Walderstr. 5, Absam
phone (0043) 5223 57916
Salt mining has left its mark in numerous parts of the Halltal valley, for salt was mined from tunnels for more than 700 years. Way back in the late 13th century, the mountain was flooded with water from the highest shaft, the ‘Wasserberg’ at an elevation of 1,635 metres (5,365 ft.), to dissolve the salt.
Once maximum salt saturation had been achieved in the chambers, the salt solution or brine was transported downhill via a timber pipeline or conduit to the saltworks in Hall nine kilometres (five miles away). It was boiled in large pans in pan houses until it evaporated, leaving behind only salt crystals.
Hike along the salt trail and follow the tracks of salt mining from Maximilian’s Fountain to the ‘Herrenhaus’ (Officers Headquarters), where you can venture into one of the main eight shafts which were cut into the mountain from 1272 to 1808.
On the salt trail in the Halltal valley you find eleven sites for adults and children with historical photos and information on the history and importance of the site, including quiz questions for kids.
Stops on the „Historic salt trail"
1 Maximilian’s Fountain
2 Miners’ Chapel
3 Storage shelters
5 Bettelwurf bend
6 Little Beech Wood
7 Sun Bridge
8 Saint Mary Magdalene
9 Ferdinand Tunnel
10 Officers Headquarters
11 King Max Tunnel (1492)
Start: Absam Maximilian’s Fountain
Finish: King Max Tunnel
Distance: 7 km
Times (one way): 2 hours
Metres in altitude: 620 m
The scenery along the Historic Salt Trail is magnicent and unique: Precipitous peaks and vertical limestone faces, fascinating vegetation and emerald streams – far away from civilisation.
The Karwendel region captivates with its magic. Once Emperor Maximilian’s preserve, it was saved from development and has remained a gem of natural beauty to date.
The Karwendel Nature Park is the largest nature park in Austria and the largest Tyrolean protected area, famous for the Großer Ahornboden and the source of the Isar River, and covers an area of over 739 square kilometers.