Cross-country skiing in the highlands around Innsbruck

Last updated 20.12.2016EstherEsther

The last few laps before sunset – 17:30 ( 21.02.2012 )

Any cross-country skier in the Tirol will tell you that Seefeld and Lake Achen are classic ski areas, and I have often reported on the great Nordic skiing opportunities in the Lüsener Valley. But new to me is the area above Hall: although the cross-country area isn’t huge here, there’s enough to keep you busy for a few hours, and the well-groomed slopes (suitable for both classic and skating styles) are varied and idyllic, guiding you over undulating terrain past farms, lakes and forests:

  • Length of trails: 13 km classic, 8km skating
  • Cost: Free use of trails and parking
  • The village area of Gnadenwald lies on a sunny plateau, 800-metres above sea level. In the middle of winter, when snow cover is good but the weather is very cold, it makes a decent alternative to higher altitude areas. In spring, you need to arrive early for the best conditions but, with this year’s snow, the slopes are looking good, with plenty of snow. The skating trail, however, can get a little soft when the sun is strong.
  • Parking: Park in Hall, just before Gnadenwald, in the Bank car park opposite the Speckbacherhofs Hotel.

Click here for a Gnadenwald trail map

Gnadenwald: Amazing views towards the Tux Alps

Gnadenwald: Amazing views towards the Tux Alps

Furthermore, the northern areas opposite are also said to be excellent for cross-country. Tulfes and Rinn are particularly popular with expert skiers, although I’m yet to try their trails myself – when I do, I’ll let you know if the rumours aren’t true!

  • Length of trails: 27km classic and skating
  • Cost: Free use of the trails and parking
  • Rinn sits 920-metres above sea level on a shady central mountain plateau opposite Gnadenwald. Less sunlight here means Rinn isn’t as warm as Gnadenwald in winter, but it holds its snow better in spring, promising a longer season with good snow.
  • Parking: Golflift car-park, at the edge of Judenstein, or in Judenstein free car-park.

Being a passionate road cyclist, Esther Wilhelm believes cycling is the best way to see and experience how much Tirol has to offer. Moreover, she knows the best places to take a rest and to have the best food and drinks.

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