Nature Park

Styrian Eisenwurzen

Nature Park Communities 

Styrian Eisenwurzen

Feel the depth and rediscover landscapes
Get some rest on the blossoming meadow orchards and enjoy the diversity life has to offer. This will allow you to get a better understanding of our tradition-steeped history revolving around water, wood and iron. The Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature Park is marked by its beautiful forests, romantic river valleys and idyllic farms. While the Nature Park’s communities, sites, resting places, clearings, meadows and summits share these traits, each one of them is unique and has its own characteristic features.

However, due to the fusion of the 7 former Styrian municipalities, there are 4 communities inside the park today: Altenmarkt bei St. Gallen, Landl, St. Gallen and Wildalpen. For further information on the Palfau and Gams municipalities, please go to “Landl“. For information on Weißenbach an der Enns, please go to “St. Gallen”.

The Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature Park is made up of four municipalities:

Styrian Nature Parks

Discover scenic landscapes teeming with life

Styria encompasses seven Nature Parks:

  • Almenland,
  • Mürzer Oberland,
  • Pöllauer valley,
  • Styrian Eisenwurzen,
  • the Sölk valleys,
  • South Styria and
  • the Zirbitzkogel vineyards.

These regions represent characteristic cultural landscapes of ecologic value such as diverse vineyards, alpine pastures, wooded pond and river areas or meadow orchard hills. They have committed themselves to the conscious coexistence of man and nature.

They have been placed under special protection and awarded the title of “Nature Park” by the government of the State of Styria.

For further information, please go to Styrian Nature Parks.

Austrian Nature Parks

Experience nature – understand nature

The Austrian Nature Parks are aware of their opportunities and want to seize them in full by intensifying cooperation in a joint umbrella organisation. Therefore, the existing Nature Parks merged to form the Association of Austrian Nature Parks (VNÖ) in autumn 1995. The aim of the association is the improvement of the Nature Parks’ qualities and the implementation of joint marketing projects.

Austrian Nature Parks share the following main traits:

  • The “Nature Park” title is only granted if all communities involved approve
  • All Nature Parks are freely accessible and open to the public
  • They represent protected areas: landscape regulations and, in some parts, even nature protection regulations apply
  • Special natural environment: great diversity of species and forms
  • Volunteers: individuals, initiatives and associations get involved on a voluntary basis
  • Depending on their history, Austrian Nature Parks differ in size ranging from 20 to 70,000 hectares, but also in human and financial resources.
  • Currently, there are 48 Nature Parks in Austria.

For further information, please visit our website and go to Association of Austrian Nature Parks.

Nature Park Destinations and Cultural Gems

Get ready for relaxation, culture, knowledge and sports

In addition to the UNESCO Global Geopark itself and our numerous Nature Park gems, the region has a variety of highlights to offer. These activities revolve around relaxation, culture, knowledge and sports.

“Climate fit forest” themed trail in Gams

In April 2022, the NETGEN ( themed trail "Climate Fitter Forest" was officially opened along the Salza in the district of Gams in the district of Landl. The path begins at the [...]

Austrian Forest Museum Silvanum

Austria’s Forest Museum Silvanum has been located at “Neuer Kasten” in Großreifling since 1979, a building originally constructed in the 18th century by the Innerberger Hauptgewerkschaft iron [...]

Festival St. Gallen

The annual St. Gallen Festival, which takes place in August, came into being almost 30 years ago and is a magnet for artists and music enthusiasts. Combining innovation with tried and tested [...]

Gallenstein Castle

Dating back to the 13th century, Gallenstein Castle served as a refuge and an administrative centre of Admont Abbey until the end of the 19th century. It then fell into complete decline, but has [...]

Haflingerhof Riding Stables Gams

Looking for an equestrian holiday in the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark? Enjoy nature and scenic landscapes on horseback. The Haflingerhof Riding Stables offer a wide range of events, [...]

High ropes course & 3D archery

Action lovers shouldn’t miss out on paying the outdoor centre at the Eschau Inn a visit. The high ropes course located there has a wide range of stations with different degrees of difficulty, so [...]

