Das Bild zeigt zwei Frauen beim Wandern im granitenen Mühlviertel.

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Johannesweg (St. John's pilgrimage route)

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Special features
suitable for families
Suitable for groups

Tour and route information

  • Starting place: 4282 Pierbach
  • Starting point: public parking lot in the centre of Pierbach
  • Destination: 4282 Pierbach
Duration: 25h
Length: 84 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 2010m
Altitude difference (downhill): 1990m
Lowest point: 493m
Highest point: 981m



Panoramic view:

Some Views

Paths covering:

  • Hiking trail

Most economical season:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
​Satisfaction, happiness, and health, friendship, family, and confidence - those are the values that are re-emerging in such hectic times and with a growing sense of economical insecurity. The Johannesweg (St. John’s pilgrimage route), the Austrian counterpart to the St.James’s Path, is an 80 km-long trail through a wonderful landscape.

Start and finish line of the Johannesweg are located in the municipality of Pierback. In the beginning, the path leads onto the Ramlberg and further on to the farm of the Irxenmayer family. This is where the Johannesbrunnen (St. John’s well) and the Engelskapelle (angel chapel) constitute the first station of the Johannesweg. If you like, you can visit the “Irxwasser” (Irx water) filling station and - after a short walk - the Kugelmühle (Kugel mill), and in the Engelskapelle, you can take a break for inner reflection.

Over meadows and along forest trails, you will hike gently up and down the mountains towards Schönau. Leaving this place, you will walk up to the Herrgottsitz (seat of the Lord). On this rock formation, where you will find a seat-shaped hollow, God rested contently after creating the Earth, or so the story goes. The next section of the Johannesweg leads you to the Burgruine Prandegg (Prandegg castle ruin) where you can enjoy a terrific view all the way to the Alps from its tower.

Afterwards you will walk to the Herzogreitherfelsen (Herzogreither rock) visible from afar. Steps chiseled into the rock and a climbing assistance allow you to ascend onto the vast granite rock formation and enjoy the view.

Then the Johannesweg continues on to St. Leonhard bei Freistadt. Here, the pilgrimage church is worth a visit. Its origins date back to the beginning of the 12th century. The next station of the trail is the Bründlkapelle (Bründl chapel) which was build on the village path from St. Leonhard to Ennsedt in 1728.

You will now hike up and over the Haiderberg to Langfirling and then to Waldfeld where you will soon have reached the Galgenbühel. Downhill, through the forest, and along the state road we will continue the hike to the Zwischenstromwiese (meadow in-between streams), which is located in the municipal district of Weitersfelden. Here, the Schwarzen and Weiße Aist (Schwarze Aist and Weiße Aist rivers) join together and form the Waldaist (Waldaist river).

Afterwards, the Johannesweg crosses meadows and forest paths to pass the Naturkino (nature cinema) and the town of Nadelbach. We will also pass the farms of the Silberberger Schnapsbrenner (Silberberg distillers) where you can prepare for the ascent to the Kammerer Kreuz (Kammerer cross) with a nice home-distilled or home-preserved schnapps. From here, the view of the alpine summits is fantastic.

Before you reach the Kaltenberger Marktplatz (Kaltenberg market square), the hiking trail takes you past the Ursprungskapelle (original chapel) and the Augenbründl (Augenbründl spring). Legend has it that once upon a time a shepherd’s boy sighted the Madonna at a linden tree. Downhill via the Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross) with its 14 Steinbloß-style chapels, the trail continues to Unterweißenbach, the principal town of the Mühlviertler Alm region.

The parish church dedicated to St. Nicolas with its delicate net vault is worth a visit in Unterweißenbach. Once you have crossed the town, you will hike steeply uphill to the Wegererstein. Your reward for the arduous ascent onto the highest elevation of Unterweißenbach is the beautiful view of the town and of Kaltenberg.

