High above the valley floor the Chestnut Trail winds its way through spruce man-made countryside, small hamlets and colourful mixed woodland. On the way you can admire the craggy Gonderbachgraben with its waterfall, as well as the ecclesiastical architecture of some of our art treasures.
Difference in altitude: 530m
Average walking time: 5 hours
Follow the "Keschtnweg" (Chestnut Trail) from Barbian/Barbiano for about 2.5km along the tarmac road (panoramic trail with a pavement in parts). Cross the craggy, stony Gonderbachgraben (take a good look at the waterfall and the rock walls of the Saubacherkofel) and go on to the picturesquely located hamlet of Saubach (800 metres above sea level, Gasthaus Saubacher Hof). If you continue on this road, you come to the farms of Bischof and Penn. Turn left there and the route takes you along a field path below the road (here is the signposted access to Kollmann). Shortly before the Diktelegraben the trail again joins the road. After the bridge and a shady area of rocks, you pass the Rotwandhöfen. Continue in the direction of Lengstein on the Ritten high plateau, branching off on the left you come to the climb up to St. Verena. A short climb takes you to the hill where St. Verena’s small church is located, a well-known vantage point in the lower Valle Isarco/Eisacktal (889 metres above sea level, 1 ¾ hours). Descending on the south side of the crossroads, the path leads you to Penzl. Continue on the road to Braun. There turn left on the Wirtschaftsweg. At the next farm, descend again on the Höfestraße to Weidacher and take the field path to the Gasthof Zuner (790 metres above sea level, 1 hour, and the small church of St. Andreas on the nearby hill). Here is the signposted climb for Atzwang. Likewise a specially signposted trail connects here for the trail down to Lengstein. After a short climb on the Höfestraße, follow again a field path at Schmalzer Hof until you reach the Steidacher Hof in the hamlet of Antlas (810 metres above sea level). The Chestnut Trail leads here on the Höfestraße facing south round the mountain ridge to the Finsterbach valley. There by climbing the slope, in part on a steep track, higher up on a field path, you will reach the Frankner Hof (898 metres above sea level) below Lengstein. Here the road leads down to the Köblbachgraben. After the Haus am Bach, climb up the reverse slope on a field path to the Vigl Hof. Subsequently the Chestnut Trail descends and climbs through the Finsterbachgraben and at Joggum continues on a woodland trail as far as the Schmaleich (950 metres above sea level). Now descend to the Höfestraße, through woodland, pass the “Atzwanger Aussicht” (an impressive observation platform not far from the trail), and continue down through some bends to the Rieser, on a field path through the Siffianer Graben to Niederstätter. After a short descent you reach the hamlet Leitach (826m above sea level, 2 ¼ hours, and 3 accommodation facilities). The signposted climb to Steg ends here.
Special features along the route:
- Parish Church of St. Jakobus in Barbian
- The leaning church steeple of Barbian
- Church of St. Ingenuin and Albuin in Saubach
- Church of St. Verena
- Small church of St. Andreas
How to get there:
Through the Eisack Valley as far as Waidbruck/Ponte Gardena and then up to Barbian.
By train to Waidbruck/Ponte Gardena and by bus to Barbian.