Hiking and bathing in the vorderkaserklamm

Wild water sprites and mountain giants

A day in the Vorderkaserklamm and natural bathing area offers adventure and relaxation for the whole family and there are one or two magical surprises along the way.

The sun shines down from an almost cloudless sky, a few fleecy clouds highlight the deep blue of the summer heavens: a perfect day for a trip out in the natural world. There is nothing better than getting out of the city and heading to the mountains for an adventure! My parents are with us, along with our friends and their three children. So the first thing to decide is where can we meet all their expectations? A pleasant walk for the older generation; relaxation in the mountains for us and fun and games for the little ones. Although that sounds complicated, in reality it is very simple. We pack our things – hiking boots, sunglasses, sunhats, swimming things, camera and a coolbag filled to the brim – and we drive off in convoy to the Vorderkaserklamm in St. Martin in the Salzburger Saalachtal.

Natural spectacle – natural monument

As one of the toddlers isn’t so steady on their feet yet, we decide to park at the Jausenstation Vorderkaser and go for a walk in the gorge directly from there. For around 400 metres the path leads us through the area, designated a natural monument in 1977, over a total of 51 wooden walkways with 35 sets of steps. We take around one hour for a leisurely tour. The green canopy protects us from the sun and a cool breeze rises up from the water. Wonderful!

Where the water sprites live

The children jump along the wooden walkways in front of us and look down in amazement at the rushing mountain stream below. We explain that the gorge was “born“ between about 12,000 and 14,000 years ago – thanks to the wild water which carved its way mercilessly through stone and rock. And the work of the water still isn’t over: the stream eats into the rock up to about 6 millimetres every year. One of the children listens very attentively and sets his sights on the water. Suddenly he turns around and shouts, “Look how the water bubbles and how it fizzes over the rocks – it’s as if tiny, ferocious water sprites live there!“ Yes, the little water sprites, who work their way through the stately, ancient mountains with fierce persistence – that’s right, we think.

Wild and romantic spots by the lake

We walk leisurely back in the direction of the car park and smile at the children who are running ahead of us and excitedly chatting about water sprites and mountain giants. When we arrive at the car my parents bid us farewell and set off on their way home.

It is just before midday – the ideal time for a picnic and a cool off in the water afterwards! It’s time to go to the Vorderkaser natural bathing area which is practically located, right next to the gorge. We head to the wild water bathing lakes in the “Schiedergraben“ which is a particular treasure thanks to its unspoilt nature. Light blue water and lush green sunbathing areas right next to the lake – what more could you want?

Picnic on the bank of the lake

We unpack our coolbag while the older children run off in the direction of the lake. There are a total of eight wild swimming spots in the area. We particularly enjoy this magnificent place – here you feel really connected to nature. While our friends try to tempt the children out of the water, we are already on our picnic blanket. With an audible sigh we lean back, squint in the sunlight and enjoy the fantastic lake and mountain panorama.

Pirates and treasure hunters

After the meal we enjoy a short afternoon nap in the shade. When we eventually open our eyes, our friends’ older children are jumping about excitedly from one foot to the other – they were swinging and have have also been playing on a hanging bridge – now they want to go in the water again, over to the rafts waiting on the bank, on which you can sail across the bathing lake. Pure adventure (not just) for our little friends. So it’s into the water and onto the rafts – let the games begin! We battle – pirates versus treasure hunters – until we are completely wet through. The children dive around the raft, spluttering and laughing, “Well, they’ll certainly sleep well tonight,“ my friend whispers smiling. Yes and we will as well, I think and grin back.

Wild water sprites and mountain giants

As the sun begins to slowly disappear behind the mountain peaks, we pack up our things and leisurely make our way home. The children fall asleep in the back seat after a couple of seconds. What a busy and eventful day – from the hike through the ancient, fascinating gorge to the water battle on the bathing lake and relaxed moments in the sun. We start the car and look back once again to the natural bathing area, now bathed in a golden light. We’ll certainly come again at the next available opportunity. The water sprites and the mountain giants will accompany us for a long time to come.

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