The trail continues past the Almhütte (mountain hut) of the Jagdmärchenpark Hirschalm (Hirschalm hunter’s fairy-tale park) to the Einsiedlerklause (hermitage). The entire hill has special energies. No wonder that there is a Himmelsleiter (Jacob’s ladder) on which heaven and earth meet in close proximity to the Einsiedlerklause.

Then the trail goes on to a Naturplattform (natural platform) on which you will find the Harlingsedter Gipfelkreuz (Harlingsedt summit cross). From there, you can enjoy yet another terrific view over the landscape of the Mühlviertel before your hike downhill to Königswiesen. Next on the list is the town of Mötlas, a walk around the Bischofberg, and the hike back uphill to the Ruine Ruttenstein (Ruttenstein ruin). This formerly enormous high castle with seven ring towers and a history dating back to the 12th century is still considered one the most impressive ruins of the country and evidentially is the largest weir system in Austria. You should definitely enjoy the magnificent view from the tower and a nice glass of cider at the nearby shelter before embarking on the final trip back to Pierbach.

Length: about 84 kilometres
Walking time: three or four day trips, the continuous up and down of the landscape is rather demanding. Please allow yourself four days for the hike.

Altitude profile


Mühlviertler Alm
Markt 19
4273 Unterweißenbach

Phone: +43 7956 7304
E-Mail: office@muehlviertleralm.at
Web: www.johannesweg.at
Web: www.muehlviertleralm.at

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Accessibility / arrival

​by car:
from Linz >> A7 >> take the exit >> enter traffic circle >> Königswiesener Straße (Königswiesener street) >> Pierbach

Travelling by public transport

Route planner for independent travellers


  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for families
  • Suitable for seniors
  • Suitable for single travelers
  • Suitable for friends
  • Suitable for couples


Für Informationen beim Kontakt anfragen.

My recommendations

Gasthaus Wahlmüller - Wirt in Mötlas
Mötlas 14, 4273 Unterweißenbach

Phone: +43 7956 7130
E-Mail: wirtinmoetlas@ecsnet.at

Gasthaus zum Feuchten Eck
Huterergasse 5, 4283 Bad Zell

Phone: +43 7263 7277
E-Mail: office@populorum.com
Web: www.populorum.com

Kaltenberg 6, 4273 Kaltenberg

Phone: +43 7956 7142
E-Mail: bernhard.kreindl@aon.at
Web: www.langoth.com

Jausenstation Stoaninger Alm
Steiningerberg 3, 4274 Schönau im Mühlkreis

Phone: +43 (0043) 72617443
E-Mail: office@stoaninger-alm.at
Web: www.stoaninger-alm.at

Markt 38, 4280 Königswiesen

Phone: +43 7955 6217
E-Mail: info@hirschalm.at
Web: www.alm1.at

Augenbründl Healing Spring
Pierbach Ri Zigeunermauer, 4282 Pierbach

Phone: +43 7267 8255
E-Mail: gemeinde@pierbach.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.pierbach.at

Kaltenberg, 4273 Kaltenberg

Phone: +43 7956 7305
E-Mail: gemeinde@kaltenberg.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.kaltenberg.at

Silberberg 7, 4273 Kaltenberg

E-Mail: kontakt@biohoflichtenwallner.at
Web: www.lichtenwallner.jimdo.com

Pehersdorf, 4274 Schönau im Mühlkreis

Phone: +43 7261 7255
E-Mail: office@prandegg.at
Web: www.prandegg.at

Prandegg Castle in Ruins
Prandegg 1, 4274 Schönau im Mühlkreis

Phone: +43 7261 7255
E-Mail: gemeinde@schoenau-im.at
Web: www.schoenau-im.at

Hauptstraße 9, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 82-55
E-Mail: gemeinde@st-leonhard.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Harlingsedt, 4280 Königswiesen

Phone: +43 7955 6255
E-Mail: marktgemeinde@koenigswiesen.at
Web: www.koenigswiesen.at

Dorfstraße 2, 4282 Pierbach

Phone: +43 7267 8255
E-Mail: gemeinde@pierbach.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.pierbach.at

