The Fairytale Forest in Hinterglemm
Located about one kilometer from the Hinterglemm town center, the loop through the Fairytale Forest is now also perfectly suited for an evening walk or hike in winter and summer alike thanks to last year’s addition of strategically placed lights. The Fairytale Forest in Hinterglemm is a true highlight for families and fairytale lovers no matter the season.
Spring – Summer – Autumn – Winter – just go out and hike!
Admission into the Fairytale Forest is free. The lovingly designed area can be visited at any day- or nighttime as well as during any season. There’s a total of three entrance points to start the leisurely hike:
- Across the road from the „Stererfeldweg“ bus stop and across the small wooden bridge next to „Erdbau Winter“
- Across the road from the „Lindlinghof“ bus stop – next to the playground near „Sportzentrum Hinterglemm“
- Across the road from the „Lindlinghof“ bus stop – to the right of the football pitch and towards „Wieserauberg“
Travelling out of Hinterglemm, visitors will find free parking next to the sports center. Alternatively, the Fairytale Forest can be easily reached by a walk of just under one kilometer from the Saalbach promenade towards the valley’s head.
Shortly after entering the forest, visitors will start to encounter lovingly carved wooden figurines while wooden gnomes watch visitors with curious eyes next to water wheels that turn in the crystal-clear waters of a mountain stream. The path not only features authentically designed characters from some of the most well-known fairytales but also includes characters from local folklore as well as the local wildlife. Dotted throughout the forest, visitors can also find comfortable benches for a quick rest and fun stations with games and little challenges for kids.
Locally initiated featuring artwork by local wood carvers
The idea for the Fairytale Forest goes all the way back to 1986, when Theresia and Franz Klocker imagined a forest full of magical characters and stories. They imagined a fun place for the whole family and the Fairytale Forest follows the pair’s thoughts to the is day. The project was eventually realized by a collaboration between the Saalbacher Forestry Collective and the Saalbach city council.
Finding the perfect spot wasn’t easy, though, as the steep and narrow valley with its many pastures often lacks continuous large sections of mellower, forested terrain. After weighing the pros and cons of potential locations, the parties involved eventually chose the current location for its proximity to the town as well as easy accessibility and mellow terrain.
After roughly defining the general requirements, local wood carvers got to work on creating carvings of characters like Snow White and Rose Red as well as beautiful wooden carvings of some of the most popular characters from the books of the Brothers Grimm. Using local woods, the carvers brought to life Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, majestic eagles, jolly little gnomes and much, much more. The rough outlines were mostly carved with chainsaws before carving knifes and incredible skill added the details. Painted in bright colors, the artists created scenes and installations all throughout the forest. Some of the scenes even feature acoustic installations that play sounds and songs to bring the fairytales to life.
Brothers Grimm, local folklore and jolly characters
The Fairytale Forest isn’t just for kids, though. Adults, grown-ups and those who think they’re grown up are reminded of and can reminisce in the stories told during their childhood. Stories like the ones of Little Red Riding Hood, the Frog King and many more centuries-old archetypes that have accompanied generations of people invite discussion and interpretation of past and present writers and poets.
In addition to popular fairytales, the Fairytale Forest also features stories derived from local folklore like the Beelzebub from the „Teufelssprung“-Saga (“devils jump”) or The Bremen Town Musicians as well as jolly gnomes and much more.
A new glow for the Fairytales
The Fairytale Forest has seen a number of updates over the course of the last year to make it more accessible during winter and at nighttime. Next to the installation of lights that illuminate the forest with a warm glow, the many figurines and installations also received a glow-up thanks to the volunteer work of Veronika and Juliane Winter who spent countless hours repainting the many wooden characters. What’s especially nice to see is that those, who were children when the forest first opened in 1986 are now visiting the forest with their own kids.
Fairytale Forest – the facts:
- Location: roughly one kilometer outside of Hinterglemm on the left side of the road
- Entrances: Erdbau Winter, Sports Center Hinterglemm, Wieserauberg next to the football pitch
- Opening times: Year-round with free entry– Especially nice during winter evenings and in summer thanks to the shade-proving large trees and cooler air
- Suitable for: The whole family. The path is suitable for strollers but a sling or something comparable is advised due to some steeper gradients.
- Distance: 1.4 Kilometers
- Extra: The Fairytale Forest is part of the Kids Hiking Challenge as well as the Kids Winter Challenge
- Furthermore, guided tours with lanterns are available during the winter months.
Have fun exploring!