If you are looking for some wilderness within the city of Graz, the Reinerkogel hill is great spot for a 500 m climb up through pretty woodland. It’s situated between Andritz and Geidorf and can be reached by tram (Robert-Stolz-Gasse #4 /#5) – walk up Weg zum Reinerkogel and look out for the Jakobsleiter (Jacobs Ladder) stairs going up the hill.
Built in 1903 there are over 400 steps so a good work out! You can head up straight up to the clearing at the top of Reinerkogel (with nice views of the Schlossberg and Graz between the trees)
Or you can turn off onto any of the small paths and follow them up to the top. There are lots of paths all around the hill which are fun to explore and the woods are very pretty with beech trees and flowers.
If you want to do a circular walk (or a one way return easy walk to the top avoiding the steps), we drive our car around to the other side (pretty but tiny roads!) and park at the parking area at 54 Viktor-Zack-Weg.
From there its short walk up along a nice wide path to the clearing at the top, you can then expore the other paths on the other sides before returning the way you came. Or for a longer 1 hour circular tour (returning on small roads), look for the two wooden benches facing each other in the hill top clearing and take the path behind them down the hill.
You will soon notice a wire fence on your right side, take the path when it splits to the right, running alongside the bottom of the fence and cut across the hill. This path will lead you to the Jacobsleiter steps (head down the hill from here). Alternatively you can continue exploring the paths going down the hill (instead of turning right at the fence) but make a right eventually to take one of the paths back to the Jacobsleiter (there are quite a few fallen trees on these paths but easy to climb over or under).
Once at the bottom of Jacobsleiter, turn right following the Weg zum Reinerkogel road back up the hill where you’ll pass by some pretty villas. Keep going past the PrivateWeg sign where the road turns in a dirt road for a section and continue onto Reinerweg, past a few uglier modern houses but with a nice views across to the mountains. You will then come back onto Viktor-Zack-Weg and turn right back up to the parking area.
Here is an alternative 1.5 -2 hr one way hike using public transport at both ends. From Robert-Stolz-Gasse tram stop #4 /#5 continue up the Jacobsleiter, back down over the other side and then follow the country lanes down to the Wirtschaftskammer (bus #39)
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