – please remember that there are no rubbish bins in public spaces in Kleinwalsertal.


    On the natural toilet

    If you are looking for a quiet place, please be at least 50 m away from water. Bury excrement or cover it with a large stone. Use fallen leaves or recycled toilet paper and put the paper back in the trash bag.


    On tour with a dog

    Are you always in control of your four-legged partner, even if he gets his nose for marmots, deer or other wild animals? You are both on the safe side on a leash. Keep dogs on a short leash near grazing cattle. If an attack by a grazing animal is foreseeable: leash off immediately. There are numerous dog stations in the valley for the disposal of dog bags. The farmers and alpine farmers thank you because manure in meadows and fields contaminates the feed and makes grazing cattle sick.


    CONSCIOUS to each other


    Consideration for other athletes and those looking for relaxation

    Everyone loves to enjoy a special piece of earth for themselves. But most of the time we are not traveling alone. No problem, because there is enough space. Allow time, open the way in an accommodating manner, provide support when someone needs help and always give a smile. So nothing stands in the way of friendly cooperation and relaxed enjoyment of nature.


    Appreciating the preservation of the cultural landscape

    Alpine landscapes are touching with their contrast: Imposing peaks and natural forests alternate with gentle valleys, well-tended meadows and pastures. In the Kleinwalsertal too, this delightful landscape at three altitudes is no coincidence, but the result of an interplay of natural and cultural landscapes. Behind this is the work of farmers, alpine and forestry as well as hunters. With their work, they ensure that the attractiveness of the recreation and leisure area and the diversity of species are preserved. We already say thank you if we stay on the marked trails and enjoy regional products.


    EXPERIENCE farsighted


    Safe on tour – for you and others

    Whether on a ski or snowshoe tour in winter or on a mountain tour in summer, anyone who is out and about in alpine terrain has to be well prepared. This includes careful information and tour planning as well as the right equipment. Correctly assessing alpine dangers requires a lot of knowledge and experience. Why not learn from professionals and go on tour with one of the experienced guides?

  • Directions

    At the bus stop “Erlebach” we follow the sign left upwards to the natural bridge / Schwarzwasserbachweg. Above, we turn right onto the gravel path and pass the natural Kneipp area Kesselschwand. At the next signpost we turn left onto the small root path. The natural bridge is reached by a steep ladder (with fear of heights or walking difficulties it is recommended to take the steps on the other side.) We cross the natural bridge, take the stairs and turn right then left in the little path that takes us to a larger gravel road. Shortl steep, then moderately rising we are taking up to the district Au in Wädele. We cross the Wäldelestraße and continue straight on, past the football field and the bike park. After about 15 minutes of steeper climbs we reach a fork where we head on to the Kessellöcher. The last ten minutes we are taken on a very steep, narrow paved path back up to the Schwarzwassertalstraße. We can either take the bus right at the Schröflesäge or we turn left and go along the road to the Fuchsfarm. Here we turn right and then cross the parking lot of the Parsenn. Now we are on a larger gravel road, the Rohrweg. At the Haus Bergfelder we can turn left and descend to Hirschegg, where the tour ends. The road continues straight on to Mittelberg.

    Start Riezlern
    Geogr. 47.359236 N 10.17584 E
    Destination Hirschegg
  • Public transportation:

    Leave the car where it is!

    The Walserbus is a convenient way to reach your starting point. Line 2 takes you to the district Egg. For this tour you need to get off at the bus stop “Egg”. Way back: busline 1 from “Walserhaus”. 

    – Bus


    Most routes from Germany lead to Ulm before carrying on along the A7. Take the Allgäu junction over a section of the A980 to the Waltenhofen junction, then take the 4- lane B19 via Sonthofen and Oberstdorf to Kleinwalsertal. From Austria (Vorarlberg) and Switzerland you reach the Kleinwalsertal via the Bregenzerwald (Hittisau) – Riedbergpass – Fischen – Oberstdorf. From Tyrol the fastest route is over the A7 to Kempten carrying on along the B19 direction Oberstdorf. A motorway vignette is not required to reach the valley.

    Route Planner


    Paid parking spaces are located near the starting point. Parking along the main road is not permitted.