27 Jul. 2021 · experience nature up close | Summer Activities

Pearls of Kleinwalsertal - the Bärgunttal

Easily accessible, at the foot of the Großer Widderstein lies the Bärgunttal south of Baad. From hikers and bikers in summer to ski tourers and winter hikers in winter, sports enthusiasts and people seeking relaxation experience an interplay of cultural and natural landscape.

Whether in winter or summer, the Bärgunttal is worth a tour at any time of the year. And everyone really gets their money's worth here. An idyllic hike or bike tour to the Bärgunthütte, the demanding mountain tour to the Hochalpsee or a walk in the snow-covered winter landscape? Well, pretty much everything is possible in the Bärgunttal.

The entrance to the Bärgunt valley is quite easy to find - exactly where Bärguntbach, Turabach and Derrenbach flow together to form the Breitach. The landscape is characterized by green mountain ridges, flowery alpine meadows, mountain forests and the Großer Widderstein, whose summit massif stands out strongly against the surrounding mountains.  Typical inhabitants of the Bärgunt valley are the rock ptarmigan, black grouse, the grey wagtail or the alpine chough.

Golden eagle | © Photographer: Manfred Richter

Home of majestic hunters

In addition, the Widderstein is the territorial center of the only breeding pair of golden eagles in Kleinwalsertal. Adult birds have brown plumage with golden yellow feathers on the head and neck. With a wingspan of up to 230 cm, the elegant falcon is considered one of the largest hawk species.  All year round golden eagles defend their territory of about 20 to 100 km² in pairs.

As a (hunting) competitor of humans, the golden eagle was severely decimated in the 19th century. Disturbances at the nesting sites make it difficult for the protected species to reproduce. During your next hike, if you stop for a moment and look up at the sky, you might even spot a golden eagle in its flying high up in the sky.

marsh cinquefoil | © Photographer: Sternbea

The Hochalpsee

At about 2,000 m, Hochalpsee is located with a view of the Widderstein peak and the valley below. The moist ground around the lake creates an impressive vegetation. Both the rare marsh clover and the marsh cinquefoil can be found around the lake - an occurrence at an unusually high elevation for these marsh-loving plants. As moors become increasingly less common, these plants have also become a rarity. Depending on the altitude, the star-shaped flowers of the marsh cinquefoil bloom in a strong dark purple between May and August - could you already spot one?

Cultural and natural landscape

The Alps owe their scenic beauty to the interplay of natural and cultural landscape. Without mowing or grazing with cattle, large parts of the mountain slopes become overgrown and wooded. In particular, agricultural management at higher altitudes is important for biodiversity. Carefully grazed alps keep the landscape open and provide diverse habitats for wildlife and plants. In addition to mountain forests, flower-rich alpine mats and shrub stands, a large part of the area of the Bärgunt Valley serves as alpine pasture. With about 250 cattle as well as horses and goats, the Alpe Bärgunt provides the largest herd in Kleinwalsertal, which spends the entire summer in the mountains.

We would all love to have the Walser mountains for ourselves. But since the Bärgunttal is one of the most popular destinations for active vacationers, different likings meet - from leisurely walkers to bikers who explore the valley at a quicker pace. A friendly interaction with each other and the nature is therefore mandatory 😉

Naturführerin Diana Eckhoff with child | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Frank Drechsel

A respectful relationship with nature:

Hiker and biker | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Stephan Repke

For a conscious togetherness:

  • There is plenty of space in the Walser mountains - whether on a bike or on foot, take your time and let oncoming people pass by
  • A friendly smile is always nice to see
  • Bikers should make themselves known in good time by ringing a bell
  • Hikers have the right of way on paths, if there is enough space they move to the side and let bikers pass by
 Hiking map | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Oliver Farys

For experiences with foresight:

  • Even short tours need to be planned
  • You should always be prepared for minor emergencies.
  • The equipment should correspond to the conditions of the tour

You are ready to explore the Bärgunttal? The tour around the Widderstein leads through a large part of the pasture area of the Alpe Bärgunt. Even if the tour does not lead to the summit of the Großer Widderstein, the views are always impressive! For more leisurely rounds or a bike tour, the tours at the foot in the valley are ideal for you.

Wild foraging in winter | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Andre Tappe

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On the trail

Catherina Zwerger is a huntress, policewoman, cook and cowherd. A portrait about a down-to-earth Walser woman, who passionately likes to break new ground - even if she has to pave the way in red cut protection pants and a power saw.