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Petronell-Carnuntum

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Petronell-Carnuntum

The traces of forestry operations from former times can still be seen, with expansive stands of hybrid poplars. The overgrown stands of hthose poplars are thick in places.


In areas where logging operations formerly took place, National Park management is now planting native trees like the Black and White Poplar, grey alder, white elm, Prunus padus (hackberry), and willows.

Broad expanses of water are characteristic of these wetlands. Apart from the wide Petronell arm of the Danube, there are numerous forks and trenches which are connected to the river when waters are high. This makes it an ideal habitat for a variety of waterfowl.

Because the area is cut off from the main current, reed beds have been able to form. These are often used by the common moorhen and the little grebe. Even the purple heron may occasionally be sighted.

The countless shells that may be seen at low water levels are a sign of good water quality.

Please heed our code of conduct and show respect for wildlife and other park visitors!

4 km
approx. 1,5 hours

Wooden trail markers labelled “DONAU” (Danube)
Trail is impassable during times of high water and flooding!

Petronell Walking Trail

Starting point:
Parking lot at the end of “Lange Gasse” in Petronell-Carnuntum, where sign reads “Parkplatz für Auwaldbesucher,“ meaning this lot is specially designated for wetlands visitors. This is not a circular trail – walkers must take the same route there and back. It is possible to follow the towpath all the way to Bad Deutsch Altenburg.
 

From the parking lot, the trail crosses pastures and meadows dotted with giant oaks and poplars. After the gate, follow the forestry road as it veers right; the Petronell river arm comes into sight soon afterwards. As the trail runs along the backwaters, it becomes an acoustic treat: listen for the calls of the Grey Heron, kingfisher and the moorhen from the reed beds. From the traverse one can also spot the same waterfowl and with some luck, mallards and great egrets as well. East of the traverse, look for traces of the area’s busy beavers. The trail turns northward, passing a deep pothole – a veritable Eldorado for amphibians and dragonflies. The last portion of the trail before reaching the Danube is dominated by black walnut trees. Their lemon-scented fruit is especially noticeable in the autumn. As the trail joins the towpath, look for the stately White Poplar bearing high-water markings. Follow the towpath in an easterly direction, with a view of the Schwalbeninsel, or “swallow island.