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The entire stone pine forest south of Obergurgl is a true natural rarity. Trees up to 300 years old line the theme hiking trail that features information boards and interactive stations revolving around the "Queen of the Tree Line". Several access options from Obergurgl and cozy rest stops make the excursion to the scenic stone pine forest a highlight for all ages.
Stone pine trees are often the only plants to defy wind and weather in the high mountains. A 20-hectare Alpine stone pine forest, as it extends from Obergurgl between 1950 m and 2100 m altitude on the northern slopes of Schönwieskopf, is therefore something very special. Since 1963 it has been a protected area and natural monument defined by UNESCO within the "Gurgler Kamm" Biosphere Park.
Walkers on the theme trail can learn many interesting facts about stone pines, forest animals (e.g. jaybirds), fauna and anecdotes about locals. By using interactive devices - such as a telescope - you can explore the surrounding area and look for "bears, cats and monkeys", that's the hunter's language for male, female and young marmots.
A possible - and especially beautiful - access to the theme trail can be found at rustic Zirben Alm at the foot of the path. Alternatively, there is another access point halfway up the stone pine forest, just a few steps from the middle station of Hohe Mut (2065 m) mountain gondola. If you don't want to use the mountain lift (free for Ötztal Premium Card holders) you can hike along a forest road from Obergurgl. The adventure theme trail with 15 stations also features attractive rest stops and recreational places. In case you have chosen the route from the middle station, the child-friendly trail travels mostly downhill and ends near Zirben Alm (1960 m) which offers excellent cuisine and superb panoramic views. If you go on foot this easy hiking tour will take about 3 hours. Alternatively, you can hike from the stone pine forest past the Rotmoos waterfall to Schönwies Hütte and stop for a bite to eat.
Special tip: The separate "Views and Perspectives - Zirbenweg Obergurgl" brochure is available for free at the Ötztal Tourismus information office.