Mötlas 26, 4273 Unterweißenbach

Phone: +43 7956 7411
E-Mail: office@buchner.at
Web: www.handwerkerkapelle.at

Hinterhütten 9, 4282 Pierbach

Phone: +43 7267 82550
E-Mail: gemeinde@pierbach.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.pierbach.at

Karlinger Hammer Forge
Grafenschlag 16, 4273 Unterweißenbach

Phone: +43 7956 7354
Web: www.ooemuseumsverbund.at

Mötlasberg 63, 4280 Königswiesen

Phone: +43 7955 6255
E-Mail: marktgemeinde@koenigswiesen.at
Web: www.koenigswiesen.at

Parish Church of Pierbach
Pfarre Pierbach, Dorfstr. 1, 4282 Pierbach

Phone: +43 7267 8205
E-Mail: gemeinde@pierbach.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.pierbach.at

Kirchengasse 1, 4274 Schönau im Mühlkreis

Phone: +43 7261 7268
E-Mail: gemeinde@schoenau-im.at
Web: www.schoenau-im.at

Parish Church
Weitersfelden, 4272 Weitersfelden

Phone: +43 7952 6271
E-Mail: pfarre.weitersfelden@dioezese-linz.at
Web: www.weitersfelden.at

Pieberbach, 4273 Kaltenberg

Phone: +43 7956 7305
E-Mail: gemeinde@kaltenberg.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.kaltenberg.at

Pfarrgasse 4, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 8294
E-Mail: gemeinde@st-leonhard.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Parish Church
Pfarrgasse 1, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 8206
E-Mail: gemeinde@st-leonhard.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Erratic Blocks
Herzogreith und Promenedt, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 8255
E-Mail: gemeinde@st-leonhard.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Wolfsberg, 4273 Unterweißenbach

Phone: +43 7956 7255
E-Mail: gemeinde@unterweissenbach.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.unterweissenbach.at

Dirnberg 5, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 8474
E-Mail: gemeinde@st-leonhard.ooe.gv.at
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Biohof Reithmayr
Silberberg 4, 4273 Kaltenberg

Phone: +43 664 5375729
E-Mail: aloismichaela@aon.at
Web: www.biohof-reithmayr.at

Frühstückspension Rührnössl
Schulstraße 6, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 8363
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Gasthof Populorum
Dorfstraße 5, 4282 Pierbach

Phone: +43 7267 8213
E-Mail: almwirt@populorum.at
Web: www.populorum.at

Gasthof Rameder
Hauptstraße 14, 4281 Mönchdorf

Phone: +43 7267 8286
E-Mail: info@rameder.cc
Web: www.gasthof-rameder.at

Gasthof Schwarz **
Pfarrgasse 4, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 8294
Web: www.gasthof-schwarz.at

Gasthof Trinkl
Naarntal 1, 4282 Pierbach

Phone: +43 7267 8219
E-Mail: gasthof.trinkl@aon.at
Web: www.trinkl.tk

Gasthof zur Post
Weitersfelden 1, 4272 Weitersfelden

Phone: +43 7952 6237
E-Mail: gasthof-zurpost@aon.at
Web: www.gasthaus-zurpost.at

Herzogenhof - Hartl
Langfirling 11, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 650 7000143
E-Mail: juliakoegl@gmx.at
Web: herzogenhof.jimdo.com

Highland Farm
Windhagmühl 36, 4252 Liebenau

Phone: +43 664 4138303
E-Mail: info@highland-farm.at
Web: www.highland-farm.at

Hotel Fürst
Markt 11, 4273 Unterweißenbach

Phone: +43 7956 7272
E-Mail: hotel@fuerstlich.at
Web: www.fuerstlich.at

Hüttenurlaub im Hirschalmdorf
Hinterberg 20, 4273 Unterweißenbach

Phone: +43 7956 6900
E-Mail: info@hirschalm.at
Web: www.hirschalm.at

Kaltenberg 15, 4273 Kaltenberg

Phone: +43 7956 79455
E-Mail: admin@kaltenbergerhof.at
Web: www.kaltenbergerhof.at

