In spring, it is primarily the migrating ducks, waders, gulls, and terns, as well as many breeding birds, that attract visitors to the colourfully blossoming area. Meanwhile, the southward migration of waders (in particular) in the hot and dry summers, though richer as far as individuals are concerned, traditionally draws less attention. Only in late autumn does the Lange Lacke experience its next inrush of nature enthusiasts, when thousands of nordic geese (mainly Greater White-fronted Goose and Greylag Goose) return to roost every evening, landing clamorously around dusk. If conditions are good (no closed snow cover and sufficient open water for drinking, bathing, and sleeping), the geese remain in the area until spring and offer observers plenty of opportunity to scan the flocks for rare species (Lesser White-fronted Goose, Red-breasted Goose, Brent Goose).
The 8 km-long, entirely flat circuit route can be reached from different sides. Depending on available time, the position of the sun, and current water levels, it is also possible to visit just part of the Lange Lacke area. The starting point for this route is the parking area of the Nationalpark-Stüberl. A short path leads to an observation tower and to the gravel path that leads all the way around the lake - this path can be accessed by walking or cycling. Follow this path to the east. The tower is useful to judge if parts of the Lange Lacke have fallen dry. The peninsula on the southern shore is home to a colony of Black-headed Gull during the breeding season, which is also often used by Mediterranean Gull. At suitable water levels, the shallow areas here are also good for observing waders (Ruff, Kentish Plover, Dunlin). The observation tower 2 on the south-eastern shore offers a good view of the eastern part of the Lange Lacke. In winter, this is also a good place for scanning the huge flocks of geese. The surrounding meadows are often frequented by Eurasian Curlew. After running close to the road for a little stretch, the path then turns north and continues for about 250 m beside an old windbreak , which is particularly attractive for thrushes in winter. While the “Lukas-Hoffmann-Naturpfad” can be followed on foot, bicyclists need to take a slight detour.
The observation tower in the north-east of the circuit 4 offers a view of almost the entire "Östliche Wörthenlacke". This saline lake is a popular place for various ducks, geese, and waders, and often still holds water once the Lange Lacke has completely dried out. Mute Swan occurs here in particularly large numbers. The high rabbit density occasionally attracts Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon, and Merlin is a regular winter guest. A number of Avocet often rear their young on the "Katschitzllacke" (also known as the "Östliche Hutweidenlacke") to the west of the tower. After about 700 m, one reaches the "Westliche Wörthenlacke" where high water levels allow close views on Northern Lapwing, Common Redshank, Little Ringed Plover or Spotted Redshank.
Terrain and HabitatWetland, Plain, Steppe, Grassland
ConditionsFlat, Open landscape, No shadow
Is a telescope useful?Yes
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring migration, Autumn migration
Difficulty walking trailEasy
Accessible byFoot, Bicycle, Wheelchair
Birdwatching hide / platformYes
Take enough water with you!