Brine Pipeline Trail
Upper Austria, Austria
Distance: 25 miles (40 km)
Time: 3 days
Surface: Mountain Trails, Wooden Planks
The Brine Pipeline Trail follows the route of the Brine Pipeline, the oldest pipeline in the world. Construction began in 1595 and took ten years to complete. Built to run 25 miles (40 km) through the mountains and valleys of the Dachstein region of Upper Austria, from Lake Halstatt to Lake Traunsee, it took brine-water with approximately 26 percent salt content-from Halstatt, the most productive salt mine in the entire Salzkammergut, to a new salt processing works in Ebensee. It was the continuing development of a long tradition. Salt had been produced in Halstatt for 7,000 years, and to walk the Brine Pipeline Trail now not only gets you in touch with the beauty of the Dachstein, but it also is an education in the production of salt.
The Brine Pipeline Trail follows the course set by the astonishing 13,000 hollowed-out trees that made up its pipes. The first day’s walking is from Ebensee to Bad Ischl-a demanding 12 miles (20 km). From Bad Ischl, you walk to the village of Lauffen, once a place of pilgrimage for local people who would come here to pray for deliverance from the wild, untamed waters of the flood-prone Traun River, and from there to the village of Bad Goisern-a total of 6 miles (9.6km). The final day is a 6-mile (9.6-km) walk along the western shoreline of Lake Halstatt to its historic salt mine, which continued to mine salt until the 1960s.
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