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Reviews from Austria

Ehrenberg ruins - Austria (near Neuschwanstein)
Directions: Head south on the highway towards Reutte (I think A7).  Shortly after passing the South Reutte exit is the turnoff on the right for the ruins (no sign).  Parking is right near the road.
Trails: There are 4 ruins in the area.  At the parking area is the "toll plaza" castle that is being rebuilt and eventually will be a museum. Note that all signs in the ruin areas have German on one side and English on the other side.  There are 2 ways up to the lower castle.The steeper, true trail way up is some where at the head of the parking area (I didn't find it).  The way most people go is the narrow dirt road that has a barrier in front of it.  Go up the hill for about 20 minutes in the trees to reach the ruins and then explore.The trail way up to the upper ruins starts at the left corner of the ruin area as you face the castle (before getting to the castle itself). It's a steep trail that will have you huffing and took me 30 minutes to get to the top.  It's a larger ruin area at the top of the small mountain.  Explore some more.  The way down (unless you want to take the true trail back down) is through the ruin tunnels and then taking the narrow dirt road down - it's longer than the steep trail and eventually connects with the road that goes up to the lower ruins.The 4th ruin is on the mountain on the other side of the road and I don't know where the trail for that starts (you can slightly see that ruin from the top of the upper castle ruins).
Area: Mountain and forests and castle ruins.
Recommendation: Very much so.  The ruins are very neat and the true trails are nice
(the dirt roads aren't, but oh well).

Hike down from Hallstatt Saltmine - Austria
Directions: From where ever you park in Hallstatt (hotel or parking areas), wander your way towards the tram. (Salt mine tour worth doing)
Trails: The trail starts to the left of the building at the top of the tram and heads down the whole way.  At first it is wooden steps through the trees and then a narrow rocky trail along the stream. After crossing the bridge, the trail has a cement floor and continues going down.  Shortly after passing the wooden shack, hook a right and head down towards Hallstatt (and back on a dirt trail).  The trail comes out in the Catholic cemetery (and somewhere near by is the Bone House).
About an hour hike.
Area: Mountains and forests and some views of Hallstatt lake.
Recommendation: Kind of pretty, but not that exciting.  The kitschish tour is fun.

Lake Gosau - Austria
Directions: From Hallstatt, drive away from town towards Bad Goisern.  Take a left at the fork in the road a short ways from town and head to Gosau.  At Gosau, take a left at the road with the sign saying Lake Gosau that way.  Drive to the end and park in one of the parking areas.
Trails: There is a wide, dirt-gravel road that loops around the large Lake Gosau.  It's a level hike around the lake.  It is pretty,  though with granite peaks visible above the lake.  At the back end of Lake Gosau, another dirt road heads up to Back Lake Gosau. The sign at the trail junction says it's an hour hike to the upper lake (reality is a little less).  It is a slight grade up most of the way, but does get steeper (no switchbacks) as you get closer to the lake.  While you're huffing up the trail, curse the sign that says 10 minutes to go (again, actually less).  The upper lake is very pretty and I enjoyed the views of the lake, mountains, and glaciers.  The granite peaks are right above the lake and I had pretty fall colors.  I stopped near the top of the lake (it was getting late), but the trail continue around the  lake and I believe there is a trail into the mountains.  There is a small farm at the far side of the lake and some cows. I didn't note how long I took to do this hike, but I'm guessing 3 hours.
Area: Large lake in a valley, smaller (but still good sized) upper lake with granite peaks above, forests
Recommendation: If you are in the area, the upper lake is very pretty.  Hiking
on dirt roads is not my ideal type of hiking, though.







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