One of the most impressive areas in Europe, the Blockheide Nature Park, lies on the border of the Czech Republic and Austria. The varied landscape with meadows, forests, lakes, and fields makes your stay exciting and unforgettable. Nonetheless, its reputation is not because of this but of the giant blocks of granite (moving stones). It's a real curiosity that doesn't "take place" anywhere.
The area covers an area of approximately 130 hectares. You can touch the bizarre formations, sit on them, and climb them - of course, only with due care. Furthermore, if you want to see more of the countryside, you can also visit the 30-meter wooden lookout tower.
Map - Where is the Blockheide Park?
The park is situated near the town of Gmünd in Austria, next to the Czech border. It is part of the Waldviertel region of Lower Austria. Linz and St Pölten are a little more than 1 hour away, while it can be reached in 2 hours from Vienna. The park is easily accessible by car, and parking facilities are available.
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- Location: Blockheideweg 10, 3950 Gmünd, Austria
- Distance from Vienna: 2 hours / 150 km
- Distance from Linz: 1 hour / 90 km
- Distance from St. Pölten: 1 hour / 110 km
- Distance from Brno (Czech Rep): 2 hours / 170 km
More about the naturpark
Those who hike through the Blockheide Nature Park wander through the cultural landscape of the provincial Waldviertel. The region's characteristic wet meadows are home to rare species such as the swamp grasshopper and the briar. The northwestern Waldviertel is nationally known for its moving stones - the unique natural formations created by nature.
Over the millions of years, the rocks have "learned" to balance under the influence of the weather. This is where they got their name from. According to some beliefs, they were once toys of giants. You can also see an exhibition in the visitor centre. The centre welcomes visitors from April to October. The viewpoint can also be found here.
The park is home to a rich variety of plant and animal species. The diverse vegetation includes mixed forests, heathlands, and meadows. Some plant species found here are rare and unique to this region. Additionally, the park provides habitat for various wildlife species, including birds, insects, and small mammals.
These Wackelsteine are large granite boulders that are balanced in such a way that they can be rocked or moved by applying a little force. They are a prominent and fascinating natural attraction within the Blockheide-Eibenstein Nature Park. These stones result from geological processes that have shaped and positioned them in a way that allows their movement.
Visitors to the park often enjoy interacting with these Wackelsteine by attempting to rock them back and forth. They are not only a geological curiosity but also a source of entertainment and wonder for park-goers. So, when you visit Blockheide-Eibenstein Nature Park, you'll likely encounter these intriguing Wackelsteine rock formations as part of your exploration of the park's geological and natural wonders.
- Entrance to the lookout and the centre: 4 - 2 euros
- Season: April - October
- Opening hours: 10:00 - 17:00/18:00 (every day)
- Open-air museum opening hours: 10:00 - 17:00/18:00 (every day)
- Season: April - October
- Entrance: Free
In the park, a total of 4 thematic nature trails lead through the light, Scandinavian-inspired coniferous forests. The Granite trail is 2.9 km long, the Mythical trail is 3.5 km long, the Ladybug trail is 5.6 km long, and the Landschaftskultour route is 2.8 km long. Among the foliage and stones, you can also find an open-air museum.
Visiting Blockheide-Eibenstein Nature Park offers a chance to connect with nature, explore geological wonders, and appreciate the beauty of the Waldviertel region in Austria. It's an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those interested in both natural and cultural history.
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