G3VGR LECHWEG     Lech am Arlberg - Steeg      

The day's weather forecast wasn't good and there was a fine drizzle when I arrived at Lech. The trail led me behind the Rufikopf cable car station, along the perimeter of the golf course then climbed gently out of Lech past Stubenbach through some meadows and occasional woods. As I went onward and upward, the Lech continued it's course through a ravine and I had occasional glimpses as I reached the highest point of the trail on this side of the river. From here, the trail descended steeply through some woods. The way down was wet and muddy, due to the heavy thunderstorms of the previous evening. Fortunately, the fathers of the Lechweg had kindly constructed some wooden steps which helped greatly. The way down also provided some good views of the river passing through the ravine. However, I do believe the views from the bus on the public road are better. After reaching the river, I crossed over the Gelsbrücke to start the ascent to Warth. It now started to rain steadily - normal alpine weather at last. The trail led up through the Höhenwald. At first on a forestry road, then a sharp switchback brought me on to a narrow trail through the woods. I could now indulge in my usual pastime of tripping over tree roots and rocks as I made my way upwards. After forty minutes, I reached the edge of the wood and Warth was directly in front of me. At the edge of Warth, I passed the Seebachsee, a small natural lake and made my way to the centre of the village. I saw a few other bedraggled hikers in the village as I stopped at a cafe for a hot chocolate. Some I recognized from yesterday, so assumed they also started their Lechweg walk. It's noticeable how friendly and communicative all hikers are when we are sharing the same discomfort from a traditional alpine downpour.

The Lechweg was now about to take me in a large semicircle as I passed through the village and made my way down to a small wooden hanging bridge over the Krumach stream. This crossing marks the border between Vorarlberg and Tirol and the trail followed along the mountainside towards Gehren, then up to Lechleiten. The views across to Warth and the Lechtal would have been more impressive had the weather been clear. Lechleiten is a small farming hamlet and I saw nobody as I walked through its solitary street and reached a turnstile at the end of the village. I passed through it and was now on a section of the renowned Adlerweg, an excellent narrow trail along the side of Biberkopf.

The narrow path was high above both the river and the road and being exposed, provided spectacular vistas over the Lechtal despite the lack of visibility caused by the driving rain. After a short while, I reached the cover of a wood and found a sheltered place to stop for lunch. The Adlerweg continued climbing slowly upwards through the trees until I eventually reached another turnstile, which marked its end. Now started the way back down to the river. This was through a series of switchbacks zig-zagging down a forestry road through the Grosshanselwald which led onto what was the old, narrow Bundesstraße, which is slowly reverting back to its natural habitat. Much further down, I was eventually rewarded with fine views of the river as it raged through some narrows. The road reached the river and I crossed over to the opposite bank and carried on along the Bundesstraße.

The trail followed the river to Prenten, just 2.5 Km from Steeg. The terrain had now levelled out after exiting the ravine and the valley widened at this point. I crossed the main road then carried on along a tarmac road past some farms. Just as walking this straight road was becoming monotonous, a marker directed me up into another wood and I continued through the wood until coming back to the river just before the church at Steeg. I had 40 minutes to spare before catching the bus to Holzgau, so visited Naturkäserei Sojer for Buttermilch and Käsebrot. This stage of the trail had been long and arduous and the day's experience wasn't enhanced by the poor weather. After a hot shower, some Obstler and tucking into a Gröstl at the local restaurant, I felt fine with a lingering sense of satisfaction on completing this stage. My foot had caused me no problems either during the day's long walk

The Lech enters the gorge near Bodenalpe

Welcoming committee on the path

Steep descent

These steps certainly help

Village of Warth high above the Lech

View back upstream

The Gelsbrücke

In the Höhenwald

Warth from edge of Höhenwald

Crossing the border over bridge from Vorarlberg to Tirol

View across to Warth

Old barn at Lechleiten

Starting on the Adlerweg

View of Lechtal through the rain from Adlerweg

The Lech through the narrows

Lech near Prenten

Steeg Church

Käsebrot & Büttermilch at Naturkäserei Sojer

[Previous Stage]      [Home]     [Next Stage]