- The laid-back 3
3 awesome bike trails…
Saalbach Hinterglemm is well known as a cycling region and for its excellent mountain biking trails, even outside of Austria’s borders. There are countless trails and downhill tracks of varying difficulties going through the Glemmtal valley. We invited freeriding queen and downhiller Angie Hohenwarter to show us the three best trails for beginners, freeriders and pros respectively. In this episode we start with the beginner’s trails. Angie’s recommendations are the Milka-Line and the Panoramatrail at the Kohlmais Gondola (this year you have to approach from the Schönleiten Gondola due to construction works for the new Kohlmais Gondola) and the Blue-Line at the Reiterkogel mountain.
“Before we hit the trails, we have to check our bike and put on our protective gear,” Angie explains. This means that nobody, whether beginner or pro, should tackle the trails without helmet, protectors, gloves and backpack or back protector. Additionally, all trail bikers should bring along some basic cycling capabilities and athletic conditioning, since even the beginner’s trails can be quite challenging for cycling novices. The mountain bikes should also be equipped with full suspension and be state-of-the-art in general. Okay, enough lecturing, let’s have some fun.
Up with the Schönleiten Cable Car
This year, the first two trails are only going to be accessible via the Schönleiten Cable Car, since the Kohlmais Gondola is currently undergoing reworks. We step into the lift and it doesn’t us take very long until we’re all the way up and hit the Wurzeltrail to get to Kohlmais mountain. We can already spot some of the bikers cruising down the trails. These two trails are very popular in the scene, as they allow mountain bikers to easily cruise to Saalbach and also score with a gorgeous view of the Glemmtal valley. The Milka Line begins right at the middle station and winds down the valley toward Saalbach in a serpentine shape. Further up, we find the Panorama-Trail, which leads from the mountain station to right in front of the Panorama Alm mountain pasture. We start at the beginning and take the first curves at medium speed and without too much risk. The trail makes its way through the gorgeous mountain pasture landscape as if drawn by hand. We then take a quick break at the Panorama Alm mountain pasture and recharge our batteries with fresh elderberry juice and a local “Jause” snack. Then we make our way for the Milka Line. This trail begins at the middle station of the Kohlmais Gondola (currently undergoing reworks) and first continues toward the Spielberghaus rather shallowly, until it branches off into slightly steeper slopes. But don’t worry, the Milka Line was laid out in such a way that even beginners could conquer it without any problems. Angie, who’s been out and about on these trails for years, knows the Milka Line like the back of her hand. She takes every curve at full speed and we arrive at Saalbach’s town centre much quicker than we thought we would.
Onto the third trail
Trail number three, the Blue-Line, is located closer toward the valley, by the Reiterkogel Cable Car. It starts right underneath the middle station and reaches all the way to Hinterglemm’s town centre. The Blue-Line does feel a little more difficult in comparison to the first two trails. Not for Angie though, as she already knows every curve by heart and masters each and every of the north shore elements. And right next to the Blue-Line, we come across the Pro-Line, one of the Glemmtal valley’s most difficult trails. “Let’s ride that one next time,” says Angie. There’s plenty of trails left in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
1.) Panorama Trail (1.3 km; 150 metres of elevation (downhill), easy):
As the name already implies, the Panorama Trail offers cyclists an incredible view of the Glemmtal valley. From the Kohlmais Gondola’s mountain station, we can see almost all the way to the end of the valley, and many other trails are visible from here too. Still, cyclists definitely need to keep their eyes on the trail while riding. The trail begins next to the mountain station. The first couple of curves downhill are a little tough, but then the trail passes through smooth meadows and even a bit of woodland. Attention: Early on, you will have to cross the forest road, please reduce your speed here. The trail is riddled with easily navigable corners, waves and tables. Those who dare may take the opportunity to try out a few small jumps. In short, the Panorama-Trail is an ideal way to get into the mountain biking groove.
2.) Milka Line: (2.9 km, 380 metres of elevation, easy):
The Milka-Line is perfect for soul riders and freeriding beginners. The purple start gate at the Kohlmais Gondola’s middle station can’t be missed. From here, the trail leads across a forest path before continuing through a small forest. Shortly thereafter, the trail continues back on the forest path and then winds down a little more steeply toward the valley. The flat decline with easy corners, wide curves and easy wooden elements will encourage you to play around with the bike and is also ideal for kids and teens and their first try-outs on the trails. The trail then continues directly via the practice field at the Turmlift to the Kohlmais Gondola’s valley station.
3.) Blue-Line (2.6 km, 430 metres of elevation, easy):
The Blue Line starts right under the Reiterkogel Gondola’s middle station and has a slightly higher difficulty level than the first two trails. But don’t worry, beginners quickly get comfortable on the wide corners and the wooden elements, quickly collecting their first real trail riding experiences. The wooden elements further down allow for even more fun cruising. Together with the Pro-Line, the Blue-Line flows into the gondola’s valley station.