The first European Water Trail snakes in the surroundings of the Umbal Waterfalls in the High Tauern National Park.
Branching off at Matrei in Osttirol towards Prägraten am Grossvenediger, at the head of the Virgental valley you come across a very special highlight: the Umbal Waterfalls and the first European Water Trail. In this area, the Isel river is still called Umbalbach brook and transports water of the Umbalkees Glacier, making it cascade over the rocks, down into the depth. As the water comes from the glacier, the water level fluctuates basing on daytime and season.
The walk to the Umbal Waterfalls starts at the parking space in Ströden (subject to charge), which is also the bus terminal station. From this parking lot you proceed to the Pebell Alm and Islitzer Alm pastures in a pleasant walk of 30 minutes. Therefore this trail is also suitable for families. By the way: this part of the trail can also be done in a horse-drawn carriage! Afterwards you come across the first European Water Trail, inaugurated in 1976, along which a series of panels provide interesting information on the waterfalls. Another fact that testifies the power of water is also the massive rock along the trail, which was moved and brought to this place by the power of water.
At the end of the trail, there is a stone bridge and a hunter’s hut in the rocks, afterwards you walk back to the alpine pastures, where we highly recommend you to make a stop for a snack. The entire European Water Trail can be walked in 1 - 2 hours and it includes 130 m of altitude difference. We highly recommend you to wear sturdy shoes, as you often come close to the waterfall, and the soil is often slippery. By the way, from the Umbal Waterfalls (Umbalfälle, in German) you can also proceed your walk, e.g. to the Clara mountain hut (2,038 m asl), which is one of the oldest mountain huts in the area of the Venediger Group.
Where: at the head of the Virgental valley, High Tauern National Park
Characteristics: first European Water Trail “Natur-Kraft-Weg Umbalfälle”
Further information: phone: +43 50 212212, firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: from May to October 2019
freely accessible (except parking space fee)