The Ötztal Nature Park
the protected areas in the Ötztal
The Ötztal Nature Park was founded on September 19, 2006 and is now seen as the overarching umbrella for all protected areas in the Ötztal.
It is home to a number of particularly natural areas of different protected area categories: the two quiet areas Ötztal Alps and Stubai Alps, natural monument Obergurgler Zirbenwald, natural forest reserves in Windachtal, UNESCO biosphere park Gurgler Kamm, nature reserve Engelswand, the protected landscape area Rauher Bichl and the landscape protection area Achstürze - Piberger See. The area around the Tschirgant landslide was only recently placed under protection and is not yet part of the Ötztal Nature Park. An integration of this protected area is aspired.
With an area of 510 km2 this is the 2nd largest nature park in Tyrol and the 3rd largest in Austria. The 67 glaciers reach a total area of incredible 95 km2. In addition, we can enjoy the highest waterfall in Tyrol, the Stuibenfall in Umhausen. Our nature park includes 100 km of high alpine trail networks with 6 different themed trails, 152 mountains over 3,000 meters and still 48 huts and alpine pastures.
Ötztal Nature Park Association
The management of the Ötztal Nature Park is the responsibility of the association of the same name based in Obergurgl. The members of the association include the 6 Ötztal communities of Haiming, Sautens, Oetz, Umhausen, Längenfeld and Sölden, Ötztal Tourism, the Austrian Federal Forests, the Austrian Alpine Association and the province of Tyrol.
Goals & Tasks
of the Ötztal Nature Park
The natural area should be secured in its diversity and beauty through sustainable use and the cultural landscape should be preserved.
The landscape designated as a nature park should offer attractive and well-maintained recreational facilities (e.g., hiking trails, adventure playgrounds).
Through interactive forms of grasping and experiencing nature as well as through educational offers, nature, culture and their interrelationships can be experienced. (e.g. adventure trails, guided tours, exhibitions, etc.).
This pillar is a very important one, especially in the Ötztal, as intensive natural history research has been carried out at the Obergurgl University Center for over 50 years. This applied research is supported by NATURPARK ÖTZTAL.
The nature park should provide impulses for regional value creation and development by means of projects/initiatives (e.g. direct marketing, public relations, etc.). The NATURPARK ÖTZTAL should develop as a kind of "brand" and bring corresponding added value.