Highline 179 in Reutte Austria
Whenever I mention the Highline 179 to people who have driven through Austria, they all know the bridge but many have never ventured to cross it. We found the Highline 179 to be the prefect hike for our whole family. It combines a thrilling bridge crossing with two castles and stunning views. In my opinion it is worth a stop.
We stayed at Hotel Gasthof Klause, which houses a museum about medieval times and the beginning of the trail to the bridge.
The hike begins by heading from the parking lot up some switchbacks. They are signed with little stories and quizzes about the area.
Although steep, the hike is quite easy – 20 minutes. The boys were able to run up the paths without us having much fear of them falling.
Near the top you can turn to the right to head to the suspension bridge entrance or continue up the hill to the castle. We opted to go check out the castle ruins.
The boys found a variety of snails and other creepy crawlies as we explored the castle ruins.
If you follow the castles wall all the way to the far end of the castle you will be treated to sweeping views and a sword in the stone. The boys, who are familiar with the story of King Arthur, each took a turn to see if they could pull the sword from the stone.
The views from the castle are worth the climb. So even if you don’t want to cross the bridge this little hike is worth checking out.
We took one last look at the bridge we were about to cross and the castle on the other side and headed down to the bridge’s gated entrance.
The Highline 179 is open daily from 8am to 10pm. You need a ticket to cross which can be purchased via ticket machines at the entrance to the bridge. However, if you want to get the children’s ticket price or the family ticket you need to purchase your tickets at the ticket center in the museum.
I am not afraid of heights but the first few steps on to the bridge were frightening. Once I stepped on I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the view and the crossing. We wore our two littles just to make things a bit easier (and less anxiety inducing) as we crossed the bridge. But don’t worry for your little ones because the sides of the bridge have only small holes – a kid couldn’t fit through.
The walk across is just stunning. You have to remind yourself to look down and back from where you came. I was a bit afraid of dropping my phone, so I was cautious about taking too many photos.
The Big Little and I were the first to complete the crossing. He was amazed by the large suspension cables holding the bridge up.
The other side of the bridge also had the World Record Certificate for the 402 meter Tibet-style footbridge.
We just couldn’t get enough photos.
Soon, the stragglers, Jeff and the Middle Little came off the bridge as well.
We grabbed a family photo with my parents from the far side of the bridge since you get both the castle and the bridge in the photo.
Then we started the beautiful walk down this side of the valley. The walk down was more exposed and a bit steep. We needed the walking sticks in a few places and we tried to keep the boys close together to avoid any falls.
The wildflowers were in full bloom and absolutely stunning.
The hike down kicks out onto a dirt road. You have to walk on the road for a bit to get back to the museum and your car. It being a beautiful weekend day in the summer there were quite a few cars driving down the road. It was important to keep the kids together. Soon enough though we could see the bridge again and knew our hotel and car were parked under it.
The Big Little found this amazing bug in the field as we walked. We studied him for a while before getting back on our way.
With a little time to spare we popped into the museum. The exhibitions were not in English but there was plenty for the kids to discover and touch. Our admission was included in our hotel stay.
The boys’ favorite part was a whole room full of knight gear just their size. They loved trying it all on and seeing how heavy it was.
A little room to the left when you enter the museum is part of the exhibition, but looks like it is often completely forgotten. Despite the museum being crowded, this room was completely empty. This room focuses on nature in the area and had lots of hands-on exhibits.
The Highline 179 stop is perfect for a family with kids, particularly as a way to break up a long drive day. The hike is easy and the stop packs a punch with the bridge, castle, hike and museum. (Plus the hotel has a super nice wooden castle playground you can enjoy!)