WAB - Regional Route M: Payerbach - Maria Schutz - Sonnwendstein

Hiking route from Payerbach railway station to Sonnwendstein summit vantage point

Full screen mode
Elevation profile

12,71 km length

Tour dates
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Route: 12,71 km
  • Ascent: 1.236 egm
  • Descent: 244 egm
  • Duration: 5:15 h
  • Lowest point: 473 m
  • Highest point:1.484 m
  • Nice views
  • With refreshment stops

Details for: WAB - Regional Route M: Payerbach - Maria Schutz - Sonnwendstein

Brief description

Regional Route M goes through areas that used to be summer resorts. The Regional Routes are part of the network of paths making up the Viennese Alps (WAB) route. Hikes along these routes lead you to unique views and also insights. The Regional Routes are linked to the network of paths making up the Viennese Alps route. This results in circular hikes in conjunction with the long-distance path.  


The route is a stunning hike through atmospheric scenery, starting from the summer resorts of Reichenau or Payerbach up to the former toll and supply point for the Semmering region, Schottwien. It is an extremely varied route that goes through field and forest paths close to nature, atmospheric hiking trails, and also on short paved sections through historic settlements. The historic village centres and the cradle of aristocratic summer resorts in the Eastern Alps are the highlights of the start of the route. Starting in Schottwien, it is a demanding ascent to the Sonnwendstein, which has one of the most impressive views in the Viennese Alps.

Starting point of the tour

Payerbach railway station

Destination point of the tour

Sonnwendstein summit vantage point

Route description WAB - Regional Route M: Payerbach - Maria Schutz - Sonnwendstein

We start the Regional Route M hike at Payerbach-Reichenau railway station and cross Bahnhofsplatz to reach Bahnhofsweg. We reach the Payerbacherhof after a few minutes, cross over the Bundesstraße and then the Schwarza river. After walking to Pfarrkirche, we turn left into Weinwegsiedlung and head towards Küb. At the end of the settlement, the paved road becomes a cart track, which we follow towards Küb whilst keeping close to the railway line. After hiking past the Altes Postamt (old post office) we go left just before the railway bridge, crossing a stream, before reaching Josef Wegerer Straße. The road continues to ascend and after a few minutes we turn left at a crossroads with a hydrant. The Bahnwanderweg branches off to the right. We follow the hiking route uphill all the way to Kochhof (marked in blue). Regional Route L is crossed here before going past the chapel and following the path downhill after Klamm to the railway station. Then cross the tracks and follow the path on to Schottwien. Continuing along this road takes us through the centre of Schottwien before turning near the school at the Kothbauerkurve bus stop which is straight on from Hauptstraße. We cross over Griesbach stream, turn left shortly afterwards, and follow the road uphill until we come across a hiking path. The ascent to Maria Schutz Pilgrimage Church is only interrupted once by a road. After ascending 150 metres to Maria Schutz, another steep ascent to the Sonnwendstein summit via the Gebirgsjägersteig awaits us. The end of Regional Route I is reached at Maria Schutz, and this leads on via Raach to Kirchberg/Wechsel. We go past the pilgrimage church, turn somewhat right soon afterwards, and then keep right. The Gebirgsjägersteig ascent is reached soon after (marked in green). We cross over a piste and hike up the marked ascent, which is extremely steep and arduous, climbing around 800 metres in height. When close to the Pollereshütte we leave the Gebirgsjägersteig and are close to the observation point on the Sonnwendstein. Regional Route M, which takes a lot of climbing, ends here. From here, you can either carry on and take the Viennese Alps trail and wander down to Semmering or head off towards the Feistritz Saddle.


If you are travelling from Vienna take the A2 to Seebenstein junction, then continue on the S6 as far as the Gloggnitz exit. Follow the B27 as far as Payersbach.



Take the S35 from Graz, then turn onto the S6 until the Gloggnitz exit. Continue to Gloggnitz via the B27.


Car parking is available at Payerbach railway station.

Take the train via Wiener Neustadt to Payerbach railway station.


Regional trains are available from Mürzzuschlag to Payerbach-Reichenau railway station.


More information at www.oebb.at

More info/links

You may like to hike the adjoining routes:

WAB - Regional Route L: Kalte Rinne in Breitenstein - Gloggnitz Castle



WAB - Regional Route N: Preintal – Habsburghaus


Viennese Alps in Lower Austria, www.wieneralpen.at, +43 / 2622 / 78960

Reichenau an der Rax tourist office, www.reichenau.at, +43 / 2666 / 52206 25


Always bring suitable maps. Always wear appropriate, sturdy footwear, bring sun and rain protection and water, as well as a little something to eat. Bring your mobile phone with you and save the mountain rescue emergency number: 140

Safety information

Your hiking experience in the Vienna Alps should be a thoroughly enjoyable and safe one. Therefore, please bear the following in mind:


When choosing a route, make sure it corresponds to your mountain 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

Combine your hike with a stay in a Deluxe room at the Hotel Payerbacherhof, a certified hotel for hikers.

More tours around the starting point