A walk through Finkenstein Moor
Finkenstein Moor is an ideal destination for a short hike outside of Villach and even more so in fall and spring, when one is thankful for every ray of sunshine the season still or already has to offer. Then there is the fantastic scenery: Finkenstein Moor is situated at the foot of Mount Mittagskogel, which is probably the most prominent peak of the Karavanke Alps. However, don't forget wellingtons should you walk after a rainy period - after all it's a walk through a moor!
The approximately 6 km long circuit through the moor runs between the villages of Höfling to the West and Faak am See to the East and it is well sign posted as Nordic Walking Trail "Finkensteiner Moor". For such a short circuit it has a lot of variety to offer: while the northern half of the trail leads through meadows and woods, the southern half takes you through the moor and along the Faaker Seebach creek. Also, there is an opportunity to stop for a meal or refreshments in St. Stefan, a small hamlet in the Finkenstein district which is only a 10 minute walk from Höfling, and more opportunities can be found in Faak am See.
On the moor information panels display all sorts of facts about the moor, its flora and fauna. The area may be of special interest for ornithologists; during a scientific survey in the year 2011, no fewer than 102 species of bird were observed, 42 of them from Carinthia's Red List. But the moor is not only an important habitat and breeding ground; it is also a feeding and resting place during the migration period. Furthermore, the moor is home to some rare butterflies and dragonflies plus a particularly endangered species of orchid.
In Austria, such a huge, pristine wetland, unspoilt by the sprawl of housing, like the Finkenstein Moor, has become a rarity. As a result, the Finkenstein Moor was declared a nature reserve in 1984. In addition to the actual low moor with its extended reed banks, the nature reserve nowadays also encompasses adjacent straw meadows. The Faaker Seebach creek ensures the permanent moisture saturation of this moor; areas of lower ground are also fed by water sources from the Mittagskogel massif and from the nearby Kanzianiberg.
Finkenstein Moor is in the municipality of Finkenstein: 9584 Finkenstein
You can read about the Nordic Walking Trail here.
Well known for its steaks:
Kirchenwirt St. Stefan is well known for its steaks. Further details area available here.