Austria: Snowshoeing

Snowshoe hiking is something very special: you experience an untouched nature far from the civilized world. In almost all Austria you can make idyllic snowshoe hikes.

Do you know the Big Five of the Alps? During a snowshoe hike with a ranger through the Hohe Tauern National Park in East Tyrol, chances are you will see them. Capricorns, golden eagles, snow fowl, chamois and bearded vultures are rare in the winter, but the ranger knows exactly where and when you are most likely to see them. The ranger knows the flore and fauna of the national park as his pocket and can tell you all about it. So also about the many three-thousanders, who with their steep, white mountain tops all around you point to the blue sky. The Großglockner and Großvenediger, the highest two, know most. But it is never too late to learn even more. And a nice side-effect of an adventurous snoe-hiking tour is that you relax step by step, forget the time and fully enjoy the beautiful landscape.

Are you looking for more action? Then make a touring trip. Mountain guide Günther from St. Jakob likes to take you on the road and shows you the most beautiful climbs, descents and the most fantastic views. For example, during a trip on the Langschneid. In the cozy Eggenhütte you can taste the best Kaiserschmarrn in the area: the icing on the cake of a fantastic day! Would you rather explore the area at a more quiet pace? Then you can go cross-country skiing from St. Jakob along the quiet babbling, covered with ice-covered Schwarzach. In the Oberweissenhittl, a characteristic wooden building on the cross-country ski trail, you are faced with a completely different challenge: Host Albin has made all sorts of complicated thinking games out of wood. It can therefore become a bit later, so take a headlamp with you for the security!

The most beautiful regions for snowshoe hikes

Carinthia

Snowshoe hiking in the Lesachtal: slopes with a lot of snow, picturesque snow landscapes and beautiful snow-covered meadows and mountain peaks exploring, alone or with a guide who knows the area well. In the first snowshoe center of the Lavanttal on the Klippitztörl, 5 snowshoe routes are signposted and recorded by GPS. Snowshoe trips are also organized on certain dates. The Villach region offers excellent opportunities for snowshoeing. At the Dreiländereck, the Gerlitzen Alpe and in the nature park Dobratsch, guided hiking tours are also offered: from introductory tours to trips to the summit. If you make a snowshoe hike in Bad Kleinkirchheim this winter, you can also enjoy a culinary experience.

In the Vienna Alps in Lower Austria the Rax plateau, but also Wechsel, Schneeberg, Semmering and Hohe Wand offer excellent conditions for snowshoe hikers. Under the guidance of a ranger from the national park, nature lovers in Orth a / d Donau will immerse themselves in the survival strategies of the animals in the scanty winter Donaubeemden. You can also discover winter in the romantic Waldviertel on snowshoes. And in the Mostviertel, in St. Aegyd in the Neuwalde, in Lunz am See and in the area around the Ötscher, snowshoe tours are also organized at the full moon, accompanied by a guide.

Walk with the help of a guide, together with a group of nature lovers on snowshoes through the thick-snowed National Park Kalkalpen to a self-catering hut. After heating up the stove, a nice meal is prepared and you spend the night. The Böhmerwald has 40 km of winter hiking trails where you can take part in organized snowshoe hikes.

The snow sparkles in the moonlight and the snowshoe hikers step into the Raurisertal through the quiet forest. Mariapfarr in Lungau, in the state of Salzburg, specializes in nordic walking in winter: the Nordic Walking Park certified by the Austrian Nordic Walking Association (15 routes with a total length of 119 kilometers) is because of its location at an altitude between the 1,000 and 1,400 meters also suitable for classic altitude training. Filzmoos has 50 km of well-maintained winter hiking trails and a 12 km long hiking trail at an altitude of 1,600 meters on the Rossbrand, which can be reached comfortably with the Papagenobahn. The Fuschlsee offers, among other things, organized snowshoe hikes and full-moon hikes through the snowy landscape. The National Park Hohe Tauern rangers organize snowshoe hikes in the Wildkogel arena in Neukirchen / Bramberg and in the Raurisertal. Forstau offers well-maintained winter hiking trails (approx. 20 km) that are perfectly suitable for Nordic walking. Every week, snowshoe hikes are organized to idyllic spots where you can not come in the winter. In the Großarltal there are snowshoe hikes every week with the hiking and mountain guides from the Berg-Gesund association. Zell am See-Kaprun offers many routes for Nordic walking tours. In Saalfelden Leogang you can walk alone or with a guide on large snowshoes through the thick snowy winter landscape. On the Postalm, the largest high plateau in Austria at an altitude of 1,200 meters, the Aktivzentrum offers, in addition to winter hikes and snowshoe hikes, introductory lessons with biathlon sport and lessons in winter adventure.

