Tobogganing is an enjoyable way to have fun in the snow, even if you’re not a skier. You don’t need any skills at all, expect for knowing how to hike and use your feet as brakes. The German word for going down a snow covered driveway in the forest is called „Rodeln“ – and you’re looking for „Rodelbahnen“ (toboggan runs), which are marked as such and usually also groomed to avoid bumps and to make your ride smooth.
Is tobogganing in Tirol suitable for families with kids?
In Tirol you’ll see locals take their kids from a very early age on, however you better feel comfortable stirring and breaking before taking your kid with you. Older kids have their own „Rodel“ (sledge), which are just a bit smaller.
What kind of sledges are there for tobogganing?
There are three kinds of sledges:
- „Bob“ Children usually go sliding down nearby hills with plastic sledges with a rope attached to it and a plastic break on each side. Those are usually just for short runs and kids. Alternatively a sturdy plastic bag will do the trick as well!
- Adults use „Zipfelbob“ sledges, which are a German product. Those mini bobs are tiny red plastic seats with stirring sticks to hold on to. They can get very fast and are usually only used on short tracks.
- Wooden sledges are the right choice for toboggan runs in Tirol. They come in different sizes (kids, teenagers, adults) and there are two types: the family sledges („Bock“) and the touring sledges („Tourenrodel or Rennrodel“). There are one and two-seaters for both kind, not all are made of wood but 95%. Touring sledges are easier to stir and whenever you get one at a rental place this is the one I’d ask for. Some huts offer rentals as well, those are usually the family sledges – which are fun too, just not as easy to stir. All braking is done with your feet and it’s easy to get the hang of it once you’ve tried it once or twice.
Where to buy a toboggan made in Tirol?
For the following runs you’ll need a proper (wooden) sledge, which you can get at ski rental shops and sometimes right at the hut. If you’re looking into buying on made in Tirol check out Gasser, Kathrein or Gallzein. Expect to spend 100 euro for a kid’s one and between 200-350 euro for the touring sledges.
Toboggan runs near Innsbruck for beginners
A little head’s up: we’re not suggesting any lift assisted runs here. Mainly because we believe in the satisfying reward of really having earned the way down before hopping on to your sled.
All of the following runs are a 30-40 minutes drive from Innsbruck at the most! They are all suitable for beginners. However, bear in mind that wearing a helmet is really something you should do. Also: ski googles will make the ride way more enjoyable depending on snowfall and speed. For most parts the ascending route is a different one to the one you sled down, which (once more) makes it perfect for watching over small children.
1. Gleirsch Alm in Sellrain
If you have small kids or you’re not feeling very fit – this run is for you. It’s only a 20-30 minutes easy hike to the hut and the way down is fairly slow depending on conditions.
The Gleirsch Alm has tasty (takeaway) Kiachl – a MUST EAT. Read this if you don’t know what those traditional doughnuts are. Check their facebook site for updates.
Parking available, you need to get a ticket – bring coins.
2. Kühtai from Graf Ferdinand Haus
Another easy run is in the middle of the Kühtai ski resort, which is 40 minutes from Innsbruck. The track is usually very well looked after and the hike shouldn’t take much longer than 40 minutes. The hut on top is a good place to have cup of tea or eat a hot soup before sledding down the 2,5 km run.
Sleds can be rented at one of the rental shops in Kuhtai or directly at the hut (call in advance Graf Ferdinand Haus +43 5239 21666 or on their mobile +43 676 4134880).
Free parking in Kühtai ski resort. Best place to park is near Dreiseen Lifte.
3. Naviser Hütte in Navis
The hike up to Naviser Hütte is the same track as the one where people are sledding down, so watch out. That said, the run is never steep and a perfect first run. The hike takes around 1-1,5 hours (390 meters altitude difference).
The hut has great food and whenever they’re closed there is a vending machine with drinks and snacks.
Parking: 4€ for the day, 2€ after 12:00.
4. Hoher Sattel in Leutasch
A little bit more challenging but still not too hard is the 385 hm ascent to Hoher Sattel. The winter hiking trail is always well prepared and the view from the top is worth the hike. The ride down is almost in a straight line – so if you catch icy conditions you might speed up.
No huts on the way, bring you own tea & snacks. Next rental service at Sport Norz in Waidach (on the way) 5€ per toboggan.
Parking: two hours for 2€, the whole day is 4€. Bring coins.
5. Maria Waldrast in Wipptal
You don’t have (rental) sled? No worries, Maria Waldrast got you covered. For 5 euros per sled you can rent one of theirs. The ride down is a bit faster than the prior suggestions, but the track is usually extremely well taken care of with snow walls and in the last section also an easy an expert run.
The restaurant Maria Waldrast is very good – takeaway is available. Closed on Mondays.
Free parking at the start.
PSSST: You didn’t hear it from me, but there are also taxi shuttles (6€pp) available to go up.
Wherever you end up going – be safe, have fun and enjoy the ride! I’m always curious to read feedback, so make sure you come back to All About Tirol and leave me a comment.
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