Kalkalpen National Park is made up of two mountain ranges
The Reichraminger Hintergebirge is one of Austrias largest distinct forest areas – a sea of forest, which has not yet been dissected by public transportation routes and human habitation. Here, you will also find one of the longest intact river systems of the Eastern Alps. Old shelters and overgrown trails remind us today of how wood was used and harvested in earlier times.
The Sengsengebirge is a northern outpost of the Limestone Alps. The appr. 20 km long main ridge reaches its highest point at the Hoher Nock (1.963 m). The name Sengsengebirge can be traced back to the use of the forests as a source of energy for the numerous scythe smithies once located here.
The Kalkalpen National Park in Upper Austria was established in July 1997 and now covers an area of 20.850 hectares. As 81% of this area is covered by forests the Kalkalpen National Park has the largest protected forests in Austria and they are on the way to becoming wilderness once more.
The outstanding natural environment of the region is also visible in other protected areas. One of them is the Gesäuse National Park in Styria.
Gesäuse National Park – Wild waters and sheer rock walls
The Gesäuse National Park was established in 2002 and internationally recognized in 2003 by the IUCN as Cat. II protected area (national park). Large areas of the national park are also part of the NATURA 2000 network which supports implementation of the EU Fauna-Flora-Habitat and Birds Directives. With 11.000 ha, it is the third-largest national park in Austria.
It is situated in the Ennstal Alps in the province of Styria, which is part of the Northern Limestone Alps and includes the two mountain ranges of Buchstein and Hochtor (2.369 m). The landmark of the Gesäuse mountains is the “Gesäuse entrance” with the Enns ravine breaking through the Northern Limestone Alps. It forms a gorge with an impressive drop of up to 1.800 meters between the Hochtor and the Buchstein range.
In the north it borders on the Eisenwurzen Nature Park and is only ten kilometres away from Kalkalpen Nationalpark. These two National Parks and the Wilderness Area Dürrenstein are the core protected areas in the “Eisenwurzen-Northern Limestone Alps” region. They promote a network of natural forests in the region as main habitat for many endangered species, but offer also a region of high-quality recreation and environmental education.
The two protected areas work together and are one of the pilot areas within the greenAlps project.
Christoph Nitsch, phone: 0043 7584 3951 234, Email: christoph.nitsch[at]kalkalpen.at