Established in 2003, Gesäuse is Austria’s newest national park, set in a pristine region of jagged mountain ridges, rock towers, deep valleys, alpine pastures and dense spruce forests. It is washed by the Enns River, which is a favourite of rafting connoisseurs, and a number of companies offer rafting trips during the summer months. Hiking and mountain climbing, and to a lesser extent mountain biking, also feature among the park’s outdoor activities.
Among the six peaks over 2000m within the park, Hocktor (2369m) is the highest and is popular among hikers.
The park has been given Genussregion status, meaning it is known for a particular speciality, in this case game. A great majority of the food served in the huts, guesthouses and park cafes is local and organic. Apart from a few mountain huts, you'll need to sleep in Admont or Johnsbach.
The park is easily reached by the daily afternoon train to Gstatterboden from May to early September (€4.50, 15 minutes) and Johnsbach im Nationalpark (€4.50, 10 minutes). Buses connect the park with Admont (bus 912; €4.50, 17 minutes, three to eight daily), via Bachbrücke/Weidendom (€4.50, 12 minutes). You can also call ahead for a Rufbus, which operates daily from Admont Bahnhof to Johnsbach (€9.50) between 8am and 8pm from May to October. This can drop you off close to Gstatterboden im Nationalpark. Cycling out here is also an option. Pörl Sportshop in Admont rents out bikes.