The Ybbstal cycle trail is one of the three Danube-Alp routes for cyclists in the Mostviertel district. The distance from the mouth of the river at Ybbs an der Donau to Lunz am See is 107 km. Over its main section between Waidhofen an der Ybbs and Lunz am See, it largely follows the route of the former Ybbstalbahn railway line. In this area, the cycleway is a constant 2.5 metres wide and scores with its rest and picnic areas along the Ybbs river as well the spectacular historical railway bridges that cross it.
The recommended direction is to go from Ybbs an der Donau to Lunz am See southwards from the Danube into the eastern Alps, in other words upriver; progress is gradual and has no appreciable climbs. Before setting off on the tour from Ybbs, you should take a look at the town. The starting point of the trail has a delightful old city centre as well as the Schiffmeisterplatz (Shipowner Square) on the Danube. It is also worth visiting the Bicycle Museum (Fahrradmuseum) which will take you back to the days of motorless mobility, dominated by wooden impellers, elegant penny-farthings, and mighty treadle wheels.
The first few kilometres are completely on the level, as the trail takes you through farming villages, from Ybbs to Blindenmakt. This is followed by a moderate climb on a hill ridge, which will reward you with grand views of the plain in the north and the gradually rising mountains in the south. Up to this point, the trail crosses the Ybbs a few times, but after the district town of Amstetten, the Ybbs and the cycle route frequently run close by each other. At times, the route offers deep views of the river bed, before diverging again from the Ybbs at extended valley stretches. Already from a distance, the towers of the Basilika Sonntagberg indicate the direction of travel. Paper and profile steel are still produced at the foot of the pilgrimage mountain to this day. In contrast, the days of iron processing in the nearby Waidhofen an der Ybbs are long over. The city centre with its historical houses, façades and arcades is also worth seeing. Only relics remain from the medieval fortifications. It is worth staying a while and going back in time as you enjoy the view of the nineteenth century burgher houses.
Waidhofen an der Ybbs is also where the new centrepiece of the Ybbstal cycle route begins, which opened in 2017. From here, it largely follows the former Ybbstalbahn railway line and offers plenty of wonderful views of the surrounding nature, combined with a safe and comfortable route quality, with no perceptible uphill climbs.
Iron processing is still an important activity at Ybbsitz, which can be reached by taking the small Ybbstal cycle path that branches off in Gstadt. The bridge from the past has been effectively brought into the present and future - Ybbsitz is one of the main centres of forging craft in Europe.
Still before Opponitz, there is the natural monument of Ofenloch, a fissured gorge that leads to the town of Opponitz. The gravel banks of the Ybbs constantly invite visitors to take a break and a refreshing paddle in the water. The route is now embedded in the mountain world of Eisenwurzen, and up to Göstling it is characterised by its imperceptibility - the difference in altitude is as indiscernible as the three extended loops of the route.
One sight that remains in view for quite a while is the church of Hollenstein on the hill. The well-being of its inhabitants was for centuries associated with the iron industry. More than a hundred years ago, the upper Ybbs valley was a location of summer recreation. The open air swimming area in Hollenstein and the station building of the Ybbstal railway from Kogelsbach can still be seen and gives you a chance to wallow briefly in nostalgia. Göstling offers a combination of river bathing and gastronomy, perfect for a refreshing visit. And at the end of the tour, the municipality of Lunz am See is a good place to mix cycling enjoyment with fun on the water in the form of pedal boats. If you wish to give your tired legs a rest as you enjoy the idyllic lake atmosphere, you can also use an electric boat, which follows the same principle as an electric bike. For the return journey, there is a bus that will transport both the cyclist and his bicycle back to Waidhofen an der Ybbs, but places have to be booked in advance.
And for those who still haven’t done enough cycling, there is also the Ötscherland bicycle route, which leads from Lunz am See via the Erlauftal back towards the Danube.
Rest StopSchluchtenhütte Opponitz
Osteria zum Kirchenwirt
Tips, hints and links
Mostviertel Tourismus GmbH
Töpperschloss Neubruck, Neubruck 2/10, 3270 Scheibbs
T +43/7482/204 44, firstname.lastname@example.org
A1 Westautobahn (motorway), Ybbs exit
Rail Ybbs or Amstetten and Waidhofen For directions by car and parking facilities, see: https://www.mostviertel.at/mit-dem-auto-zum-ybbstalradweg
Railway station at Ybbs, Amstetten, Waidhofen an der Ybbs
Detailed information: https://www.mostviertel.at/mit-dem-auto-zum-ybbstalradweg