In the midst of the Wilder Kaiser nature conservation area, some four kilometres above the town of Scheffau, at an altitude of 883 metres, the loveliest and cleanest mountain lake in Tirol - Lake Hintersteinersee – lies hidden. This lake, with its turquoise blue water in which the craggy summits of the Kaisergebirge mountain range are reflected, exerts an enduring quiet fascination.
The lake, whose water is drinking water quality, has a small swimming area with a café on its southern banks. As an ideal starting point for hikes and mountain tours in the south-west foothills of the Wilder Kaiser, the crystal-clear natural gem that is Lake Hintersteinersee also provides some welcome refreshment after a descent.
Stories about how Lake Hintersteinersee originated
At one time boisterous, rich farmers lived in Hinterstein, and on their lush common pastureland, where Lake Hintersteinersee is located today, they used butter to make their bowling balls. It was a moonlit night when they decided to have a game again. The ground suddenly swayed beneath their feet and they, along with their farmhouses, sank into the depths of the earth. Lake Hintersteinersee then stood in the place of the farms. The farmers were banished to the Scheffauerspitze peak for their wickedness and as punishment had to bowl for as long as the Kaiser stood. This bowling alley is situated just beneath the peak of the Scheffauer, in a small rock basin covered with a fine carpet of moss.
According to the second account, the rich Hinterstein farmers had an intense dispute about a spring. Even on a High Holy Day, the Feast of Corpus Christi, they argued all day long and finally there was a scuffle. Very early the next morning the farmers’ alpine dairymaid – an upstanding, pious girl who tried to keep out of the dispute – went to the common pastures to do the milking. She saw a small pool of water in front of the house, where there hadn’t been one before. She observed it, shaking her head, but continued on. After a long search she found the cows, who, much to her astonishment, were lying in a hollow, tightly packed together. She quickly milked them, to get back to the farm swiftly; all she could see from the top edge of the hollow was the roof of a single house jutting out of the water.