Biotop Schwarze Lacke im Naturschutzgebiet Gerzkopf im Tennengau im Land Salzburg
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St. Martin am Tennengebirge in the Salzburger Land region - the "Nature Village"
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Nature

Outdoor activities that allow you to discover nature as well as moments of pure happiness. The countryside around St. Martin am Tennengebirge is filled with variety and natural beauty, including the Lammertal Virgin Forest.

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Gerzkopf Nature Reserve in Tennengau
Natura 2000 – Gerzkopf European Nature ReserveBell on the summit of the Gerzkopf

Far removed form the hustle and bustle of the outside world, the Gerzkopf Nature Reserve invites visitors to relax and enjoy. This peaceful mountain is the perfect place for everyone in search of inner peace.

The breathtaking views of the Hohe and Niedere Tauern as well as the Dachstein are certain to thrill the hearts of countless nature lovers.

This designated European Nature Reserve is easy to reach, both from St. Martin and from Eben/Pg., by means of a hiking path. Passing by various types of moorland, you will make your way to the very top of the Gerzkopf. Your hike then continues through an area of pine trees to the unique “Schwarze Lacke” - a mountain biotope, where you will quickly catch sight of the colorful dragonflies.

See for yourself the magical panoramas along with the diverse plant life, and feel first-hand the amazing energy of this natural wonder.

“Schwarze Lacke” in the Gerzkopf Nature Reserve in autumn
Panoramic mountain views from the Gerzkopf
"Schwarze Lacke" biotope on the Gerzkopf
Here’s how to reach the Gerzkopf Nature Reserve
Hike Up
Rhododendrons in the Gerzkopf Nature Reserve

Your starting point (for trail No.97) is the big Seepark in the center of St. Martin am Tennengebirge.

Even after having climbed just a few meters in the direction of the Gerzkopf, you will quickly recognize that this is a very different kind of area than, for example, the grass-topped slopes surrounding the Ostermais across the valley.

The path leads first through dense pine forest, which, at around 1400 meters, becomes sparser and makes room for full blueberry bushes. If you keep quiet and are a little bit lucky, you might catch sight of a rare animal that originally gave the Auerhahnplatz its name (“Auerhahn” is the German for “wood grouse”). Now crossing several magical small streams, you will come to the Gerzkopf hunting lodge, which is also the entrance to the actual nature sanctuary.

As you make your way between gnarled pine trees, you will approach several smaller ponds and tarns with the craggy Gosaukamm reflected in their surface. The last 50 vertical meters are a challenge, before you finally reach the top of the 1,720 meters-high Gerzkopf and can ring the old brass bell.

If the weather cooperates, the view from the Gerzkopf is impossible to beat. From the Niedere and Hohe Tauern in the east, to the Hochkönig and Hagengebirge in the south, the Tennengebirge in the west, and the Gosaukamm and Dachstein in the north, you can enjoy it all.

If you still have time after enjoying some snacks, you might wish to visit the legendary “Schwarze Lacke”, a dark pool in which a golden carriage is said to have been sunken. But beware – there is a kernel of truth in every legend!

Hike Down
View of the mountain panoramas in Lammertal

The hike down from the Gerzkopf is no less beautiful, taking you across the St. Martin plateau, through a fairy-tale forest with old, turnip-shaped spruce trees, to the Hüttlboden. There, you will often encounter sheep, driven up there in springtime by nearby farmers. Not until autumn, when it is time for the “Schafischöh” (a high-spirited event, when the sheep are divided up between their respective owners), will the sheep be brought back to their homes in the valley.

Now passing through the “Ant Forest”, with its many anthills, the path leads by two old hunting lodges and then to the Höllbrand. From here at the Höllbrand, a small, private hut, you have marvelous views of St. Martin with its delightful Seepark, as you do of the Ostermais which lies beyond and, finally, the Tennengebirge, towering above everything.

After a few minutes, the Höllalm will invite you to stop by for welcome refreshments. Just another half-hour’s hike and you will have made it back down to your original starting point in St. Martin.