Thrilling Ahrntal valley: Reinbach waterfalls
Contemplative routes along the water
A path winds through Reinbach gorge, which is named after St. Francis of Assisi and is meant to show walkers the scale and beauty of nature, as set out in St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun. From the district of Bad Winkel in the municipality of Sand in Taufers, you reach a gateway that symbolises entry to the Path of Contemplation. From there, the well-laid woodland trail leads without much effort to the lowest waterfall in a short space of time. This is where the first of the ten Points of Contemplation may be found. The points are based on the thoughts and statements of St. Francis. There are sculptures and written panels along the way referring to 'Sister Water' and 'Brother Fire' inviting walkers to pause and meditate on them.
From Christuskopf to the Chapel of Franz and Klara
Above the smaller lower waterfall, which is around ten metres in height, there is a striking rock that has always been called 'Christuskopf' by the locals thanks to its resemblance to a head. The path to both higher waterfalls, which tumble earthwards for 15 and 50 metres, is not as easy. A good pair of walking boots and even a waterproof cape to protect against spraying water is recommended for this stretch. At the upper Reinbach waterfall, the path leads over a bridge to the other side of the gorge. You can get to the end of the walk on a woodland path from this point: the Chapel of Franz and Klara. This stands on the ruins of Toblburg castle and was thoroughly renovated in 1982, just as it was falling into ruin. It is not just possible to reach it by taking the St. Francis path along the waterfall, but also by the much shorter and easier 'Klaraweg' path. You can stop off along the way for a spot of contemplation at the 'Klara Gartl' garden, which contains a life-size statue of St. Francis.