Köhlerzentrum Hieflau with special exhibition

The nearly 400-year history of charring wood on the Hieflauer-Lend is documented by a life-size walk-in charcoal kiln, a partial reconstruction of the Ennstrift rake, a water wheel to drive the [...]

Landl bathing pond

A great favourite with both young and old, the Landl bathing pond provides a welcome refreshment during the hot months of summer and is therefore a popular spot for recreation. In addition to a [...]

Laussabauer Riding Stables

As the German proverb has it, "the greatest happiness on earth is sitting in the saddle of a horse." This certainly holds true for the Laussabauer Riding Stables. Throughout the year, the riding [...]

Path of nonSENSE in Altenmarkt

The Path of the Senses is a leisurely hike on the Enns Terrace in Altenmarkt. Along the way you have wonderful views of the Enns and the "Kesselschloss", the manor house in Altenmarkt. At various [...]

Spitzenbach Gorge

Hiking through the Spitzenbach Gorge is more than impressive. The valley, which is also known as the "valley of butterflies", provides a suitable habitat for about 450 butterfly species, while [...]

Trans National Park

Did you know there were only 6 National Parks in Austria? Linking two of them is what TRANS NATIONAL PARK is all about. From the Upper Austrian Kalkalpen National Park, you can get right to the [...]

Water and Adventure Park

Located in the heart of a scenic valley, the St. Gallen Water and Adventure Park is the perfect place for both children and adults to spend some time in the nature off busy roads. Accessible loop [...]

Wildalpen Mountain Bike Route

This mountain bike trail has it all: beautiful nature and breath-taking views of the Hochschwab mountains, the Kräuterin and the Ybbstaler Alps on the one hand, and a perfect chance to exercise [...]

Destinations for day trips in the Nature Park area

No matter if you prefer hiking, mountaineering, going on a white-water adventure or discovering local cultural gems

Recharge your batteries in the Gesäuse Mountains

A trip to the Gesäuse Mountains is not about crossing things off a to-do list prepared for you: Instead, it offers a wide range of options to regain strength for mind, body, mind, soul and emotion – strength that often appears to be lost when you get caught up in the hustle and bustle.


Where available?

At our storage:

At our storage:

Mostkellerei VeitlbauerBichl 3, 8932 St. Gallen //

At regional Landmarkt shops:

At regional Landmarkt shops:

in Landl, St. Gallen, Admont, Aigen or Plant‘s Corner in Liezen

farm shop Grabnerhof:

Hall 225, 8911 Admont (except July and August)every Thursday from 14:00 till 16:30 o’clock
Phone: 0664 / 404 20 37

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Sometimes it is very difficult to figure out from where groceries are coming from. But in our case it is different. Plant your own apple or pear tree and ensure for yourself a high variety and quality of fruits in your garden.

Fruit tree? Regional fruit trees from the Nature and Geopark region are aware of the climate and cultural landscape. Old orchard trees are within the Naturepark for decades. If you plant a high variety of fruit trees you ensure yourself apple and pears all year round, vitamins, fruits for various processing such as jams, juice, schnapps, cider or apple crisps. And on the plus side you will have a long time friend which stands in your garden all day, bad or good weather, flowers in spring, shadow in the summer, fruits in autumn.  And finally it is very good for the biodiversity of your garden. It is home to different insects and birds. Various flowers and plants can be found on an orchard meadow as well.

So, do not wait – get one of our fabulous orchard trees.

Our fruit salad

Our dessert fruit

Our dessert fruit

Enjoyment directly from the tree for example: Lavanttaler Bananenapfel oder Steirischer Constantin

Our fruit for processing

Our fruit for processing

Superb for processing for example: Großer Rheinischer Bohnapfel or Gesäuseapfel

Our cider pears

Our cider pears

for example Luxemburger Mostbirne or Eisenwurzenbirne

Our allrounder

Our allrounder

Directly from the tree or for processing for example:  Jakob Lebel or Palfauer Pommeralmapfel

Our sizes

Attention! All our trees are getting big with a certain cultivation. The only thing which is different are the crowns. It depends on the rootstock if the crown starts on a lower or higher level.


