10 May 2021
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

A hike in the southern low mountain range of Innsbruck that is not listed in any hiking guide? The highlight of which even has to be climbed? We are talking about an oversized 'borehole' of a once huge glacier, a so-called 'Gletschermühle' (glacier mill) which lies on the path between Sistrans and Igls.

My choice of the starting point of a wonderful walk obviously shows that I adore Sistrans. There are several reasons for this. Of course, it is above all the numerous, very well preserved historic farmhouses that fascinate me. They bear witness to the unbroken appreciation of the old, rural building tradition in this village. But there is something else, namely the matter of the famous Sistrans singers.

Quite a few villagers have criss-crossed the world as singers in the past. One of them even composed two world hits: Franz Winkler. His songs 'Am Strande von Rio' and 'Die Fischerin vom Bodensee' were real 'Gassenhauer', as the hits were still called back then. The fact that one of the most famous Tyrolean folk actors has his house and studio in Sistrans completes the picture. Hubert Eichler tailored here during the day and performed at the Innsbruck folk stage Blaas in the evening.

I always start my walk at the bus stop Sistrans-Dorf. The VVT bus stops here. Going up past the church, you reach the Glungezer Inn, where an outdoor fresco is dedicated to the Sistrans singers. Hikers can marvel at an exemplary preserved 'Ansitz' when they turn left at the Piegger butcher's shop, which is highly recommended by the way. The 'Manichor'sche Ansitz' becomes visible, a former aristocratic residence built in the style of a Wipptal farmhouse. And just opposite is the birthplace of the composer and singer Franz Winkler.

Back at the Glungezer inn, we set off on the Badhausweg trail. Attentive hikers soon pass another beautifully preserved and painted old farmhouse, the 'Lubinger Hof'. The two Rococo artists who created the altar in the parish church of Sistrans once stayed here.

After the last houses of Sistrans, the Nordkette then takes over together with the Bettelwurf massif. From now on, we are accompanied by a mountain panorama that is unparalleled. It ennobles this wondrous landscape of the low mountain range with its beauty and mightiness. This is exactly what people appreciated more than 3,000 years ago, whose urn graves have been found to the west of the village centre.

At a fountain at the edge of the forest, we turn right into the forest, which we cross until we reach the 'Roman road' between Lans and the Patscherkofel valley station. Before the area of the riding club Innsbruck-Igls we turn right and follow the path along the buildings. At the last stable, we then head up the hill to a rocky knoll to the Gletschermühle mill.

The millennia-old witness of a once mighty glacier resembles a borehole, driven into the rock by prehistoric giants. Yet it was only water and stones that had driven a perfectly circular hole into the hard stone with perseverance and power.

From the site of this natural wonder, virtually all paths then lead to Igls. Those who go down to the forest path north of the glacier mill and climb the subsequent hill come to a place known as 'Seufzerplatz'. Here stands a pine tree known as the 'Seufzerbaum'. Why? The many tubers emerging from the trunk are interpreted as absorbing and storing the problems of people who sigh. Thus they are said to be quasi overcome for the people.

For all those who hardly know their way around the many forest paths in Igls, I can warmly recommend a free app that has always served me well on my pilgrimages: PhoneMaps. It even lists the paths for hunters. The app is ideal for this tour because it also shows the smallest, mostly unknown and above all unmarked paths.

With the help of the PhoneMaps app, I took the way back that leads into Badhausgasse in Igls, where the old valley station of the Patscherkofel cable car is located. Not least to pay my respects to an artist. On the way to the centre of the village there is a real jewel of old craftsmanship: the hand weaving studio of Regina Knoflach in the building of the old Igler weaving mill. I never pass 'Regina-Textiles' without taking a quick look inside to buy something.

If you then walk into the centre of Igls to the bus stop and have some time, you should explore whether the chapel of the dead on the north side of the church is open. If so, inside you can admire those centuries-old mysterious signs on the wall, which have only recently been unravelled by Tyrolean semiologist Erhard Maroschek in this Innsbruckblog.


  • Getting to Sistrans with buses of the IVB to the bus stop 'Sistrans village'
  • For orientation I recommend downloading the best free map app I know PhoneMaps.
  • Always worth a look:
  • Return journey: in Igls you can use the J-Bus to get back to Innsbruck quickly and safely.

All pictures: © Werner Kräutler

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