WINTER ACTION BEYOND THE SLOPES
Winter action in Saalfelden Leogang isn't just centred around the ski slopes! The most diverse environment in the Alps also has plenty to offer non-skiers. Here there’s something for every preference, from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to ski touring, tobogganing, ice skating and winter hiking. In the Nordic Park, on the many kilometres of toboggan runs and on the frozen Ritzensee lake.
Nordic Park Saalfelden: Ski around the Ritzensee lake or give biathlon a first try
The Nordic Park Saalfelden on the Ritzensee lake is home to cross-country skiers and the starting point for the region's 150-kilometre network of cross-country skiing trails. All degrees of difficulty are catered for here. Best of all, beginners and experts will feel equally at home. Those who want to try their hand at biathlon can book a taster course, which is available for both children and adults. The Nordic Park is synonymous with a wide variety of activities: In addition to cross-country skiing, winter hiking, ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides and tobogganing are also on offer.
Mark Hauser, instructor at the Saalfelden Nordic Ski Middle School and cross-country and biathlon coach, explains the appeal of the Nordic Park: "As the father of two daughters, it's important to me that my kids enjoy cross-country skiing. They love the waves, ski jumps, and steep curves at the Nordic Park Saalfelden. Here they learn cross-country skiing in a fun way and improve their coordination skills in the beautiful winter landscape of Saalfelden Leogang."
For a great experience, we recommend the 1.8-km cross-country skiing trail around the Ritzensee lake or the night trail in Leogang/Rosental, which is floodlit until 9 pm. The 4.9-km Kollingwald cross-country skiing trail is of medium difficulty. Experienced skiers can try their hand on the World Championship cross-country skiing trail, which has already hosted several World Cups and two Junior World Championships.
Family fun with the Nordic quiz rallye and Fun & Snow Park
There are many popular attractions for families in the Nordic Park. The Fun & Snow Park, where young and old can try their hand at cross-country skiing. Meanwhile, more experienced skiers can dare to try the steep turns, the small ski jumps and the slalom course. For a nice family adventure try the Nordic quiz rallye: Starting from the Nordic Park, head around the Ritzensee lake where there are seven riddles to solve at seven stations. The participants enter the correct answers on a card. With the correct solution word, one receives a gift at the Saalfelden and Leogang tourist information offices. The station course at the Fun & Snow Park as well as the Nordic quiz rallye are unique in all of Austria.
The idea for the rallye came from Mark Hauser: "Most children don't want to ski from A to B, but many of them do want to ski around Ritzensee lake. The quiz rallye turns this unique route into child's play, as it guarantees variety."
Nordic Park Experience: A green event in the white winter landscape
Nordic by Nature: The Nordic Park Experience will take place again on two winter days: 21 January and 18 February 2024. On these days, everything will revolve around the Nordic lifestyle. Highlights include the Kids Winter Games, the snow bar with lots of Nordic specialities and the chill-out area with relaxing DJ sounds. Get ready for two action-packed, fun days!
In addition, the Nordic Park Experience is once again a "Green Event Salzburg." This means that the event is organised as sustainably and environmentally friendly as possible. All drinks and food on offer come from the region and waste is avoided as much as possible.
Fun beyond the slopes - winter hiking, ski tours & ice skating
In Saalfelden Leogang there is winter fun in all forms, whether on ice skates, sledge runners or hiking boots. The Ritzensee lake invites you onto the ice as soon as it is frozen over. In winter, it is transformed into a fine natural ice surface for skaters. Even the lights are left on until 9 pm. Enjoy a moonlit ski tour on the Asitz (every Thursday or Friday evening) or a cosy horse-drawn sleigh ride leads through idyllic snowy landscapes. For winter hikers, there is a wide choice of tours: a quick round around the Ritzensee lake with a great view of the Steinernes Meer plateau and the Leoganger Steinberge mountain range is just as rewarding as the 11.8-kilometre Haidrunde circuit, which leads along the Ritzensee lake and through the nearby Kollingwald forest. The forest swing there gives hikers the opportunity to relax for a moment and enjoy the silence of the forest.
Kilometres of tobogganing fun and Flying Fox XXL zip line
A fast-paced toboggan run is practically a must on winter holiday. Take the cable car lift (or walk) up to the “Leo’s Kufengaudi” toboggan run on the Asitz. The run descends a full four kilometres. It is open every Tuesday and Friday from 6 to 10 pm even under floodlights and starry skies. The natural toboggan run on the Biberg is even longer at six kilometres. From the “Berggasthof Biberg” inn at an altitude of 1,400 metres, descend on two runners into the valley below. On most days of the week it is also floodlit in the evening.
Meanwhile, the toboggan run at the Sinnlehenalm mountain hut is new: This small but excellent toboggan run was built in the winter season 2022/23 and is located near the centre of the village. The Sinnlehenalm Alpine hut boasts a variety of local specialties on their menu. The very brave are attracted by the Flying Fox XXL - one of the longest zip line slides in the world. It extents 1,600 metres above the treetops and reaches a speed of up to 130 kilometres per hour.
Talents make it big in Saalfelden Leogang
Saalfelden Leogang is one of just five top cross-country skiing destinations in all of Austria and has a flair for talent. Numerous top athletes went to school here and launched their careers. Famous names include Lisa Hauser (Biathlon World Champion), Simon Eder (Biathlon Medallist at World Championships, Olympics and World Cup races), Marita Kramer (Team World Champion in ski jumping), Mario Seidl (Olympic and World Championship medallist in Nordic combined) and Dominik Landertinger (Biathlon World Champion in mass start and multiple medallist at the Olympics).
More famous names are coming soon thanks to 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. 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.
“365 days ACTIVE & CREATIVE” adventure programme – from summer to winter
Beyond the slopes, explore the winter landscape in Saalfelden Leogang individually or in a group with a guide. The weekly adventure programme features guided snowshoeing tours, beginners’ ski touring courses, year-round torchlight hikes, incense workshops and much more. Important: many offers in the region are cheaper or even included all year round with the Saalfelden Leogang Card.