In the heart of Erherzog-Johann Markt, at the Stainz town hall, is the starting point for this 9.5-kilometre hike. Over the next two and a half hours you can enjoy the beauty of the Schilcherheimat and find relaxation by the water.
The first mayor of Stainz was Archduke Johann. Here at the start of our hike you can read the letter from 1850 to his dear Stainzer carved in stone in the town hall.
Via the station of the Flascherlzug you hike into the settlement area of Graschuh. Patients used to come to the miracle doctor Johann Reinbacher in Stainz on the Flascherlzug and from there they marched up the mountain on foot. He used urine bottles to diagnose his patients' illnesses. They were then given herbal teas and tinctures for treatment. That is why the path was lined with discarded bottles, so that no signpost was needed. Hence the name Flascherlzug.
You walk along trail marker six through a small, romantic piece of woodland and continue along a field path alongside flowering meadows until you cross the main road and the railway tracks. You then stroll through another settlement and cross the main road to Preding. Now you pass the sewage plant and enjoy the rural cultural landscape along the Stainzbach for a while.
Children should take advantage of this opportunity to let off steam at the water's edge, and parents will also be happy to have some time to themselves in nature. Let the sound of the water take effect on you and dangle your feet in the cool water.
Wonderfully refreshed, keep to the left at the bridge and hike along a little-used asphalt road to Ettendorf. Past the old fire station, keep to the right and you will soon reach the Georgskapelle chapel. The figure of George is said to still come from the church that used to stand here. An information board explains this place steeped in history, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view over the Schilcherland. Benches also invite you to take a rest here.
After you have had your fill of the natural landscape, hike on and reach a forest. Try to explore a piece of the forest floor without shoes. This way you can combine your hike with a foot zone reflex massage and feel the power of nature up close. At the wayside shrine, which you reach after a while, turn left towards Stallhof. Here you will see the Calvary Chapel "Maria im Elend" on the right at a hiking trail junction. The Way of the Cross, which you will find here, leads from the Calvary Chapel up 53 more or less weathered stone steps, past four Stations of the Cross through a mixed forest to the crucifixion group. The Calvary is accessible all year round.
However, take the path to the left over the Stainzbachsteg. Follow the trail markings to the right and you will see exotic pigs and other animals behind a pasture fence, which belong to the adjacent Heurigen Samahof. The children will have a blast with the pigs wallowing in the mud and you should take the chance to fortify yourself at the Samahof. The Bretteljause (snack) with the farm's own products is a delight and what could go better with it than a glass of rosé-red Schilcher pure or spritzed. It refreshes and gives you new energy.
Don't hesitate to stay a little longer, because from here it is only a few steps to Stainz.