It is well known fact that motivating children to go hiking is not an easy task. Therefore families will significantly benefit from the Home of Lässig Kids-Hiking-Challenge. So Julia and I can pursue our passion for hiking with our offspring, while at the same time having an exciting and informative experience.
The Kids-Hiking-Challenge combines four interesting theme trails and a mountain hike. On each hike, there are control stations where you will find a hole puncher to collect points for the Hiking-Challenge Pass and subsequently receive an award. We are amazed at what a piece of paper, a hole punch and the prospect of an award can do. Equipped with a rucksack, refreshments and the Kids-Hiking-Challenge control card, we set off on our adventure along with our five friends Tristan, Valerian, Marla, Lukas and David.
Test your skills - the Motorikpark
Our first stop is the Motorikpark (Motor Skills Park). It starts in Jausern and continues along a path with numerous stations to Saalbach. Even fifteen-year-old Tristan is particularly enthusiastic. The children demonstrate great skill with the first exercise and balance effortlessly over the beams, stones and swings. Naturally, the Mums also participate, and although the beginning is not so easy for us, we continue to master the course effortlessly. We continue to the climbing area, which lives up to its name. Here one needs strength and endurance. We spur each other on and are motivated by every metre we manage without having to step down. The kitesurf simulator is very appealing. The children run riot, and we take the chance for a break. We continue at a leisurely pace, and the stations are so amusing that the walk between each one is also an enjoyable experience. At the standing rope swing, it takes a little while until we all gain momentum, but when we do, it feels like we’re flying. The last part of the fitness trail takes us into the forest where we have to find a sequence of numbers in order to come out of the labyrinth. The finale is a circular path where we have to concentrate as we step over wobbly boards, wooden footsteps of varying heights. Now we just have to punch the last symbol on the control card and this station has been successfully completed.
Summit hikes with fantastic views
At the end of the Motor Skills Path, it is only a couple of hundred metres to the next station of the Kids-Hiking-Challenge. We get into the Schattberg X-Press gondola and within a couple of minutes are transported to the top station where we are rewarded with a stunning panoramic view. The two friends, Lukas and Valerian, are much too excited to stay too long because the next control point at the Westgipfel is calling. After an uphill stretch, we climb to the Westgipfel in less than half an hour, and David finds the hole puncher and relevant symbol. After passing the Westgipfelhütte, we reach our next destination, the Schattberg Mittelgipfel summit and beautiful views. We then head back to the top station where we encounter our third summit, the Ostgipfel. We stop for refreshments at the Skyrest while at the same time taking in breathtaking views. Proud that we have conquered three peaks in one day we reward ourselves by taking the gondola back down into the valley. The second summit victory of the Kids Hiking Challenge - the Hohe Penhab - which can be reached via the 12er KOGEL lift, is something we'll tackle another time.
Enchanted in the Fairytale Forest
Where could be a better place to tell fairytales than in the forest? We need to take a closer look! Directly after the first control point awaits Wickey (without his strong men). Uphill takes us in the direction of the woodlands where we reach the first hut with the figurines from Rumpelstiltskin. The next place invites us to pause, and the children sit in front of the house of the evil witch and are enthralled with the voice of the narrator as if it was the first time they had heard the tale of Hänsel and Gretel. Marla, Lukas and David have suddenly vanished and when they reappear are in the mouth of a dwarf – what great fun. At the final resting place, there is a 4-seater seesaw and a crystal clear pond with water wheels. Here I can recounter my childhood and Julia indulge in our memories. The forest hasn’t lost any of its magic and even the generation of today is enchanted by the Fairytale Forest.
Aiming high – the Golden Gate and the Treetop Trail
“Please let’s take the train”! the children shout simultaneously, and we are easily persuaded and enjoy the journey at an easy-going tempo. When we arrive at the end of valley in the Home of Lässig, the “Golden Gate Bridge of the Alps” awaits us, and we can’t wait to get up there. The spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountain world are only topped by the view beneath us. Forty-two metres under our feet the Saalach river meanders out of the valley and at this height one feels sensational, but there is also the feeling of butterflies in the stomach. Once you reach the end of the bridge, the path continues onto the Treetop Trail where there are numerous play and information stations. We are nearly at the top when David declares “Look here under the stairs, a bird’s nest”! Indeed, right beneath us in dizzying heights, the mother bird has built her nest on a steel girder, and three small hungry little birds are looking in our direction with their beaks wide open. Here up amongst the treetops, you can really observe nature at close quarters and see so much more than you would from the ground. It is tricky to encourage Marla and Valerian away from the distorting mirror, and David and Lukas are phoning in the treetops, but without the use of a mobile phone. At the end of the circular trail, there is a small motor skills park where the kids can let off steam. We mums enjoy solitude in the shadow of the trees.
Interesting facts for eager hikers
Now that we have sparked the wanderlust in our children, thanks to the Kids-Hiking-challenge, we head to the last port of call with our control card. The Wanderlehrpfad! The trail starts just a couple of minutes’ walk away from the Lindlingalm and continues along the Saalach (river), which we have already viewed from a breathtaking height. Here it is possible to discover various Alpine plants and Alpine animals such as horses, cows and the occasional donkey cross our path. The information boards are very descriptive and arouse the curiosity of our little rascals. The highlight, is as always, a stop in a hut, which in this instance is a choice between two rustic huts, the Saalalm and the Ossmannalm. On our return journey with the land train we can appraise the stations we discovered on our adventure and conclude we have rediscovered our valley in an exciting and inspiring way.