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Top 10 Outdoor Adventure Activities In Gmund, Austria

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Genevieve
Genevieve
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Bordered by two stunning national parks, Gmund has more than its fair share of outdoor adventures to offer visitors who like their vacations a little more on the active side. Whether you visit in the summer or the winter; are an adrenaline junkie or prefer gentler activities; there is plenty here to keep you busy.

1. Hiking in the Nockberge and Hohe Tauern National Parks

Nockberg National Park
Source: Wikimedia

Whether you want a short, easy 30-minute wander, or you want to spend several days exploring the mountains and experience a night or two in a traditional mountain hut, the Nockberge and Hohe Tauern National Parks bordering Gmund have plenty to offer. Both parks have some wonderful hikes around the waterfalls and spectacular natural beauty of this region - the trail heads are all easily accessible by car, and parking is usually free.

Routes are well marked and some - the shorter ones around the Koelbrein dam, and the Malta and Lieser rivers - are paved, making them an ideal choice for those who are less able. The view from the 200-meter (656 foot) high Koelbrein dam wall in the Hohe Tauern National Park is a sight to be seen, and regular guided tours of the inner workings of the dam are also available if you want a change in pace.

Nockberge National Park

Address: 9565 Ebene Reichenau Nr. 117

Website: Biosphärenpark Nockberge (in German)

Hohe Tauern National Park

Address: 9843 Großkirchheim, Döllach 14

Website: Hohe Tauern

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2. Try nordic walking in Maltatal

Nordic Walking
Source: Wikimedia

Nordic walking is a fantastic way to explore the mountain trails of the Maltatal and Lieser Valley. Using a pair of hiking poles, which you can buy or rent from one of the many local sports shops, your weight is evenly distributed across your legs and the two poles which make the steep mountain paths much easier to manage. Trails vary in difficulty, from easy 30 minute strolls, to full on whole day tours. You don’t need a guide (although you can join a guided group if you’d prefer) and the paths are well marked.

Be sure to check the weather forecast as mountain weather can be very changeable, and the last thing you want is to be caught in furious mountain storms! It is a good idea to take an extra sweater, as the temperature can drop as much as 15°C (59°F) if you venture up one of the higher paths. Snacks and water are also essential if you choose a longer walk, although there are some beautiful routes that take you by traditional Alm huts which sell snacks, coffee, and other refreshments.

Nordic walking trails

Website: Trail Routes in Lieser Valley and Maltatal

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3. Mountain bike up to the Eisentalhohe pass

Alpine Biking
Source: Pixabay

For those up for a challenge, rent a bike and take the Nockalmstrasse from Innerkrems, a village just a few miles from Gmund, up to the Eisentalhohe pass. Not for the faint-hearted, this is a 35 km (21.7 mile) uphill battle with 52 hairpin turns! Along the way, you can find lots of local attractions, from small Alm Hutten, offering local snacks and refreshments, to the Nockalm Biosphere Reserve Center and the Alpine Farming Museum.

Once you reach the pass you will have climbed to 2,040 meters (6,692 feet) and have an exhilarating downhill ride back Innerkrems to look forward to! If you feel this route is a little too ambitious for your abilities, or you prefer something more relaxing, there are many equally beautiful but much easier cycling trails that are closer to Gmund, and the local sports companies offer a smorgasbord of cycling tours.

Mountain Biking in Gmund and Innerkrems

Address: Sport Schiffer, 9862 Innerkrems

Website: Sport Schiffer (in German)

Alpine Farming Museum

Address: Nockalmstraße, A-9862 Kremsbrücke

Website: Alpine Farming Museum (in German)

Nockalm Biosphere Reserve Center

Website: Nockalm Biosphere Reserve Center

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4. Go rock climbing in Karnten

Rock climbing Fallbach
Source: Wikimedia

With 4 different rock climbing practice areas near Gmund, you don’t need to have any experience to enjoy this adventure. The most popular practice area is called the ‘Klettergarten Kreuzwand’ and has 50 routes for you to hone your skills on. Enthusiasts with a good amount of experience will find many well-marked granite, gneiss and migmatite routes ranging from a grade 5 to grade 10.

If you are feeling brave, the Fallbach fixed rope route is a 250-meter (820 foot) climb up a sheer granite rock face beside the highest waterfall in the region and is marked by a permanent steel cable from top to bottom. The more difficult sections have wall holds, karabiners or bolts inserted to help make it easier, but it is still a dizzying challenge. If you feel you have bitten off more than you can chew partway through the climb, there is a resting platform approximately half way up which connects with a walking path. You can leave the climb here and continue up on foot to the head of the waterfall. The climb is free of charge if you have your own gear.

Rock climbing with Alpinsport Koller

Address: Fischertratten 49, 9853 Gmünd

Website: Alpinsport Koller (in German)

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5. Canyoning in the waterfalls of Maltatal and the Lieser Valley

Canyoning
Source: Wikimedia

Wearing a wetsuit, helmet, and harness, spend three hours sliding down waterfalls, abseiling down rock faces, and jumping into deep rock pools for an impressively memorable experience. You will need to be confident in the water and, with some of the jumps as high as 12 meters (39 feet), this activity is not for the timid! Although there is a ‘Relaxing Canyoning’ option available, this still includes jumps of 4 meters (13 feet), so if you are bothered by heights, this is not for you!

