Danube-Auen National Park

Austria Europe icon Europe

Danube Auen National Park is located in the upper northeast region of Austria ironically named Lower Austria.  The park is actually located in the vicinity of the capital city, Vienna.   The park covers an area of 36 square miles (93 sq km), creating the second smallest national park in the country.

The national park is based around the intertwining of the Danube River with the surrounding landscape.  This region is characterized by riparian woodlands and wetlands, and it serves as one of the most extensive floodplains on the river in central Europe.

The forests, meadows, and wetlands are directly influenced by the Danube River.  The lowland forests, wetland vegetation, and the grassy meadows foster an ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife.  The vegetation represents over 700 species of plant life which helps the animal life thrive.

The wildlife is comprised of over 30 mammals, 21 amphibians and reptiles, and over 100 species of birds that are nesting or migrating through the park.  The white-tailed eagle and eagle owl are two of the coveted bird sightings.

The red deer is the largest mammal in the park while many people enjoy the cuteness and playfulness of the beaver and European ground squirrel.  Wild boar are also popular wildlife sightings.

Danube Auen Highlights

The landscape and terrain is an enchanting environment to hike and explore.  Being in the outdoors and escape the hustle of city life is a highlight for both locals and visitors.  The wildlife is a highlight for many travelers.

White-tailed Eagle

The White-tailed Eagle is the largest European eagle.  It features a wingspan of up to 8.20 feet (2.5 m).  These are large birds with a body size that is more massive than other raptor species in Europe.

The eagle is characterized by a brown feathered body, a yellow beak, a white-feathered tail, and yellow talons.

Danube River

The Danube River is at the heart of the national park.  One of the highlights is getting on the river with canoes or kayaks and experiencing the wilderness from the river itself.  The Danube is much longer than the boundaries of the national park.  It is a highlight for many people who want to enjoy the outdoors and love the additional fun found in water-based activities.

Trails of Danube Auen National Park

There are a handful of trails that make it easy for visitors to engage the wilderness and experience the natural facets that the park offers.  Hiking is one of the popular activities of the national park.

Lobau Loop Trail: This is a 7.2-mile (11.59 km) loop trail that meanders through the forest, along the river, and by wildflowers.  It features an elevation gain of 567 feet (172.8 m) while providing chances to birdwatch and see other wildlife.

Orth on the Danube Trail: This trail travels 3.72 miles (5 km) through the wetlands giving visitors insights into this special ecosystem.  There are chances to see wildlife and birdwatching amongst the thriving vegetation.

In der Lobau Trail: This is rated as easy and family-friendly.  The loop trail meanders around the park's terrain covering a distance of 4.03 miles (6.49 km) with only an elevation gain of only 75 feet (22.86 m).

Alte Napoleonstrasse und Lobau Trail: This is a loop trail that travels alongside a river and through the landscape with opportunities for birdwatching, wildflowers, and wildlife.  It is rated easy and only has an elevation gain of 305 feet (92.96 m).

Danube Cycle Path Stage 11:  This is a long 44.3-mile (71.29 km) trail which is used by hikers and cyclists.  It runs along the river and is rated moderate.  There is an accumulative elevation gain of 2,801 feet (853.74 m).  There is a chance to see birds, wildlife, and wildflowers.

Park Protection

Danube Auen National Park was created to protect the environment and one of Central Europe’s largest floodplain ecosystems.  The park is also protecting the habitat of the endangered White-tailed Eagle along with many other wildlife species.  Breeding efforts are in place to help increase the population and create a better chance for survival.

Danube-Auen Highlights

  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Danube River

Map

Photo Gallery

Sources