The summit of the Lechtal and Allgaeu Alps as the stage,
the Lech River plays the leading role.
The Lechweg opens up alpine landscapes for enjoyable long-distance hiking.
Easy long-distance hiking through an alpine region which is also one of the last wild river landscapes in Europe: The "Lechweg - from the Spring to the Falls". Just in time for the 2012 hiking season an alpine region offers easy long-distance hiking for the very first time. It is also the first cross-border long distance path certified according to the same quality criteria of the European Ramblers Association (ERA). On approximately 125 kilometers of trail, the Lechweg leads from the lake Formarinsee near the community of Lech am Arlberg, over Warth, into the Nature Park Region of the Lech Valley-Reutte and to the Lech Falls in Fuessen in the Allgaeu, thereby joining three regions and two countries with their traditions and stories.
The path is configured just like the Lech River itself: sometimes pristine and natural, then wild and yet again gentle; and filled with legendary stories waiting to be discovered. It starts at the lake Formarinsee in Austria's Vorarlberg Province and accompanies at first the Formarinbach, which unites with the Spullerbach to make the young Lech. On it goes over Lech am Arlberg, named the "most beautiful village in Europe" in 2004, and continues to the Walser village of Warth with Vorarlberg's highest-elevation dairy and butcher "Wälder Metzger." Following Lechleiten, the panoramic trail leads into the Lech Valley to Steeg. Along the Lech River, it moves on to Holzgau. Here al fresco paintings from the late Baroque adorn some house façades.
The probably most spectacular and longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Austria spans the Hoehenbachschlucht gorge. It is 200.5 meters long, 110 feet high and a meter wide. For less sure-footed hikers, there is an alternative route to the great Simms waterfall. Further down the valley lies Elbigenalp, the home of "Geierwally" Anna Stainer-Knittel. At Haeselgehr it goes past the fabled Doser waterfall in the area between Elmen and Martinau. It is known for its flora and fauna with wild orchids and butterflies. Along the Lech, the trail to goes past Stanzach and continues through natural floodplain. It follows the wide Lech riverbed, with its gravel banks, on the way to Hoefen. From there it goes up to the Frauensee, further along to the Pflacher Au with its unique bird wildlife. At Pinswang, one wanders across the border into Germany towards the Alpsee. A spectacular view opens up of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles. The Lech Falls are reached beyond the Kalvarienberg in Fuessen, the end of the Lechweg.
Depending on your condition and long-distance hiking experience, the route can be travelled individually in six to eight stages. Rafting and canyoning companies also offer the option of taking individual sections straight down the Lech River. Hiking host accomodations, certified according industry quality criteria, provide the needed comfort before and after each day-leg, and provide advice and assistance. The towns along the route are accessible through the Lech Valley public transportation or a shuttle service. Luggage can be transported easily from stage to stage. Arrival is possible both by automobile and by the Deutsche Bahn (German Railway) or the ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railway).