Unterwegs im Lechwald | © Graz Tourismus

In the realm of the Leechwald squirrels

From the Mariatrost basilica, head through Leechwald forest to the idyllic Hilmteich pond. A variety-packed hike for the versatile.

This eventful hike takes you past the Mariatrost Basilica, through the Leechwald forest to the idyllic Hilmteich pond. With a little luck, you will encounter the so-called Leechwald hansi, as the small, acrobatic inhabitants of the forests are called here. But squirrels are not the only highlights of this tour. Right at the beginning, the basilica and large pilgrimage church of Mariatrost amazes you with its baroque splendor.


Another gem in the middle of the greenery is the Hilmteich. Whether in summer with a shady picnic under the trees, in autumn enjoying the wonderful colors of nature, during winter ice skating or in spring to let the first warm rays of sunshine shine on your skin during a walk, the Hilmteich is always worth a visit.





Arrival by car: You can reach the provincial capital Graz directly via the A2 or A9 freeway.
From the Graz Region Tourist Information, head to Hauptplatz and take tram line 1 towards Mariatrost to the end of the line. Once you arrive in green Mariatrost, take the steps or the asphalted road to the basilica on the Purberg. From the basilica, the asphalted and slightly uphill hiking trail 80 leads past the Gottscheer memorial to Roseggerweg. Follow the “Häuserl im Wald” and “Hilmteich” signs. Staying on trail 80, you then come to the “Häuserl im Wald”. Pass the inn and you will reach the turnoff for Rettenbacher Straße. Turn left onto the forest path. This is lined with 60 to 80-year-old spruce and pine trees. You then pass St. Rita’s chapel and enter the quiet and green Leechwald forest on trail 80. Stay on the paved path and you will soon reach the “Human Rights Trail”. This leads past the former Count Kottulinsky Foundation for Styrian artists and fi nally arrives at the Hilmwarte. It serves as a weather radar research station for FH Joanneum Research, but is unfortunately not open to the public. Also note the small tower watchmen’s house! 

On the meandering path down towards Hilmteich, with a bit of luck you might encounter Leechwald squirrels. Just before the end of the route, the “WIKI Adventure Park” spreads out in front of you. Do you have any energy left? Then test your skills on one of the seven courses. Once you reach your destination, a wonderful view opens up of the idyllic Hilmteich pond and the Hilmteichschlössl (“Café Purberg”), where you can drink a coff ee or take a boat trip. (Tip: You can also ice skate here in winter!) Tram line 1 towards Eggenberg/UKH will take you back to the city centre.

Basilica Mariatrost, Gottscheer Memorial Site


In winter you can also ice skate at the Hilmteich!

Getting there: Tram line 1 towards Mariatrost to the last stop Getting back: Tram line 1 towards Eggenberg/UKH

Essen & Trinken

Sehen & Erleben


Picture Gallery