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Vernagt reservoir in Schnals

The reservoir in Vernagt in Schnals Valley is located in the west of Meran at an altitude of 1689 m. Its inflows are among other streams Schnals river and Pfossenbach river. The lake has a surface of about 100 ha and is a kayaking, canoeing and fishing paradise. There are also a circular hiking trail allowing hikers to discover century-old farms a or an archaeological trail leading to the place where Ötzi was found.

The turquoise Vernagt reservoir was realised in the 1950s with the construction of a 65 m dam that was finished in 1966. At that time, eight farms of Vernagt village were flooded. Still today, whenever the water level is low, you can see the old church tower emerging from the lake.

On historical trails

In the surroundings of Vernagt reservoir, there are many wonderful hiking trails: from the family-friendly circular tour around the lake to challenging high-alpine tours in the glacier area. Walking around the lake is especially beautiful as the trail passes along historical farm, such as Finailhof and Tisenhof. Both farms have farm taverns.

Tisenhof farm is as well located at the archaeological trail A2 from Vernagt reservoir to Similaun hut and to Tisenjoch. Near this pass, the Ötzi glacier mummy was found several years ago. This challenging hike’s ending point is Vent village in Austria.

Kayaks & canoes, trouts & sheep

Vernagt reservoir is a paradise for canoeing and kayaking offering marked tracks of different lengths. Professional athletes often have their trainings here in Schnals. Fishing is a more relaxed sport: The obligatory fishing license is available for foreigners against payment in the tourist office of Meran against payment. The equally necessary daily ticket is available at Hotel Edelweiss in Vernagt.

A special highlight is the transhumance in Schnals – a march of sheep and humans: Already for centuries, the sheep have to migrate from Vernagt and Kurzras to the meadows in Ötztal Valley in Austria in the middle of June. The thousands of sheep will then return in autumn, which is celebrated with a big feast.