Kurhotel Bad Zell
Kurhausstraße 9, 4283 Bad Zell

Phone: +43 7263 7566
E-Mail: info@kurhotel-badzell.at
Web: www.kurhotel-badzell.at

Privatzimmer Haunschmid
Am Wimberg 4, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 664 6441677
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Privatzimmer Mittmannsgruber
Mühlbergstraße 12, 4294 Sankt Leonhard bei Freistadt

Phone: +43 7952 8414
Web: www.stleonhard.at

Wirt auf da Hoad
Haid 8, 4280 Königswiesen

Phone: +43 7955 6263
E-Mail: wirt@wirtaufdahoad.at
Web: www.wirtaufdahoad.at

Vis-à-vis users

1. The tours presented for hiking, walking, biking and road biking, mountain biking, motorbiking, horseback riding, climbing, cross-country skiing, and going on skiing and snowshoe tours etc. are to be considered non-paid tour recommendations and only serve as non-binding information. We have no intention of concluding a contract with the users of this website. The utilisation of the data does not lead to the establishment of a contract with us.


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The tour recommendations posted were created with utmost care; nevertheless, we assume no liability for the correctness and completeness of the information.


We point out that neither the tour recommendations included on this website nor the associated data and information were posted by us, but rather by third parties (Art. 16 Austrian E-Commerce Act). We have no influence on whether the details provided (e.g. distance, level of difficulty, change in altitude, description etc.) are authentic, correct and complete. We do not review these third-party contents. For this reason, we assume no liability for the authenticity, correctness and completeness of the information.


Construction-related measures or other influences (e.g. landslides and similar occurrences) can lead to temporary or permanent changes in a route (e.g. loss of a bridge and similar occurrences). Such occurrences can lead to part of the route or the entire route becoming impassable.


The use of the data as well as undertaking (riding, walking, taking etc.) the recommended tours or using the network of paths occurs at users’ own risk and on their authority. In particular, users themselves are responsible for the choice of route, outdoor orientation, adherence to traffic rules, supplies and equipment for tours listed in Point 1 (e.g. bicycle etc.), wearing a helmet, estimating their own fitness, recognising dangers and maintaining an appropriate velocity. We exclude ourselves from any liability whatsoever for damages, in particular accidents, that occur whilst taking part in the recommended tours.


2.Some of the tours lead over roads with normal traffic conditions. Please observe that there is an increased risk which can be avoided by means of appropriate attention and proper estimation and implementation of one’s own abilities. For this reason, please travel a route that is unfamiliar to you slowly and with special care. Pay constant attention to potential dangers and always observe traffic. Do not leave the routes featured in descriptions.


The potential use of private roads, in particular forestry roads and agricultural transport roads, can be subject to legal restrictions, which must be observed and adhered to.


The normal traffic rules apply. Each user (e.g. biker, motorbiker) is responsible for adhering to these rules and maintaining his/her bike/vehicle and its equipment (lights, brakes etc.) in good working order. Each user is also responsible for ensuring that he/she rides at a velocity that is appropriate for the conditions and his/her skill level and for maintaining sufficient distance to the rider in front. We explicitly recommend adjusting velocity to correspond to the respective field of vision, wearing a helmet, using reflective clothing (or similar) and employing bicycle lights in line with regulations.


3.Each tour requires good physical fitness as well as detailed planning. We explicitly recommend only taking the tours in the case of optimal healthiness.


We recommend that you conclude an accident and liability insurance policy. Use an onboard computer that displays the respective kilometres travelled per day and is calibrated for the front wheel.