It’s a good idea to have some snacks and water in your car for when you are finished, as you will be some distance from anywhere you can get food, and you will be hungry! If you like your travel a little more on the adventurous side, this is a wonderful way to see the beautiful waterfalls this region is famous for.

Canyoning with Alpinsport Koller

Address: Fischertratten 49, 9853 Gmünd

Website: Canyoning with Alpinsport Koller (in German)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria

6. Sled down the Sonnalm Stubeck

Traditional Sleds
Source: Pixabay

Sledding is called ‘rodeling’ in Austria, and if you are visiting Gmund in the winter time it is definitely something you have to experience before you leave. The Sonnalm Stubeck is just 12 km (7.5 miles) away and has a gentle natural toboggan run down a forestry access road, and a much steeper groomed piste run. Sledding is done in the late afternoon, after the last lift run, to avoid collisions with skiers and snowboarders.

If you decide to do the piste run, you must get to the top via the “summit taxi”, a converted piste basher, which is an experience in itself! This ‘taxi’ service will pick you up from the Frido Kordon Hutte (which incidentally is a great place to have a pre-sledding snack, hot chocolate or sneaky beer while you wait). Note that the faster route is unsuitable for younger children to take on their own, but this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy hurtling down the mountain doubled on a sled with an adult.

Sledding in Gmund

Address: 9853 Gmünd, Hauptplatz 20

Website: Gästeinformation Gmünd (in German)

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7. Skiing and snowboarding on Katschberg

Skiing and Snowboarding
Source: Pixabay

Skiing in Austria is something that most people associate with the superstar ski regions of Lech, Zurs, and St Anton - places that are well out of budget for the average tourist - but visit Gmund and you will find yourself a 19 minute drive from the Katchberg ski resort. Lesser known, but no less beautiful, this ski region is a favorite with the locals and the prices of lift passes reflect this.

Despite being off the beaten tourist path, Katschberg has 16 lifts giving access to 70 km (43.5 miles) of groomed pistes that offer a challenge for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Your lift pass entitles you to free travel on the local buses, so if you don’t have a car, or just prefer not to have to deal with the hassle of snow chains and driving yourself up and down the mountain each day, this is a great tip worth knowing about.

Katschberg Ski Resort

Address: A-9863 Katschberg 17

Website: Katschberg Ski Resort (in German)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria

8. Learn to langlauf by the Lieser River

Cross country skiing
Source: Pixabay

If you prefer a slower paced activity, langlaufen might be something you’d like to try. Langlaufen or cross-country skiing is very popular in this part of Austria, and there are many companies offering beginner lessons. The unpaved walking paths connecting the villages along the Lieser River become the langlauf routes once the snow falls, and from Gmund you can head out towards Maltatal on the tracked runs or you can drive to Innerkrems, about 20 km (12.4 miles) away and do a short 2.5 km (1.5 miles) circuit (a great option for beginners). Longer and more challenging routes can be found on the Katschberg cross-country ski runs.

Cross Country Ski Lessons

Address: 9862 Kremsbrücke, Innerkrems 9a

Website: Cross Country Ski Lessons (in German)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria

9. Snowshoe through the Nockberg and Hohe Tauern National Parks

Snow shoes
Source: Pixabay

The term “snow sports” doesn’t have to mean expensive lift passes and hurtling down a hill on skis or a snowboard. The slow and steady climb up can be just as beautiful and the mountains around Gmund offer some breathtaking (both literally and figuratively) snowshoeing. Even if you have never been snowshoeing before, it’s very easy to get the hang of and there are routes available for beginners and experts alike.

Your guide will double as your instructor, and help you to improve your technique if you are a beginner. However, you aren’t obliged to hire a guide and are welcome to find your own way up the mountainside, following the summer hiking routes in the Nockberg and Hohe Tauern National Parks, or the forestry access roads around Gmund to enjoy the beauteous silence and pristine scenery.

Snow Shoe with Sport Schiffer

Address: 9862 Kremsbrücke, Innerkrems 9a

Website: Sport Schiffer (in German)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria

10. Climb a frozen waterfall

Climb a frozen waterfall
Source: Pixabay

In the winter time, the waterfalls that Maltatal and Leiser Valleys are so famous for, freeze, transforming them into the perfect venue for a sensationally unique activity - ice climbing. There are a wide range of waterfalls available for this adventure with varying heights, and degrees of difficulty, so even if you have never ice climbed before, you are sure to find something within your comfort zone. Most of the ice falls are a short, easy drive from Gmund. Your instructor will choose the most appropriate ice fall for your ability and the snow conditions of the day. You will need to wear clothing that you can move about in freely, but are also very warm, and an extra pair of gloves is a good idea, as it’s not uncommon for your gloves to get wet and freezing fingers don’t make for a happy day!

Ice Climbing with Alpinsport Koller

Address: Fischertratten 49, 9853 Gmund

Website: Alpinsport Koller (in German)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Gmund, Lower Austria, Austria

Outdoor adventures await

It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit. Whether you are looking for a high-octane adventure, or just want a quiet day out admiring the countryside, there is something in Gmund for everyone.

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Genevieve is a self-confessed adventure and travel junkie who tends to end up living for a while in the places she visits! Having lived all over the world she loves sharing her travel stories and...Read more

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