The mountain villages of Vent (cradle of the Alpine Association) and Obergurgl (Tirol's highest parish), as well as Niederthai/Umhausen and Gries/Längenfeld are located right at the heart of the Ötztal Nature Park – making a perfect base for mountain exploration.
The splendid Ötztal Nature Park comprises a number of almost untouched, protected mountain areas in the Ötztal Alps and Stubai Alps which are characterized by fascinating high Alpine landscapes and huge glacier regions. Obergurgl's protected Stone Pine Forest and the unspoilt forest areas in Sölden's Windachtal feature century-old stone pone populations. Gurgler Kamm ridge is a UNESCO Biosphere Park focusing on scientific research on the inter-action and development of both man and nature. The precipitous Engelswand rock face near Umhausen, an official Tirolean and European Natura 2000 Preserve, offers an insight into the varied flora and fauna in an almost vertical habitat. Another protected area can be found at the entrance to the Ötztal: the huge Achstürze-Piburger See region boasts an idyllic mountain lake amidst a huge rockslide area.
The 5 main aims of the Ötztal Nature Park are to protect nature, preserve unspoilt landscapes, increase recreational values and promote scientific and cultural research in the region.
Both the Ötztal Nature Park association and administration office can be found in Obergurgl.
- Nature Park since 19 Sep 2006
- Size: 510 km²
- Tirol's second biggest in size
- Austria's third biggest in size
- 95 km² of glacier surface
- 67 glaciers
- 100 km of high Alpine mountain trails
- 6 theme trails
- 152 mountains higher than 3000 meters
- 48 mountain huts and pastures
- Tirol's biggest waterfall
- Natural history research center
- High Alpine archaeology