Tappenkarsee had been on my hiking wishlist for quite a while. Luckily enough, the weekend before my birthday turned out to be a perfect opportunity to finally realize this plan. The drive from Salzburg to Kleinarl took me around an hour and a half. (Theoretically, it should take less than that, but I am a pretty slow driver. I still haven’t mastered the art of driving up- and downhill, which is a must given Austrian landscape).
When we finally reached the parking by Jägersee, I realized that I packed two different hiking shoes. Both left.
A short panic attack and an hour of shoe shopping later, we were back on track with a brand new pair of trekking shoes. I bought them at a sports shop nearby (I love how you just find these places in the middle of nowhere in Austria).
The hike started off at Jägersee, which is a really cute lake at around 1100 meters over the sea level. It is easily accessible by car, which explains the (rather heavy for a Saturday morning) local traffic. My plan was to hike all the way up to Tappenkarsee, but, in retrospect, the first leg of the walk could have been easily done with a car. Motivated by burning extra calories, I pretended not to mind being covered with dust every time a car passed by on our way to Schwabalm.
From Schwabalm, the hike continued through the forest (as usual). A multiple serpentines followed and we arrived at the final destination.
The total way up took around two and half hours, with the second leg of the journey being significantly more tiring. Technically speaking, the hike did not require any special equipment or skills, so could be easily done with children.
What I found really surprising was how peaceful the scenery was, despite the fact we were one of many hikers that day. There is plenty of space around the lake so everyone can find a little spot of their own, away from others.
The way back to the parking by Jägersee took around the same amount of time (so the round trip was around six hours in total). In general, I would recommend getting there early, as the parking gets quite crowded just before midday (the one at Jägersee and the one at Schwabalm). Another option could be to stay overnight at Tappenkarseehütte and then continue a more demanding hike on the next day.