Semmering, top of the pass (984 m)
33T 562356 5275829
From the roundabout at the border between Lower Austria and Styria we briefly go along the Passstraße eastwards on the Lower Austrian side of the border, then turn left onto Hochstraße soon afterwards. Continue along this road past Hotel Panhans and turn right at the Volksschule onto Fürstenhof. We go downhill via a right-hand bend onto Südbahnstraße, where we veer left and hike the narrow path towards the railway station. However, we do not keep right to reach the railway station, but turn left onto a gravel track above the railway line and the Ghega monument. Heading past a playground, we cross beneath the railway line and follow the school path to Wolfersbergkogel station. We ascend up the road and after turning left we continue straight ahead along a sandy path. The old Kurhaus Semmering spa building is in front of us, and is currently used for cultural events. After heading to the car park, we cross it and then carry on along the forest path before ascending to the Doppelreiterwarte observation point. The brief ascent to the observation point is well worth it.
Upon coming back to the path we head past the observation point on the right-hand side and return back in the direction of the Kurhaus car pack on a forest path that curves left. We don’t go there, but follow a path curving right towards what is known as the 20 Schilling view. If you ever held a 20 Schilling banknote between 1968 and 1998, then the view from the aforementioned site will be recognisable.
We follow the Viennese Alps until we reach a fork, then turn right in the direction of Breitenstein. The next paved road is stayed on only briefly before turning right into the forest. After briefly coming back onto the road, we then turn right into Weberkogelstraße near the old steam laundry. If you’re feeling hungry and thirsty, the Hinterholz 9 refreshment point is a place to stop. We wander down to the viaduct in the lower part of Adlitzgraben, walk beneath the viaduct, and observe all tools that were used to construct the railway.
The route continues uphill along the road for a few minutes before turning left into the woods once more. Initially the route goes slightly downhill, then uphill past a large book describing the history of the Semmering Railway. The woodland path becomes steeper and we follow a ridge which offers great views. The hiking route continues downhill to the Ghega Museum (open from 10am on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from May to the end of October) to the paved road on the Kalte Rinne viaduct. We follow the Kalte-Rinne-Straße on the left and take a short cut on a right-hand bend via a woodland trail that goes uphill. Once back on the road, we cross this soon, keep left, and hike the rocky path at Falkensteinloch and up to Gaißkirchl. The well-signposted hiking trail now takes us west of the Falkenstein and uphill through the woods to the Luckerte Wand vantage point. After a pleasant break at Felsenkanzel, we continue along the hiking path to Prein, marked in red. This takes us downhill to a forest road, along which we walk on the right-hand side, then veer right and continue along the marked hiking route. This leads us to the edge of a meadow on Haakogel above the Eselbachgraben ditch. We keep left at the crossroads soon afterwards and head down a woodland trail into the Hollensteingraben ditch. We take the road going right past the sports ground and directly to the centre of Prein an der Rax.