Austria: the best footpaths in the world?

Robert Pimm
Robert Pimm

How to enjoy Austrian footpaths.

How beautiful can a footpath be?  Austria’s are amongst the best.

I particularly enjoy the country’s system of footpath signs.  Over the past three years here I have photographed many of them.  I reproduce a selection here.

You may wish to pay attention to:

  • nature – many signs are worn or overgrown or both, as wind and weather reclaim them.  This is usually a good thing;
  • texture: the interplay between sign, tree (or rock) and background is often sublime;
  • seasons: some, but not all, footpaths can be enjoyed all-year round.

Each of the following pictures represents a moment of perfection, somewhere in Austria.  If you know where, feel free to comment.

This squirrel is urging people to care for nature

Any surface will do for a footpath sign

Would you rather call the “Alpine emergency” or “Euro-emergency” number?

A “change of direction” indicator

More modern signs may also show footpath numbers…

… or combine numerous technologies

So this is footpath 404 or 42 (red and white).  But what is the number of the blue and white path?

A superhighway of three separate paths

How many years of tree growth has it taken to cover these signs?

A spring day above the retreating snow line.  Paths in every direction

“Schneealm” means “Snow Pasture”

This track-sign is spookily like the Ukrainian (or Lower Austrian) flag

In “Three Men in a Boat”, Jerome K Jerome complains that marble gravestones will not weather, thus robbing them of charm.  Weatherproof walking signs would pose similar aesthetic challenges.

I don’t think this is a walking sign but it deserves inclusion

No walking sign here either but a magnificent bouquet of colour


If you are now feeling a strong urge to venture out and go for a walk, do not worry: this is normal

Another beautifully weathered sign (“The Königstetten Section of the Austrian Alpine Club”)

If you have enjoyed this piece you might also enjoy my posts:

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please subscribe to my weekly newsletter (you can unsubscribe anytime you wish).  I’ll send you a free “Hotel Story” to say thanks!  Or I would be delighted if you would like to friend me on Facebook.  


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Sign up for my weekly updates

…and receive a FREE short story!

I won’t pass on your details to third parties / unsubscribe whenever you wish

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles