For half the year, a perfectly picturesque park with hiking trails sits at the base of the Hochschwab Mountains in Tragoess, Styria in Austria. The stunning alpine scenery attracts hikers seeking serenity that can only be found in the great outdoors.
A strange phenomenon takes place the other half of the year, transforming the area into an underwater world, conjuring up images of Atlantis. The summer months transform a small pond in the otherwise dry winter hiking spot into Green Lake, which can reach depths up to 32 feet, or 10 meters. The result is an eerily astonishing underwater hiking world.
As the temperature rises and the snow begins to melt off the surrounding mountains, trails, trees, bridges and benches are immersed in crystal clear water. Outdoor enthusiasts trade in hiking boots for scuba gear and swim through this alternate hiking universe, straight out of a sci-fi movie.
Those who have explored the underwater hiking trails say that few words can describe the totally unique experience.
Curious about underwater hiking? Water levels are typically highest in June, making it the perfect time to take the plunge. You’ll want to bring a wet suit, as the water temperature is usually below 50 degrees, even in the summertime. You will also need to secure a diving ID card from a nearby hotel/restaurant, which will also lend you the required gear if you haven’t got your own. Bring an underwater camera, too. The water appears to distort the underwater park, inspiring Dali-esque images.
The area is also known for epic mountain biking and hiking trails, which you’ll want to explore if you stop by in the summer months. To truly appreciate the contrast, you’ll need to come back in the winter months to see the park in its above-ground state. There are several ski resorts nearby, so you’ll have an excuse to return to the area.