Hiking with kids | © Heiko Mandl
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Family Hiking in the Glemm Valley

Hiking Tips for Parents and Kids

Hiking is trendy, also for families. Whilst experienced Alpine hikers look for their thrills on the peaks of the Pinzgau region, children often prefer to set their sights on hiking trails. To prevent a family adventure turning into a disaster, we can offer a few tips for consideration.

With just a few metres to walk until we reach the Forsthofalm, which is located at the end of the Glemm Valley, just above 1500 metres, Laura, Marie and Nico, our „cool trio“ are fully motivated and looking forward to a tasty snack that awaits them at the hut. The atmosphere is jubilant, although that wasn’t always the case today. A couple of hundred metres below, the threesome went on strike for the first time with exclamations of “Boring, my feet hurt, I want to go home”, the motivation levels were at a low ebb. The message was clear and advice sound. In contrast to us adults who like to enjoy solitude when hiking, while at the same time taking in breath-taking scenery, children prefer to be kept occupied with reachable goals so that they are kept motivated. We overcame the low point when we came across a stream, where the trio were able to splash around with the promise of seeing trout and perhaps some frogs. With this, wanderlust was reignited and the trio sprinted up the trail.

 

Tour Options

The trail for a hike with children should be carefully considered. Steep and narrow paths and tours with hazardous zones – or places with a risk of falling – or tours that too long should be avoided. Pre-school children should not walk for much longer than an hour. Also, walking time should be calculated differently for children, keeping in mind children need approximately double the time calculated for an adult on a hiking tour.

 

After a cosy stopover, it is now time to set off in the direction of the Talschluss (end of the valley). Our three kids have replenished their energy levels with something to eat and drink and are now ready to continue the second part of the tour with vigour. Although we stopped for refreshments, we always have enough water as well as a couple of snacks in the rucksacks. Unlike adults, children often need to replenish their energy levels. Our next goal is the Lindlingalm, the Teufelswasser, Schnitza’s wood park and adventure playground. On the way down the mountain, we are on the lookout for fruits of the forest and find a couple of Chanterelle mushrooms which we put away in our rucksack. We don’t take any of the other mushrooms which we are not sure about, as they could be inedible or poisonous.

What belongs in the Rucksack?

The sun has once again broken through the clouds. We pack away our sun hats and caps and re-apply our sun cream. Adequate sunscreen is not only a must for children whilst up on the mountains, but adults should also ensure that they are well protected against dangerous UV rays. Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit in your rucksack, as well as a pocket knife which is can be used a utensil for snacks, or for small carvings on the edge of the forest.

Children’s footwear should also be carefully selected. There are special hiking boots for children. For toddlers, trainers or shoes with a good grip and ankle support are sufficient. When children become weary, you can carry them on your shoulders for a couple of minutes, it won’t take long until they are motivated once again. During hot spells, the mountain streams and lakes offer an ideal chance to cool down, as well as in the ice cold waters of the ‘Teufelswasser’, or in the shallow waters of river Saalach. After a refreshing paddle, there are only a few more hundred metres to walk until we reach our car. Our hiking tour went quicker than we imagined, and no wonder with so much action on and along the hiking trails.

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