Domestic apple cultivars growing in the Nature Park

The following list provides an overview of the current stock of domestic apple varieties. Standard, half-standard and bush fruit trees are listed separately. All trees are grafted onto seedlings. In this case, the terms standard, half-standard and bush only refer to the current growth and height of trees grafted 2 years ago giving information on the future height of the crown.

wdt_ID Apfel-Sorte Info Hochstamm Halbstamm Busch
1 Alkemene 0 2 11
2 Batullenapfel 0 0 0
3 Berner Rosenapfel 0 0 0
4 Charlamovsky 0 0 0
5 Cludius Herbstapfel 0 0 0
6 Coulons Renette 0 0 0
7 Damason Renette 0 0 0
8 Danziger Kantapfel 0 0 0
9 Dülmener Rosenapfel 0 0 0
10 Großreiflinger Eckapfel 2 6 2

Domestic pear cultivars growing in the Nature Park

The following list provides an overview of the current stock of domestic pear varieties. Standard, half-standard and bush fruit trees are listed separately. Please go to “Open PDF” to get information on the respective characteristics. “Ripe to eat” and “ripe to pick”- months indicated in Roman numerals (a= start, m = middle, e = end). As we are currently filling up and completing the database, some descriptions are incomplete or might be missing entirely. All trees are grafted onto seedlings. In this case, the terms standard, half-standard and bush only refer to the current growth and height of trees grafted 2 years ago giving information on the future height of the crown.

wdt_ID Birnen-Sorte Info Hochstamm Halbstamm Busch
1 Ardagger Mostbirne 0 0 0
3 Clairgeus Butterbirne 0 0 0
4 Gellerts Butterbirne 0 0 0
5 Griesbirne 0 0 0
6 Grüne Pichlbirne 0 0 0
7 Herzogin Elsa 0 0 0
8 Köstliche von Charneaux 0 0 0
9 Luxemburger Mostbirne 0 0 0
10 Madam Verte 0 0 0
11 Nagowitzbirne 0 0 0

Fruit from meadow orchards

at the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark

Plant – cultivate – harvest. Fostering our unique meadow orchards means fostering the Nature Park and the entire region between Altenmarkt and Wildalpen together.
The first fruit farm of the Habsburg monarchy in Liezen existed more than 100 years ago. At the time, the farmer called Mr. Fuchs travelled all the way to the World Fair in Paris with 150 apples, about 40 pears, various cherries, apricots, plums and other varieties of fruit and even became World Champion with his Pfundapfel (“pound apple”). Many of these old varieties of fruit still account for the great diversity of fruit varieties and stocks in the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark.
Back in 2007 and 2008, the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature Park and the Austrian Federal Foresets (Forstbetrieb Steiermark) made first efforts which included the documentation of 4800 regional trees and annual fruit variety determinations. From 2009 to 2012, a fruit-growing promotion project was carried out to establish cooperation between local farmers and meadow orchard owners. To date, a total of 120 varieties have been documented.

A fresh start for traditionally grown fruit

Fruit from meadow orchards has always been vital for the survival of the rural population, it has made the area more attractive for tourists and served as a habitat for native varieties. In recent years, however, the challenges to the protection and use of meadow orchards have intensified and they have become a threatened element of our landscape. With the start of the three-year project “Traditionally grown fruit at the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark”, it should be possible to help this valuable resource of the region to gain new strength.

Protection through use

These unique meadow orchards are to be preserved for posterity through a wide range of activities. In cooperation with the Arche Noah Association, our meadow orchards are included in a digital fruit database. Ultimately, there will be information on each and every fruit tree (e.g. its variety, location, age, height). Furthermore, the varieties will be determined by the Arche Noah (“Noah’s Ark”) Association. Styrian Eisenwurzen gives home to some ancient and rare varieties. The determination of these varieties makes it easier to provide a clear definition and include them in the database. In order to preserve preservation these varieties, genetic conservation gardens have been established in Hopfgarten. You can even buy fruit trees for your own garden there and thus make your very own contribution to preserving them.

