Wednesday, 16.11.2022


Enjoy cross-country skiing, biathlon, ice skating or winter hiking and tobogganing around Ritzensee lake

There’s no better way than Nordic winter sports to glide away from stress. For pure enjoyment, the cross-country ski trail network in Saalfelden Leogang traverses magnificent snow-covered landscapes. The perfect place for this is the Nordic Park at Ritzensee, where you can practice a variety of winter sports in one place on cross-country skis, runners or on foot. For families who love cross-country skiing, the Fun & Snow Park with a new exciting station obstacle course and Nordic quiz rallye is the place to be. A biathlon taster course is also on offer. Those in search of peace and quiet are invited to take a winter hike through the snow-covered forest or glide across the Ritzensee lake on ice skates. In addition to the variety-rich sports programme, there are countless regional specialities being served at the restaurants around the lake. Though the food on your plate is a welcome distraction, you can nevertheless enjoy wonderful views of the Leoganger Steinberge mountain range and the Steinernes Meer plateau.


Fun & Snow Park - families that love cross-country skiing should check out the new station obstacle course and quiz rallye
Featuring steep turns, jumps and a thrilling slalom course, the Fun & Snow Park (part of the Nordic Park) kindles children's enthusiasm for cross-country skiing. The Fun & Snow Park is also ideal for beginners, who aren’t yet ready for bigger routes. There is also an exciting obstacle course with 22 stations. The obstacles are not just for little ones, however. Adults are also invited to improve their skills in a playful manner. There will also be a new Nordic quiz rallye around the Ritzensee lake. Unique in Austria, the easy trail can be skied with cross-country skis and is great fun for families and children. Those who solve the riddles are eligible to pick up a gift at the tourist office.


Variety and fun: Saalfelden Leogang is one of Austria's top cross-country skiing destination 
The Saalfelden Leogang region is one of the top four cross-country skiing destinations in Austria. The network of cross-country ski trails extends over 150 kilometres. In addition to guaranteed snow until spring, Saalfelden Leogang features optimally groomed trails at different degrees of difficulty (leisurely or intense for beginners or professionals).
In addition, there are also plenty of culinary delights to be enjoyed along the cross-country skiing trails. Restaurants in the Nordic Park invite you to enjoy regional delicacies such as a warming Kaspressknödel (cheese dumpling) soup. 

Sporty guests looking for a challenge can try the 4.7-kilometre World Championship cross-country ski trail around the Ritzensee lake. With any luck, fans might can also encounter celebrity athletes like top Austrian biathlete Simon Eder (Olympic silver in Vancouver 2010) who trains here. The medium-difficulty 4.9-km Kollingwald forest cross-country skiing trail is ideal for ambitious cross-country skiers and starts at the Nordic Park. Those who still have something left in the tank in the evening can tackle the 1.8-km cross-country skiing trail around the Ritzensee lake or the Griessen high-altitude trail on cross-country skis, which is floodlit until 9 pm.
Restful mountain air, glistening snow, varied cross-country trails and delicious cuisine are what make the Saalfelden Leogang region a top cross-country skiing destination.


Future stars are forged in Saalfelden: Development and training in Nordic skiing 
A centre for Nordic skiing will be built at two locations in Saalfelden by 2024. In addition to renovations, quality improvements and an expansion of the Nordic Park at the Ritzensee lake, the ski jumping stadium in Uttenhofen (a district of Saalfelden) is also being renovated. Saalfelden is thus positioning itself as a home for successful and up-and-coming athletes. 5 million will be invested in this project. 
The range of training opportunities in Saalfelden is extremely attractive. The Nordic Ski Middle School Saalfelden offers students the opportunity to complete basic training in the disciplines of Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping or biathlon while attending school. In addition, winter sports enthusiasts at the Saalfelden ski high school can choose from six categories of professional training in the areas of Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing and Ski Freestyle. In addition to their professional training in competitive sports, students receive their diploma as well. These sports training sessions really pay off, given that numerous top athletes went to ski high school in Saalfelden. Famous names include Lisa Hauser (biathlon World Champion in the mass start), Marita Kramer (ski jumping World Champion with the team), Mario Seidl (Olympic and World Championship medallist in Nordic combined) and Dominik Landertinger (biathlon World Champion in the mass start and multiple medallist at the Olympics).


Biathlon taster courses for children and adults
For many years already, biathlon has been the most popular winter sport on television. Keen to try out this incredible sport for yourself? You can book biathlon taster courses in the Nordic Park. In addition to the sport's typical skating technique, the course teaches participants what to take into account when shooting with a laser rifle. Children can also participate in the weekly Heeressportverein (HSV) Saalfelden club training. A detour to the biathlon stronghold of Hochfilzen is possible from Leogang via cross-country skis.


Ice skate across the Ritzensee lake or go tobogganing from the Gugelhupf mountain
Once the Ritzensee lake is frozen thick and groomed, it's time for ice-skating fans. The lake is thus transformed into a wonderful natural ice rink. It is illuminated until 9 pm, enabling visitors to glide across the lake and and do their rounds until late in the evening. 
Speaking of metal runners: If you have your sledge with you, don’t miss an ascent up the Gugelhupf mountain in the Nordic Park. Here, fast-paced tobogganing fun for the entire family awaits. 


Winter hiking - explore the snow-covered landscape and discover the woodland swing in the Kollingwald forest 
Hiking through the snowy landscape is a fantastic nature experience. For those with good footwear, Saalfelden Leogang offers guests miles and miles of groomed trails to explore. For a worthwhile excursion, look no further than the Kollingwald forest. The woodland swing, which resembles a hammocks made of wood, offers hikers a short rest and the ability to observe the forest from a slightly different perspective. 
The 11.8 kilometre Haidrunde circuit leads past the swings. The trail extends along the Ritzensee lake through the Kollingwald forest and offers a magical winter landscape. Although somewhat shorter, the Lettingrunde with a total length of 7.1 kilometres or the Wimbachrunde from Leogang are just as appealing.
If you only want to walk for half an hour, you should try the trail around the Ritzensee lake. Along the way, enjoy breathtaking views of the Steinernes Meer plateau and the Leoganger Steinberge mountain range.


Enjoy culinary variety at the Nordic Park
With so much exercise in the fresh air, reward yourself with a stop-off at an inn. There are three restaurants situated by the Ritzensee lake. For instance, the Restaurant Ritzensee offers regional and seasonal cuisine and a lovely view of the lake. Warm up with a cup of tea and homemade cakes at the Klampfererhof restaurant or indulge in Alpine cuisine at the Ritzenhof lakeside hotel and spa. 


Nordic Park Experience, 22.01. + 12.02.2023 
The Nordic Park at Ritzensee lake is a haven for Nordic sports disciplines, including trails for cross-country skiers, skaters and biathletes. There is also a Fun and Snow Park for children, a Nordic quiz rallye, a variety of winter hiking trails and a frozen lake for magical ice skating (conditions permitting). On 22 January and 12 February 2023, the Nordic Park Experience event series will welcome visitors with good music, the Kids’ Winter Games, and even a BBQ where the mood is exuberant.