Snowshoeing: Payerbach - Knofeleben

Snowshoeing tour from Payerbach train station

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Elevation profile

14,33 km length

Tour dates
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Route: 14,33 km
  • Ascent: 765 egm
  • Descent: 765 egm
  • Duration: 5:00 h
  • Lowest point: 490 m
  • Highest point:1.255 m
  • Round tour
  • Nice views
  • With refreshment stops

Details for: Snowshoeing: Payerbach - Knofeleben

Brief description

This beautiful day tour takes us from the historic towns of Payerbach and Reichenau through the "Eng" gorge on Gahns to the Knofeleben Nature Lovers’ House, which was voted the most popular hut for hikers in 2014.


The day tour leads from the historic towns of Payerbach or Reichenau to Gahns, a wooded plateau southeast of Schneeberg at an altitude of approx. 1200m. The start of the tour is very captivating and has a wonderful view over Reichenau from Schneedörfl. The destination of the hike is Knofeleben, chosen as the best hut in 2014. The views from there into the snow-covered valley in winter are one of a kind. Here you can enjoy winter solitude and peace.

The Knofeleben Nature Lovers’ House is only open on weekends from mid-November to April. The hut is closed on New Year's Eve.

Attention advised / crampons recommended / only for experienced snowshoers

Starting point of the tour

Payerbach train station

Destination point of the tour

Payerbach train station

Route description Snowshoeing: Payerbach - Knofeleben

We will walk along the parking lot of the Payerbach railway station and under the underpass until the path to Schneedörfl begins on the left. From there we will continue in the direction of Eng/Mariensteig/ Knofeleben Nature Lovers’ House following the red markings. Through the forest we reach the Mariensteig at the beginning of the Eng. Through these, we go up to a fork in the road. From here we can either turn left into the Promischkagraben or right onto the Lackaboden (easier ascent, but a little longer).



If you decide to take the path to the Lackaboden, the path ends on a forest road. Continue to the left and follow the road until you see the Knofeleben Nature Lovers’ House.



But if you choose the path on the left that goes over the Promischkagraben at the turnoff, you will reach a turnoff again after about 500 m. The path leads here on the left to the end of a forest road. If you choose this path, the ascent is longer but more comfortable.



The hiking trail continues straight on along the Promischkagraben until you turn left steeply through the forest. After some time, this path leads to the aforementioned forest road, which you follow to the right. The path now leads left into the forest.



After a short time you can already see the Knofeleben Nature Lovers’ House.



The descent takes place via the forest road, which leads first from the Nature Lovers’ House along the meadow to the east-southeast and then almost flat to the upper end of the Lackabodensgraben. Here we turn right and go down through the Lackabodengraben to the junction Eng/Promischkagraben. From here we take the same path for the descent to the station as for the ascent.


On the S6, the Semmeringschnellstraße to the Gloggnitz exit and then to Payerbach/Reichenau to the station.


Parking available at Payerbach/Reichenau railway station

Take the train from Vienna or Graz along the Semmeringbahn to Payerbach/Reichenau station.

More information at


More info/links

Wiener Alpen in Niederösterreich,, +43 / 2622 / 78960


Tourist information Reichenau, Tel. +43 2666/52865


Tourist information Payerbach, Tel. +43 2666/52423-12



You need a sporty winter garment (waterproof, windproof and breathable), firm and waterproof winter or hiking boots reaching over your ankle, gloves, a winter hat and sunglasses. A backpack with granola bars and drinks in a thermos for the trip, spare clothes to change, balaclava and a second pair of gloves (mittens), ski goggles and sunscreen.

Safety information

Mountain rescue emergency number: 140

EU emergency number: 112

For information about avalanches:


Your hiking experience in the Vienna Alps should be a thoroughly enjoyable and safe one. Therefore, please bear the following in mind: Preparation: When choosing a route, make sure it corresponds to your experience and physical fitness level. Check the weather forecast before you set off. The weather can change surprisingly quickly in the mountains. Always take appropriate equipment with you (e.g. rain protection).


Check whether the cabins and snack stations you intend to visit along the way are open. Inform someone before you set off of your chosen route and when you plan to return.

Map recommendations

Freytag & Berndt WK 022

Author's tip

Eine Einkehr auf der Knofeleben - der hellsten Hütte Österreichs - im Winter ist ein unvergessliches Erlebnis. Sie wurde 2014 zur beliebtesten Hütte Österreichs gewählt.

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