Tirol is at its best at the beginning of autumn, with bright sunshine, pleasant temperatures (between 20 and 25 degrees) and colourful leaves just starting to fall from the trees. It’s also the best time for hiking. One of the most beautiful and easiest hiking tours in Tirol is the Stone Pine pathway – an Alpine trail, connecting the cities of Innsbruck and Hall.
Start by taking the Patscherkofelbahn cable car from Innsbruck’s Igls district and, before you start hiking, visit the mountain station’s remarkable Alpine flower garden.
The trail gently undulates but remains at an altitude of around 2,000-metres as it meanders for around seven kilometres to the Glungezerbahn mountain station at Tulfeinalm. The Stone Pine trees here are up to 600-years old and are among the largest in the Alps.
The view of the Inn Valley and the Northern Chain mountains is spectacular, yet Innsbruck city is still within reach. After about 45 minutes of walking, you reach the Boscheben mountain inn – a perfect place for a rest stop. Here, the view opens-up across the Viggartal Valley and the southern area of the Central Alps. After another hour and a half of walking, you reach the Tulfeinalm pasture hut, which serves up tempting Tirol delicacies.
Take the chairlift down to Halsmarter where the ‘Eagle Eye’ awaits – telescopes are set up at several points along the Eagle Walk; peer through to see the pathway of this long-distance trail. The first telescope was set up here just a few weeks ago at 1,550-metres above sea level.
Through this telescope, you can see Stage 12 of the Eagle Walk, as it traces across the Northern Chain. The Eagle Eye also gives information about the surrounding summits and other landmarks in the area.
After another chairlift, you arrive at Tulfes, which sits above the medieval town of Hall. From here, you can catch a bus to Igls and Innsbruck or Hall. The lifts are open daily until September 30th as well as during good-weather weekends in October. Stage information (maps, GPS points and an exact route description) is available here.