“Nature Park goes enterprise”

The slogan “Nature Park goes enterprise”, puts the Nature Park itself into the shoes of a central, entrepreneurial motor in the area of fruit trees. In the future, the Nature Park will play an active role in the entire life and production cycle, from renewal, maintenance, harvesting, processing and distribution to the marketing of the fruit and products resulting from it. This can create jobs, open up new opportunities for cooperation and added value – and thus, support the regional economy.
Supported by the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, the Province of Styria and the European Union(LEADER).

Variety garden with fruit from meadow orchards

in Wildalpen

Two orchards in the Hopfgarten district of the Wildalpen Nature Park Community are used to preserve old and rare fruit varieties (mainly apples and pears) from the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark. In cooperation with the Austrian Federal Forestry Company (Österr. Bundesforsten AG, Forstbetrieb Steiermark), the Nature Park has set the goal of preserving the various varieties here in Wildalpen for future generations. Further information on the varieties is available on site. The freely accessible orchards are also ideal for a walk from the village centre of Wildalpen. Open your eyes – you can spot orchards everywhere along the way.

Steuobstwiese . Mai
Bund Land Stmk Eu Eler Leader De Farbig Leer Naturschutz Kopie

Natural gems

Special habitats, unique creations of nature and cultural heritage

Styrian Eisenwurzen’s natural gems are the region’s most outstanding spots and treasures. Before anything else, it is their uniqueness and scenic beauty that makes them so special. You can easily find some of them in our UNESCO Global Geopark, while some hidden gems will only reveal themselves to you as you take an expanded walk or take a minute to linger and explore the nature.


Due to its natural course, the Mühlbach stream was declared a natural monument in 2006. The stream carries scree from the Gesäuse mountains. In addition to a trip to the gravel islands, the [...]

Noth Gorge GeoDorf Gams

There are two trails that lead through the 1.5 km Noth Gorge at GeoDorf Gams: a wooden footpath along the stream and a sloping cart path. Both allow you to discover the canyon-like beech forest [...]

Palfau Wasserloch Gorge

To get there, take the trail starting at the Wasserlochschenke restaurant across the Salza river via the suspension bridge. Continue your way down via various ladders and footbridges and you’ll [...]

Our Nature Park Schools

NMS Weißenbach/Enns, VS St. Gallen and VS Altenmarkt bei St. Gallen

The Association of Austrian Nature Parks has been awarding the title of “Austrian Nature Park School” to the schools located in Nature Parks since 2007. The Nature Park Schools share the goal of imparting knowledge and awareness to students in a way that is adapted to the needs of different age groups. Their fields of activities include quality assessment in the conservation of nature and cultural landscapes; raising awareness; promoting circular economy based on the “From the region – for the region” principle; clean energies; experiential learning and nature education. In the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature Park, this title is currently held by the elementary schools of Altenmarkt and St. Gallen as well as the Weißenbach/Enns secondary school which has led to close cooperation between these schools and the Nature and Geopark. Including topics related to environmental protection and the ideas of the Nature Park into the curriculum helps raise nature awareness among students.

For further information on the Nature Park Schools, please go to

Our Naturpark Accommodation providers

Gasthof Schnabl

Perfect for active vacationers and those looking for relaxation. The location on the Erbsattel is a top starting point for mountain and rafting tours. First-class cuisine with regional products, [...]

Gasthof Stiegenwirt

Outdoor active and feel-good holidays in one. Here you will find fun and adventure paired with peace and relaxation in nature. The body can relax after an action-packed day in the in-house [...]

Hotel Schloss Kassegg

In a 135 year old, romantic former Jagdschloss in the middle of the nature and geopark there is always a place to feel good, relax and enjoy. "Away from everyday life - close to nature" is the [...]

Rafting Camp Palfau

Idyllic and quiet is the 500 Year-old, completely renovated Feriengut Moarhof in the middle of the nature and geopark Steirische Eisenwurzen. The Rafting Camp Palfau - the first of its kind in [...]


