The Kneipp and Mill Walking Trail at Kaning
If you're looking for a diversified family attraction, the Kneipp and Mill Walking Trail at Kaning, on the southern border of the Nockberge National Park, could be your destination. Starting point of the trail is at the Türkhaus, just before the mountain village of Kaning. From there on the trail follows the wildly romantic course of the Rossbachgraben. The trail is only 3km long. Its mills, Kneipp basins, playgrounds, benches to rest and BBQ places make this walk a very attractive excursion for the whole family, small children included. From the Pentecost weekend on, the Türkhaus and the show mill open their doors to hikers.
The walking trail starts at the parking lot in front of the Türkhaus. The 500-year-old farmhouse serves various communal purposes: There are an information centre of the Nockberge National Park, an outpost of the Museum of Folk Art and Tradition at Spittal/Drau and a permanent exhibition about mining around the Kaning area. There is also a gallery for the local artist Günther Frey (1923-2010) and space for special local exhibitions and events.
Then the Kneipp and Mill Walking Trail starts. Embedded in shady green, you will soon experience the first sounds of the water: Its murmurs and whispers intensify during the course of the trail, they will become your companions throughout your hike. The water is omnipresent: It's a rather quiet creek at the beginning, however it develops into a roaring torrent with rocks piling up on both sides at other parts of the walking trail. All over the trail, water invites you to play, be it in Kneipp basins, at fountains, miniature mills or the Rossbach itself.
Six out of 22 mills are still preserved at the Rossbachgraben. In earlier times every farm in the vicinity had its own mill here. The farmers used to channel off water and lead it over a softly sloped gutter - the 'wihr' - to the mill. There it rushed through the 'Ursch' and caused the 'Floder' (a wooden archetype of the turbine) to rotate and produce the energy needed to drive the mill stones. The Neuwirt-Mühle, almost at the beginning of the walking trail, is a show mill where you can see such a Floder-mill at work. The freshly milled flour and other farmer's products (bread, biscuits, schnapps) are for sale.
There is wood for general use at the BBQ places. The wood may sometimes be wet, in which case the lighting of the fire may become a challenge for the dads. For lovers of simplicity, just cut branches and spit the sausages. The first BBQ place is within easy walking distance of the parking lot and therefore a popular place for parties.
Those who long for more exercise can continue hiking from the Adams-Mühle, at the peak of the Kneipp and Mill Walking Trail. From there you can hike to several (serviced) mountain pastures and alpine huts within the southern reaches of the Nockberge National Park.
Don't forget supplies for a BBQ and remember to take towels. A change of clothes for little ones is recommended.