4.Special for mountain bikers – Fair-play rules:


Mountain biking is one of the most wonderful outdoor leisure-time activities. Whilst biking or on a mountain biking tour, mountains and lakes, meadows and cabins are re-discovered in new ways. A couple of rules for fair play in the forest help to avoid conflicts whilst mountain biking.


a.Pedestrians have the right of way: We are accommodating and friendly to pedestrians and hikers. Upon encountering these fellow travellers, we alert them by using the bicycle bell and slowly overtake them. We avoid paths with heavy pedestrian traffic altogether. Take nature into account: We do not leave refuse behind.

b.The braking distance should be half of the total distance visible: We ride at a controlled pace, are ready to brake and maintain a braking distance half as long as the total distance visible, especially in curves, because we always have to count on obstacles on the path. Damage to the path, stones, branches, wood piles, grazing livestock, cattle grids, barriers, tractor-type forestry machines and authorised vehicles pose dangers that we need to be ready for.

c.Don’t drink and drive!: Do not drink alcohol when mountain biking. Take care at stop-off points (dealing with bike racks, dirty shoes or clothing).

It is obligatory to provide first aid!

d.Marked routes, closed paths and blockades: Keep to the marked routes, observe the blockades and accept that these roads are primarily for agricultural and forestry use!

Blockades can often not be avoided and are in your own interest. Biking beyond the intended path and outside of opening times is punishable and turns us into illegal bikers.

e.We are guests in the forest and behave accordingly, including vis-à-vis forestry and hunting staff. Whilst mountain biking, mobile telephones and music players are forbidden! Biking requires your full attention.

f.Avoid unnecessary noise. Out of consideration to the animals living in the wild, we only bike during full daylight. As a principle, we always wear our helmet (even when riding uphill)! Don’t forget emergency supplies: We always have a repair set and bandages along.

g.Don’t overestimate your skills: We should not overdo it when it comes to biking technique and physical fitness. Take the level of difficulty posed by the route into consideration and make a precise estimate of your experience and skills as a biker (braking, bell, lights)!

h.Close gates: We approach grazing livestock at a walking pace and close every gate behind us. We should avoid causing escape and panic reactions in the animals. Nothing stands in the way of the fun and athletic challenge in the mountains and forests!

i.Traffic rules: The general traffic rules (StVO) apply for all the mountain biking routes and we adhere to them. Our bike therefore needs to be in perfect technical condition and equipped in line with the traffic rules, including brakes, a bell and lights. We inspect and service our mountain bikes regularly anyway.


5.We assume no liability for the contents of external websites; in particular, we assume no liability for their statements and contents. Moreover, we have no influence on the design or contents of the websites to which hyperlinks on www.muehlviertel.at lead or from which hyperlinks lead to www.muehlviertel.at. There is no on-going review of websites to which hyperlinks on www.muehlviertel.at lead or from which hyperlinks lead to www.muehlviertel.at. We do not appropriate the contents of websites to which hyperlinks on www.muehlviertel.at lead or from which hyperlinks lead to www.muehlviertel.at.


Vis-à-vis bloggers


1. Each of your tour recommendations for hiking, walking, biking and road biking, mountain biking, motorbiking, horseback riding, climbing, cross-country skiing, and going on skiing and snowshoe tours etc., along with other details and information, is free of charge. In particular regarding the correctness of the information, we assume no liability, nor do we assume any liability whatsoever for the consequences of the use of your tour recommendation by a third party (in particular by a user of this website). We do not review the tour recommendations you post, including other details and information, at any time.

We have no intention of concluding a contract with persons who post tour recommendations and/or other details and information on this website. Posting data (information) does not imply that a contract has been concluded.

By recommending a tour, we assume special responsibility vis-à-vis other athletes. Please take this responsibility seriously and describe your tour recommendation with utmost care and to the best of your knowledge and belief.


2.Your tour recommendations must therefore clearly and unambiguously include at least the following criteria and provide a sufficiently detailed description:

• Starting point

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If possible, please provide the change in altitude.


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Johannesweg (St. John's pilgrimage route)
Starting place: Pierbach

Duration: 25h

Length: 84 km

Metres of altitude: 2010m


Panoramic view: