Length: 5,5 km
Altitude metres: 600 altitude metres
Ascent: Mountain railway
Recommended bike: Tour fully, enduro
Biking technique: ●●●○○
Biking fun: ●●●●●
Best time for travel: May - November
Possibility for a stop: Hacklberg-Alm
The Saalbach MTB region is the location of one of the most famous trails in the Austrian Alps - the Hacklberg Trail. The parcourse is for beginners and pros alike, with panoramic views across lush green meadows and places for a well-deserved rest.
But work first and fun later. Most freeriders know the legendary Hacklberg Trail already and know what I mean. To ride the trail, extended in 2014, from its starting point, you need to take the lift from Saalbach-Hinterglemm uphill to the East Schattberg first. If you want to get what your heart desires, then leave the trail after a short warm-up phase and tackle the short but extremely steep ascent to the West Schattberg. A total of 125 altitude metres is waiting here on just around one kilometres!
If that gets you worried, then just be reminded: The feeling to have finally mastered the drop that still got to you last week, to brake a bit later in order to whoosh through the banked curve this time - this is what biking is about. And this is also about that getting into the right flow costs blood, sweat and tears. Okay, that thing about the blood is not really necessary. What applied to Winston Churchill does not automatically have to apply to us.
The summit in 2.096 metres above sea level is the meeting point for the local freeride scene especially in the evening hours. The local freeriders often take the last lift uphill to enjoy the last rays of sunshine before they finally ride downhill.
But we start straight away: The first part of the trail is flowy and invites to slowly approaching your personal maximum speed. The upper part of the route also easily forgives serious biking mistakes, thus even absolute beginners get downhill safely. After around four kilometres, we reach the Hacklberg Alm with its wonderful panoramic view which invites to stay a while.
From here we climb the second part of the Hacklberg Trail which was opened in 2014. This part takes us from the Alm across the finest of natural ground parallel to the old forest path and then to Hinterglemm. You can feel that experienced builders put much work into the parcourse of the trail: Between valley view, root passages and contrasting shadow play of the forest segments, I find myself reducing my pace to get a glimpse of even the smallest detail of the landscape. Small waves invite to airtime moments on the first part and provide you with a really good flow feeling.
“Home of Cool“ is the slogan of the Saalbach region. And this slogan couldn’t be any truer. The end of the Hacklberg Trail then merges with the Buchegg Trail, thus a total of ten kilometres of the finest trail action can be enjoyed.