Lake Habicher See
Precious natural jewel
A 12 m long footbridge and a sandbank on the shore best describe the view of the small pond south of Oetz's hamlet of Habichen. Scenic lake Habicher See is only about 25 m wide and 50 m long, forming an idyllic natural jewel and a fertile habitat for Alpine animal and plant species. From Habichen you can hike towards the lake on a barrier-free trail in about ten walking minutes.
Lake Habicher See belongs to the Achstürze-Piburg landscape conservation area. The entire region can look back on a millennia-old history. At that time Ötztal also was the scene of rockslides in all dimensions. Four of them were big enough to block the whole valley and dam up Ötztaler Ache mountain brook. As a result we can still see the five valley terraces. The steeper sections in between consist of huge landslide masses, through which the Ache brook made its way across the valley - resulting in a number of smaller waters and basins. Splendid lake Habicher See belongs to the last remains of this so-called "chain of lakes".
Historical landscape & gem
Due to the massive natural forces of such a rockslide, lake Habicher See is considered a very valuable landscape from a historical point of view. Frogs, toads, newts or dragonflies feel just as comfortable as forest animals and bats. Today, lake Habicher See is fed by the waterfall in Tumpen - which freezes in winter. Therefore the lake dries out every year, a fact that makes regular fish stocking necessary.
Cooling down in the Ice Cellar
A remarkable curiosity is the historical Ice Cellar at lake Habicher See. Until 1960 it was still used as a natural refrigerator by the inhabitants of Oetz. An initiative supported by the Oetz Museum in the Tower preserved this natural wonder from decay. Formed by underground tunnel systems in rockslide areas, cold air flows from higher altitudes down into the valley and is further cooled by the wet rock walls. This unique effect is even intensified thanks to a wall and door.