For several years now, I have been planning to do an overnight tour of the Berliner High Alpine Path. However, my free time is limited and, when I have holiday, I like to travel abroad. So, on a weekend of bright sunshine and brilliant blue skies, I decided instead to hike the Neumarkt Circuit.
From Schlegeis to the Olperer Hut
In order to make the most of the day, I make an early start and drive my car to the Schlegeis reservoir to start the first stage of my hike to the Olperer Hut. I hike uphill through forest, past waterfalls, over fields of dwarf pines and through the countryside until, after about 90 minutes, I arrive at the hut. Quite out of breath, I’m looking forward to a hearty breakfast and relaxing with the warm sun on my face. Although the Olperer Hut, a true hut with character in the holiday region of Mayrhofen and Hippach, offers an extensive menu, a simple bread with butter and a milky coffee is enough to revive me. I always find that on the mountain the simpler things in life seem somehow more special; even a meal of bread and butter is a real treat!
Top Tip: A few meters above the Olperer Hut in a northerly direction is a spectacular suspension footbridge – the perfect photo opportunity! Make it your cover photo on Facebook and you are guaranteed lots of likes!
The day is still young and so, reenergized, I continue southwards on the Neumarkt Circuit. The path looks tame enough but it’s tougher than you think! The narrow path leads you up the mountain over countless stone steps (around 90 I think!). The route is quite steep and exposed but has a fixed cable to help hikers on their way. Onwards and upwards I go until it is lunch time and my body is aching for a break. Beneath the scree of the Unterschrammachkar, the path flattens, and a meadow, carpeted in mountain grasses and herbs, opens out in front of me. I take out my waterproof jacket, spread it on the ground and sit down to enjoy my packed lunch. With the sun on my face, I relax and let a feeling of calm wash over me as I take in the beautiful, untouched nature around me.
From my picnic spot, I can see the picturesque Unterschrammachbach stream meandering gently through the little valley, it’s water running crystal clear over a river bed of rounded stones. I dip my hot, tired feet into the refreshingly cold water and am instantly revived. The surrounding nature is so peaceful and serene it puts me in an almost meditative state. All too soon it is time to continue onwards…
Back to the Schlegeis Reservoir
Today the path is almost empty, and I see very few other people as I make my way around the Neumarkt Circuit. Those hikers who I do meet, greet me in a friendly manner (as is expected in the mountains!) and are smiling as hard as I am, despite the exertion. The path gets narrower and steeper as I head, past some beehives, back towards Schlegeis. The first thing I do when I reach my car is whip off my hiking boots and relax into my Crocs – my feet are happy to relax after all of their hard work!
The Neumarkt Circuit
Uphill Altitude Meters: 660 m
Highest Point: 2,430 m
Distance: 9.5 km
Total Hiking Time: 4.5 hours