We start the first stage at Katzelsdorf Castle and at the Viennese Alps information point in Lower Austria. Heading east along the Viennese Alps Way, we cross the Werkskanalbrücke and the Leithabrücke on a wooden walkway. Immediately after the Leitha, we turn right onto a gravel track, pass the Leitha wayside shrine and follow the signposts for the Viennese Alp Way through the shadowy alluvial forest. Leaving the forest, we turn left at the start of a car park and head onto Kapellauweg and then onto Dammstraße, where we turn right. We walk on the right past house no. 2 and follow a gently ascending gravel track until signs lead us to the right and up from the gravel path to a vineyard. Continuing up this route gives us our first glimpses of Hohe Wand, Schneeberg, and Rax before turning onto a meadow path just before a hedge. We can see the Redemptorist monastery in Katzelsdorf on the right, whilst the fenced-off path joins a
gravel track, and we turn left here. Faced with a barrier on the edge of the woods, the route takes us right onto a track, we cross a small forest and arrive at the Eichbüchl vantage point along with a rest area which can be seen a few metres to the right and not directly on the route itself. It’s worth enjoying the view of the highest peaks in Lower Austria at this point.
Back on Hauptweg, we recognise Eichbüchl Castle, in which the former State Chancellor Dr. Karl Renner lived from 9-20 April 1945, working on the reconstruction plans for the Second Austrian Republic. The gourmet Kupfer-Dachl restaurant is nearby so we can enjoy fruit juices from the region and seasonal specialities to still our hunger and thirst.
The paved road leads downhill to a crossroads, where we turn left and head into the woods. Soon afterwards, we veer right along an increasingly steep hiking trail towards Bad Erlach that is signposted in yellow. Shortly after a large tree stump with markings on it is seen on the left, we turn right onto a cart track and continue going downhill. We go right at the upcoming clearing and arrive onto the forest road along the ridges of the Rosalia mountain range. We now follow the forest road right and largely head along the Kammweg route, marked in red, past Weißes Kreuz and on to a crossroads somewhat below the transmitter on the Rosalia. The Viennese Alps Way continues right parallel to the Mariazellerweg. However, a short detour up to Rosalia Chapel and the vantage point there is worthwhile.
The well-signposted forest track leads past several houses on Heuberg and via stunning narrow paths with views of the Viennese Alps towards the hamlet of Mehlberleiten. We turn left over a stream and follow the forest road uphill along the Ofenbach stream. This route takes us on a right-hand bend and then leaves the forest road to the left and onto a forest path. A little later on, the forest road becomes a paved road. We hike along the right-hand side of this and then turn left onto a forest path before a right-hand bend. Continue along the forest path slightly downhill before coming across a narrow paved road. Keep going until you reach a dual carriageway. Keep right and after a few metres alongside the road turn right onto a cart track before a bridge and alongside a rock face. We stay on the track alongside the Klingfurther Bach stream, ignore the first route to the left and then go left past a private property. Crossing over a meadow, we reach another wooden walkway, cross over the stream, and follow the cart track to a paved road. We go right and then left after a short period of time, going uphill on a narrow paved track looking towards the Pfarrkirche at Walpersbach. We go down staircases onto Gemeindestraße, turn right, and then follow the road on the right past the municipal office until reaching a crossroads. At this point, we continue going through Walpersbach on the left and on to Bad Erlach, follow the Hauptstraße on the right, past the church, over Pitten and on to Bad Erlach railway station. Go past the station on the right and over the tracks, turn left onto Quergasse and follow the footpath to Therme Linsberg Asia.