Great Trails: Tirol’s five best bike downhills
Last updated on 20.04.2023
Which are the best single trails in Tirol? With the most beautiful routes and the best service for enduro holidaymakers? A top-class jury has se-lected the five best single trails from a myriad of routes totalling some 330 kilometres! Decisive criteria for defining the best “all-in-one” trails were the challenges they present, the scenic experience, routes suitable for families, the “WOW” effect and degree of difficulty. The winners are: Plamort Trail, Fleckalm Trail, Högtrail, Peter-Sagan-Trail and Fernar Trail.
Whether root-strewn forest trails or high alpine climbs, they all have one thing in common for downhill-oriented mountain bikers: the “flow” on the descent, the feeling of being completely absorbed in the activity, a sense of freedom and community. Numerous trails in Tirol, the number one cycling region in Europe, have already garnered the “Great Trail” title. They exemplify a selection of over 330 kilometres of single trails in Tirol that inspire bikers to dream of their next adventure on narrow mountain paths. A jury of experts has now selected the five Great Trails from this collection of the most popular trails!
Tirol is a paradise for mountain bike enthusiasts, with breathtaking mountain scenery, varied terrain and well-developed trail networks – designed for beginners, families and absolute pros. It is the combination of demanding terrain, safety, nature conservation, challenge, landscape and infrastructure that create truly memorable moments for mountain bikers here. This was also the focus of the jury, who chose the five best in Tirol.
Celine Blochberger, MTB and downhill guide and sports model who lives in Whistler, Canada, was one of the jury members. She certainly knows her stuff when it comes to international top destinations; as does Peter Kaiser, dirt jumper, photographer and passionate video producer. The Tirolean film and photo artist loves to ride slopestyle courses. There are many trained mountain bike guides, but only one of them is responsible for all the single trails in Tirol: Lars Lotze. He works for the provincial government of Tirol as representative for the Tirolean Mountain Bike Model, which promotes the approval and signposting of MTB routes and single trails.
Steffi Marth, two-time 4Cross world champion and German champion in both this discipline as well as in BMX, was also on the jury; she is fascinated above all by the feeling of freedom that comes with mountain biking. Anyone who has ever won the downhill race on the notorious Nordketten single trail in Innsbruck also knows something about single trails. Benedikt Purner is well-known in the Tirolean downhill scene and has already built a few trails himself
The most important criterion? The fun factor!
“Both professionals and less experienced single trail bikers should have fun on these descents,” commented influencer, Celine Blochberger, after the final decision had been made. The Great Trails in Tirol are a mixture of natural and man-made trails that are challenging both physically and technically, but not so demanding they are almost impossible for average mountain bikers to surmount. They are rideable for most all-mountain and enduro bikers, but never boring. Sport-savvy families will especially enjoy the Högtrail. And these trails offer an array of additional incentives besides mountain biking, be it the magnificent mountain views, a welcoming alpine farm or a great bar in the immediate vicinity.
All Great Trails are easy to find in Tirol. They are well marked on their own maps, perfectly signposted and of course officially approved for mountain bikers. Nothing can detract from the flow experience, except for the occasional riding mistake or mishap. But these can be quickly and easily rectified on site with riding technique and mechanics courses.
Full service throughout Tirol
Single trails are a pleasure for professionals and beginners, for hardened riders and youngsters. Tirol is located in the centre of Europe and is easily accessible by all means of transport for an enduro holiday. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent bikes and equipment such as protectors or helmets in all regions. Numerous hotels and accommodation providers are also geared towards mountain bikers. They offer secured storage, washing facilities and, of course, tools for repairs. And the perfect transport to the single trails is provided by dedicated bike transport services offered by tourist regions and, of course, the perfectly developed cable car network.
Here are the Great Trails
Plamort Trail in Nauders
“Boundless trail fun – when you ride the Plamort Trail, you experience all the facets of a gnarly nature trail. You start at the famous scenic rock, challenging, rocky trail sections, high speed, flow – until you meet civilisation again just above the Reschensee lake.” (Benedikt Purner)
- How to get there: approaching from Nauders to the Bergkastelbahn valley station.
- Starting point: Bergkastel mountain lift station, Nauders
- Length: 5.5 kilometres
- Metres in altitude downhill: 735
- Level of difficulty: moderate
Fleckalm Trail in den Kitzbühel Alps
“Those looking for all the characteristic elements of a trail on a seemingly endless route, will find them in the Kitzbühel Alps. The number of turns is virtually endless, but one thing is for sure: you will never tire of the Fleckalm Trail.” (Steffi Marth)
- Starting point: Fleckalmbahn mountain lift station
- Length: 7.1 kilometres
- Metres in altitude downhill: 1,100
- Level of difficulty: moderate
Högtrail in Serfaus
“The Högtrail is a flow trail and suitable for all levels of ability. Both novices and experienced bikers will find fun here.” (Celine Blochberger)
- Starting point: Hög, Alpkopfbahn/Komperdellbahn car park
- Length: 3.8 kilometres
- Metres in altitude downhill: 320
- Level of difficulty: easy
Peter-Sagan-Trail in East Tirol
“The Peter-Sagan-Trail is a true highlight: great airtime is guaranteed here. With the possibility of making a detour into the “Welcome to the Jungle” section, even advanced and professional riders are in for a treat here.” (Peter Kaiser)
- Starting point: Sternalm in Lienz, Schlossbergbahn cable car base station car park
- Length: 4.9 kilometres
- Metres in altitude downhill: 560
- Level of difficulty: moderate
Fernar Trail in the Ötztal Alps
“I was surprised how technically demanding the trail was when I rode it for the first time. It’s an absolute blast – high alpine scenery with some technically gnarly and sometimes exposed sections. And all legal from top to bottom – a unique opportunity in Tirol, of which we definitely need more.” (Lars Lotze)
- Starting point: Gaislachkogelbahn cable car base station in Sölden
- Getting here: The trail can only be reached by an organised shuttle service that runs every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.
- Length: 6 kilometres
- Metres in altitude downhill: 823
- Level of difficulty: challenging
Further information on the Great Trails: www.tirol.at/greattrails