RS rastenbachklamm
RS rastenbachklamm

Rastenbach Gorge

The Rastenbach Gorge with its waterfalls extends across the slope between Castelvecchio in Caldaro and Lake Caldaro.

In the heart of the Castelvecchio Forest there’s a gorge, which represents a refreshing place and a popular hiking destination in summer thanks to its typical vegetation. The gorge with its waterfalls and water basins, with the small Rio di Castelvecchio brook which flows through the area and with the stones and tree trunks covered with moss and ivy, is protected as a biotope and put under protection. The area around Castelvecchio (Altenburg) was settled very early, lead ores were mined here between the 15th and 17th century. A testimony of this long settlement history is the St. Peter’s Basilica, presumably the oldest church of Tyrol.

A special highlight: The Rastenbach Gorge features the first secured bat cave of South Tyrol. It creates a protected area for species such as the greater horseshoe bat, the largest of the horseshoe bats in Europe (with a maximum weight of 30 gram), and the greater mouse-eared bat (max. 40 gram), a large bat which was nominated cave animal of the year in 2011 in Germany. Since 1995, the cave has been protected by a fence in order to allow the bat species to enter and exit it, but which makes it inaccessible for bigger animals and humans.

You can choose the starting point for the round walk to the gorge: It can be started either in San Giuseppe on the shore of Lake Caldaro (2.5 to 3 hours) or at the Müllereck parking space in Castelvecchio (1.5 hours), so to say at the upper end of the slope. Also the Peace Trail which leads past the above mentioned St. Peter’s Basilica is part of the tour. Sturdy shoes and surefootedness are necessary due to slippery sections, bridges and stairways!

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