Whether you opt for a snowshoe hike in the mountains or a winter hike on the groomed trails, in Zell am See-Kaprun you can enjoy nature in a very relaxed way. Those who have never walked on snowshoes can learn how to snowshoe on the Schneeschuhlehrpfad in Mühlbach. While hiking, on both hiking boots and snowshoes, you discover the Hochkönig region.

Styria

Nationalpark Gesäuse is popular with snowshoe hikers. The Lahngangkogel from the Oberst Klinke-Hütte, the Kaiserau ski area, Johnsbach near the Neuburgalm and the Grabneralm area are ideal for this. Those who have never walked on snowshoes through the winter landscape or prefer to travel with a group can take part in the organized tours in the Steirische Eisenwurzen nature park, in the Ramsau, in the Krakau valley and in the Grebenzen-Zirbitzkogel nature park. The Sölktäler nature park, the Mürzer Oberland nature park, the Almenland nature park, and the almost 400 km² large and vast Hochschwab massif offer fantastic opportunities for winter hiking. ‘Peter Roseggers Waldheimat’ in the middle of the Fischbacher Alpen is ideal for beginners.

 

In the Wildschönau, “discovery tours” are on the program. You can also explore the landscape on snow shoes on your own. In the Sonnenplateau Mieming & Tirol Mitte, Tannheimertal, Achensee and Silberregion Karwendel regions, guided tours are also offered. Olympiaregion Seefeld has signposted snowshoe routes that you can also do alone. Nature walks and Nordic walking tours are also organized in Naturpark Kaunergrat. In Hohe Tauern National Park in East Tyrol you can make snowshoe tours with wildlife observation of wild animals.

Vorarlberg

In several places in the Bregenzerwald, snowshoe tours with guide are offered. Under expert supervision you learn to walk on snow shoes in the right way. Winter hikers can explore the Silvretta Montafon ski area during a ‘walking safari’. In the Kleinwalsertal on the ‘Walser Omgang’ routes, from mid December to the beginning of April, snowshoe tours and winter hikes are organized every week. And with the guest card, participation in many of these tours is free. A special tip: the snowshoe trip on the 2,000 meter high plateau Gottesacker. The tour starts at the mountain station of the Ifen. The route runs through high snow dunes and offers beautiful views of the valley. The Brandnertal, Klostertal and Großes Walsertal offer 150 kilometers of uniform signposted paths for winter hikers and snowshoe hikes. Very popular: the 7 km long hike from the Sonnenkopf to the Muttjöchle (2,074 meters) and to the panorama restaurant Muttjöchle (also organized hiking tours possible). In the Brandnertal, organized snowshoe hikes and walks are offered every week at full moon.

Snowshoe hiking with a dog in the Kleinwalsertal

Discover the most beautiful places of our winter landscape with the four-legged fur friend. Light snowshoe hike from 2 to 2.5 hours for people with a dog. Accompanied by an experienced dog trainer and a certified winter hiking guide. Basic requirement and pleasure in the movement is a requirement. Fun between like-minded people is guaranteed.
Also available as a package week with 6 nights and half board, with 4 guided snowshoe hikes and rental equipment.
Dates / registration and price on request with: https://hundewandertouren.at/schneeschuhwandern-mit-hund#c

 

Tips for snowshoe hikers

The right shoes

Use mountain or hiking boots with a sturdy, stiff profile sole. The larger the snowshoe, the less you sink into the deep snow. When you go in a somewhat steeper area, smaller snowshoes are recommended. Walking with snow shoes that are not too wide is less tiring.

The bonds

These must be easy and quick to open and close – even with gloves. Bindings with which a lateral tilting movement is possible, reduce the load on the ankles. Adjustable bindings have the advantage that they can be used for different shoes.

The sticks

Length-adjustable poles with large saucers are recommended.

 

Equipment

  • Hiking backpack
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen with high UV protection factor
  • Food
  • Unbreakable thermos
  • Mobile phone
  • Gamaschen
  • Bandage box with rescue blanket
  • In alpine area: avalanche shovel, avalanche probe, avalanche piper and a bivakzak.

Gamachen: Photo Von Carivaldi,- CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4198067