With about half of Austria’s area located in the Alps, there sure is no shortage of tracks for downhill mountain biking.
With such a small country most of the parks are located very close to each other making it a great option for the ultimate MTB vacation or road trip. Czech and German bike parks aren’t far away either.
Usually, bike park season in Austria starts in mid-June and ends in October. In the alps, that’s the window of opportunity when there is no snow on the trails. In some cases, parks may open despite snow or delay their opening due to snowfall.
So check operating hours in all of June to be save. The parks are overrun on the first few weekends, which is good if you want to see some international pro riders, but not recommended otherwise as lift lines get better after that.
Best Beginner Bike Parks
I get asked which Austrian park I’d recommend for beginners frequently. It’s a good question since alpine MTB trails are usually steep. So, here’s a list of Austrian bike parks and trail centers that anyone can ride – first-timers and beginner riders not used to steep and technical trails.
- Saalbach-Hinterglemm has easy beginner trails, one of the longest downhill lines in Europe and everything in between to try out. It’s not a standard bike park, but two towns (Saalbach and Hinterglemm) with multiple gondolas and loads of trails around them. Complete with a typical Austrian atmosphere and plenty of bars. For all full trail previews, check out my Saalbach-Hinterglemm Playlist on Youtube.
- Leogang (YT Playlist) is also right next to it up North. So close you could technically go over there by bike but there’s no good way. Still a good idea for a long road trip to combine those two.
- My personal secret tip is the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis region. There’s a Bikepark (Playlist) with a pumptrack and airbag jumps, and on top also a couple of Enduro Trails (Playlist) all in a single spot! It’s a popular spot for families with kids at all ages.
- Sölden (Playlist) is similar to Saalbach with multiple lifts up to easy flow trails and great panorama. For natural tech trails, you have to pedal. It’s a complete tourist town but not as diverse as Saalbach in terms of trail characteristics.
- Wexl Trails (Playlist) is a small trail center with a lift and fun flowy trails. But probably not worth the extra kilometers to get there (it’s in the far east).
“The Epic Bike Park”
Leogang is located in the state of Salzburg, towards Austria’s west 77 kilometers from the capital Salzburg city and 364 kilometers from Vienna.
In my estimation, it’s the best overall bike park, even over-delivering on what you’d expect from a park. There is a huge variation of over 10 tracks and single trails, all accessible by gondola lift. So it’s great for all skill levels – first-timers, pro-level riders and everyone in between.
Home of Austria’s version of Whistler’s famous A-line: the epic, flowy jump line “Hot Shots By GoPro”. Those jumps are massive right from the start, comparable to the “Monster Jumpline” at the end of “99 Jumps” in Schladming’s bike park.
It’s also a regular host for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups and world championships in both Downhill and Cross Country. The rest of the year the world cup tracks are open for any weekend warrior willing to attack them.
What truly sets Leogang apart from other bike parks in Austria or Europe for that matter – is the complete package for anything MTB. Besides some of the best tracks, you’ll find a slopestyle line with trick jumps, mulch jumps, a big asphalt pump track, a skills area and training grounds with three lifts getting you to the right place.
Leogang Trail Prints
Bring the adventure back home. Spice up your living room, man cave, gym or bedroom – whatever you’re into.
There is so much going on hillside and in the finish area that you need to plan a couple of days if you want to ride everything.
To check out the downhill tracks and single trails yourself, check out my video playlist of Leogang’s bike park.
In terms of accommodations, the gondola station is surrounded by hotels and a camping ground within the parking lot. Find nearby parking and camping on Google Maps here.
“Best Track Ever” – Brandon Fairclough on the Planai World Cup track
Planai mountain is also located in the state of Salzburg, towards Austria’s west 101 kilometers from the capital Salzburg city and 326 kilometers from Vienna. And as you may know from the annual alpine ski event Schladming night-slalom: the Planai in Schladming is a steep, steep mountain.
It’s my personal favorite, and there’s a reason why Schladming bike park is world-famous. But didn’t make the top of this list because it’s not the most beginner-friendly, although it was also the first park I ever rode at. The reason is that there’s only one easy (blue) line on the top half of the mountain, but no easy way to get down into the valley. This is about to change for the 2022 season with a new trail.
The existing blue flow trail is still going to satisfy any beginner with 12 kilometers of uninterrupted mellow trail with a great view. The medium-difficulty tracks are also great to get your feet wet as well as for warm-up laps. Though, as in any popular park, the red trails are littered with braking bumps.
Schladming Trail Prints
Beautifully illustrated by hand. Designed by us with attention to detail.
In total there’re ten tracks to choose from, including some flowy red tracks, a not-so-huge but long jump line and of course the legendary downhill world cup track which is a rare combination of natural tech, berms, jumps and speed on a steep hill. No wonder it’s often referred to as the best downhill track ever and attracts riders from all around the world.
Schladming has countless hotels and restaurants on option. Since in the parking lot at the gondola station, overnight parking is forbidden, campers need to seek out paid camping. Here’s the closest camping ground.
