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Taubensee from Kössen

Taubensee is a small alpine lake in the Chiemgau alps region. At an elevation of about 1100m, it is one of Germany’s lakes with the highest elevation. Or rather, half of it – because the border of Germany and Austria runs right through the middle of the lake. :)

On a previous attempt, I wanted to hike it from Reit im Winkl, but storms had devastated the forest, and the signs leading the way were destroyed. Parts of the trail were also buried under fallen trees. Now the signage for hikes in that area is generally very reliable, because it’s a very popular tourist destination – relying on it entirely though at that time, without bringing a map, I feared getting lost on one of the numerous unsigned forest roads.

So back then, I called it quits at some point where I could still retrace my steps back to the car. The new hiking shoes that I wore for the first time, which caused blisters on both of my heels, might have made that decision much easier – to get defeated by such a simple hike is otherwise a shame, of course. ;)

So this time, I began my hike in Kössen in Tyrol/Austria, which is also the shorter route – at least compared to the option from Reit im Winkl in Germany. I was late to start the hike because of the weather – typically for Germany in mid August, it was raining in the morning, and only cleared up in the afternoon. This turned out to be quite a blessing, because I was about the only person up there.

There’s a nice restaurant up at the lake, serving hearty dishes that are mostly typical for the region. Because their business was really quiet on that day they were about to close, but were kind enough to still serve me – an early cold supper and beer was most welcome after the hike uphill through the warm and humid forest.

The lake itself lies in a small depression, mostly surrounded by forest. Little use-trails line its shores, both in Austria and Germany. :) By the time I got there it was almost 6pm and though sunset is late in summer, shadows were getting longer and the light was getting really nice. I lazily explored the trail on the northern (German) shore of the lake, enjoying the silence and solitude. After spending an hour it was time to head back to make sure I’d still have some daylight left for the hike back down to my car.

*) literally “Dove Lake” but according to Wikipedia, the name may actually come from a local dialect word for some kind of crawfish that can be found in the lake – they’re called “Daupn” in dialect, and the lake was also called “Daubensee” before the D got swapped for a T at some point in time.

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