About Golling Waterfalls
The Golling Waterfalls consisted of a main waterfall, which turned out to be a lower waterfall, as well as a very concealed upper waterfall. That upper waterfall was concealed because it managed to punch a hole in a wall revealing a natural bridge that I believe was called the Hexenkesselsteg (or Witches Cauldron).
Together the Schwarzbach Creek was said to have a cumulative drop of 76m over the waterfalls. The main lower waterfall probably dropped on the order of 30m or so, and it was by far the more accessible of the two. The upper drop is said to be taller at 45m but given its concealed location, it was harder to tell if that height figure was true or not.
From the car park (see directions below), we walked towards the kiosk, where we paid a modest fee of 6 euros for two adults. Our daughter got in free. Then, we followed a flat walk towards another kiosk that wasn’t operational during our visit.
Next, the trail followed the Schwarzbach (Black Creek) upstream less than 200m before arriving at a curve right in front of the impressive Lower Golling Waterfall. Along the way, we noticed a mill on the other side of the Schwarzbach, which a signpost merely referred to it as the Old Mill at the Golling Waterfall (or Alte Mühle am Gollinger Wasserfall). This mill dated back to 1618 back at a time when the Torren District sought to be self-sufficient on locally grown agricultural goods, especially grains tilled and processed here.
After having my fill of the base of the Lower Waterfall, I then went up moderately ascending steps revealing more elevated views of the main Golling Waterfall. The trail continued climbing towards one end of a metal footbridge (called the Rainbow Bridge) fronting the base of the Upper Golling Waterfall.
Unfortunately, most of the waterfall was hidden from view as a result of a rock wall blocking most of the line-of-sight. However, a lot of mist came blasting out of the natural arch at the bottom, which often made photographing the hole from the bridge difficult. Beyond the bridge, the trail continued its ascent until reaching another fork.
On the right side of the fork, the trail meandered a short distance further around a bend before ending at a dead-end right in front of the Source Cave (or Quellhöhle), where the Schwarzbach gushed out of a cave and promptly started its steep descent.
The left side of the fork descended towards the Witches Cauldron Bridge, which was right atop the rock wall supporting the natural bridge. You can’t see the natural bridge from up here, but you can get awkward very close views of the Upper Golling Waterfall itself. Also from this vantage point, I was able to look downhill across the Salzachtal, which was the very valley within which the city of Salzburg resided in.
After having my fill of these spots, I returned the way I came. Overall, I spent about 75 minutes away from the car. Of course if the goal was just to visit the lower waterfall and come back, then this excursion could be as little as 30 minutes.
Given its close proximity to Salzburg, this was a very popular waterfall. It could very well have been the closest waterfall to the famous city that we visited on our big Austria and Germany trip in 2018.
Finally, I should mention that this waterfall was referenced in the literature several different ways. While I’ve gone with the plural reference since there was more than one waterfall, people have also referred to this as the Golling Waterfall, Gollinger Wasserfall, and Schwarzbach Wasserfall (though there happened to be a waterfall by the same name in South Tyrol in Northern Italy).
We’ll describe the driving directions from Salzburg since it made the most sense for most people to base themselves in the charming city.
So from Salzburg, we headed south on the B150 out of the city center and towards the A10 autobahn. Heading south on the A10, we then drove about 19km before we then took the ramp for the Golling exit, which led us on the B159 and then onto the B162 due east.
After crossing over the Salzach, we then took a left turn to head into Golling via the B159. After keeping left at a main fork to take Durchlassstraße (as opposed to Obergäu on the right), we then drove roughly 400m before turning left at the bridge over the Salzach (there were signs for the Golling Waterfall at this point).
After going over the bridge, we drove on the Wasserfallsstraße a little over 2km before reaching a very narrow road that accessed the Golling Waterfall car park. This drive took us about a half-hour from the Salzburg city center.
For geographical context, Salzburg was about 38km (30 minutes drive) north of Golling an der Salzach, 29km (over 30 minutes drive) north of Schönau am Königssee, 72km (over an hour drive) northwest of Hallstatt, and 144km (90 minutes drive without traffic) east of Munich.