The Rinntaverne farm offers two rustic, cozy holiday apartments. The animals are - also recognizable by their creative names - an important part of life in the Rinntaverne. In addition, the [...]

Nature Park project days and school trips

Unravelling the mysteries of nature

The Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark team is happy to share its knowledge of the region’s nature and culture. We offer project days and field trips designed for school classes and students.
Our team is made up of competent nature and landscape trainers, herb and forest pedagogues, rafting and outdoor guides. It’s our job to make students familiar with the habitats of plants and animals in the forest, water and meadows in a playful way. However, we also offer action and fun activities like rafting.

Our program’s highlights include:

  • The conquest of Gallenstein Castle
  • Stepping into a geologist’s and speleologist’s shoes
  • Rafting
  • High ropes course
  • Canyoning

Based on our approach to always protect for the environment, the following classes and the night hike take place at the site of the accommodation (no transfer needed): “Unravelling the mysteries of nature”, “Going herbal is fun” and “Stories told by river rocks”. The Nature and Geopark team is happy to give you some advice on how to arrange the different modules. You can also rely on us to take over the overall project organisation for you.

Flora & fauna

Natural beauty and diversity beyond compare


The Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark impresses nature lovers with rare orchid species. Due to its extraordinary appearance, this highly developed and sensitive plant species has always had an enchanting effect on humans. Feel free to admire and photograph all orchids in the Nature Park, but please, do not touch them. They are under protection and may not be removed from their habitat.


The high number of endemic plants, i.e. plant species that occur in one region of the world exclusively, is a special trait of the North-eastern Limestone Alps. The callianthemum anemonoidese is one of these endemic plants. If you want to spot the callianthemum anemonoidese flower, make sure you plan your trip in early spring. It blossoms before its leaves are fully developed and prefers fresh, rocky meadows, gravel fields on lower slopes close to streams and sparse forests. You can discover them when hiking through the Spitzenbach Gorge.

Rock and scree flora

The most natural nuances can be detected in the alpine region of the Nature Park. The landscape is marked by a mix of crevice vegetation, scree plant communities, alpine grassland and dwarf shrub communities with mountain pine fields. Auricula (Primula auricula), also known as primula balbisii, is the plant that typically grows in limestone crevices. Depending on the altitude, its golden yellow flowers can be spotted from April to July. A part of the primrose family, the primula auricula is also known as an ancient medicinal plant used as a remedy for coughs and lung ulcers.

Idyllic alpine pastures

As a part of the cultural landscape of mountain farming, the Nature Park’s alpine pastures are wonderful destinations for day hikes. Historically speaking, the scope of alpine pasture farming used to be tremendous. In addition to lower alpine pastures that are still used for grazing cattle today, there used to be high altitude pastures. However, these pastures no longer have grazing rights due to forestry and hunting. Nonetheless, a great number of alpine pastures in the Nature Park is still used for grazing. The most typical components of alpine pastures are nardus stricta, white helleboremonk's rhubarbarnica montanamonkshood and stemless carline thistle.

Magnificent forests

Dominant forest communities of the area are spruce woods, spruce-fir woods and spruce-fir-beech woods. In spring, you can see Christmas roses appear on the resurfacing forest slopes, which are joined shortly after by daphnes, different buttercup species, coltsfoot, liverleaf and wood anenomes. What makes these ravine forests fascinating is how original and natural they are. The existence of pine forests (e.g. the Spitzenbach Gorge or the Palfau Wasserloch Gorge) is especially worth mentioning. While pine woods used to make up the predominant forest community in the region during Preboreal time, they are considered relictual populations today.

Valley meadows and pastures

Cultivated landscapes and idyllic villages are the typical features of the valleys here. In these areas, the main features of the landscape are meadows with pastures, traditional orchards and unfavourably located forests unsuitable for agricultural use. Due to its natural and climatic conditions, the region’s main agricultural activities are grassland farming including dairy farming, calf rearing and forest management. In addition to this, remains of floodplains and moorland occur.

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