“Austria’s MTB Paradise”
The neighboring villages Saalbach and Hinterglemm too are located in the state of Salzburg, towards Austria’s west 94 kilometers from the capital Salzburg city and 381 kilometers from Vienna. In fact, it’s just one mountain ridge south of Leogang, making those regions perfect combination options.
In terms of trail options and variabilities, it’s the biggest MTB region in Austria. But unlike a regular bike park, the trails are spread over four mountains right next to Saalbach and Hinterglemm and a couple more if you include the neighboring regions Fieberbrunn and Leogang. Five major gondola lifts take you to most trailheads and allow traversing between the two villages.
The famous “X-Line” is one of the longest downhill lines in Europe at 6 kilometers in length and a total descent of 1.025 meters (video of a nonstop run here). You can bet on the weather to be different at the peak from down in the valley, but you will get hot regardless when riding down. This is the only track actually benefiting a downhill bike, all the other ones are better to ride on a more nimble enduro or all-mountain bike. That’s due to the tight switchbacks and gravel surfaces.
It’s such a big bike destination in terms of area size and trails, that I wrote a separate complete destination guide to the MTB paradise Saalbach-Hinterglemm. To see full top-to-bottom runs on all of Saalbach-Hinterglemm’s trails, check out my video playlist. Or for a sneak peak the following video edit:
Saalbach Trail Prints
The perfect gift for mountain bikers.
Made by riders for riders.
Serfaus Fiss Ladis
“The Insider Tip”
The village Serfaus in the state of Tyrol, is located in Austria’s southwest, 94 kilometers from the capital Innsbruck and 567 kilometers from Vienna.
It’s always shocking to me how little this fine bike park is mentioned.
Making it one of the more secret highlights on this list.
Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is actually a great overall MTB destination with 9 total trails in all difficulty levels. Check them out yourself in my YouTube playlist here.
That’s why you always see a lot of families with little rippers there, some taking courses in the bike skill school. In terms of blue flow-trails, Serfaus has one of the best selections even with dedicated kids trails among them.
There are even dedicated natural enduro trails mixed in with full-on rough DH tracks with big gaps and flowy freeride lines. With many options to switch and swap from one trail to another, you can create your perfect mix of flow, jumps and rough natural sections all the way down to the jump area.
I found literally every single track exceptionally flowy and great for the audience it was created for. While not on a massive mountain, you will want to get a lot of laps in here. Make sure to stop at the famous landmark at the top to snap a photo of the famous hut drop.
One extraordinary characteristic I should mention is the elevation of 1.429 meters. The thinner air is noticeable and takes some time getting used to. I usually get headaches on the first day, and some riders susceptible to altitude sickness may feel more effects.
Famous for Austria’s Crankworx but underrated as a bike park
Innsbruck is Tyrol’s capital in Austria’s west. It’s the only bike park on this list actually right next to a large city.
Despite being an incredible riding spot for ages, Innsbruck has only recently an internationally recognized mountain bike city as the host of the annual Crankworx MTB festival.
Getting to that international level, the Bikepark Innsbruck was also created on the Muttereralm mountain. In addition to trails for families and beginners, a full-on downhill line, which the best riders around the world race on, was also built.
Bikepark Innsbruck (Mutteralm) has 4 main tracks and countless smaller alternate lines on offer – with a Flow line, Freeride line, Downhill line, and Jump line (video playlist of Bike Park Insbruck) and the Crankworx courses like dual slalom, pumptrack and (closed for regular joes) the massive slopestyle line.
If you don’t want to put your bike away in the cellar during the cold season, you can use the snow bike trail on the Fiss downhill run as well as the toboggan run during the entire winter season. The trail on the ski slope is especially fun with a fatbike, but can also be ridden with normal downhill bikes with spike tires.
If the weather plays along, the red trail from the mountain station to the middle station is also open in winter. From here you can (quite literally) surf the flow trail down to the valley.
Sölden Bike Republic
Located in the state of Tyrol, in Austria’s southwest near the Italian border, 99 kilometers from the capital Innsbruck and 564 kilometers from Vienna.
The slogan Bike Republic is no understatement here. With an impressive number of 11 flow trails (video playlist here), 17 single trails (playlist), and 2 pump tracks, you got your hands full in the absolutely huge trail network in Sölden. The combination of scenic views and well-built enjoyable trails makes it one of Austria’s best-known trail areas.
You may have noticed, downhill tracks are not on the list of trails. So any mountain bike not able to pedal well is best left at home in favor of a mountain goat.
Semmering Bike Park
Spital am Semmering is also located in the state of Lower Austria, towards Austria’s southeast 139 kilometers from the capital St. Pölten and with only 97 kilometers from Vienna it’s the nearest bike park to Vienna.
Again, Semmering bike park is not a particularly catering to total beginners. While no track is incredibly steep, the only blue line is basically a fire road for most of the way down.
But the freeride line, jump line, slopestyle area and the historically rough downhill line more than make up for that for any advanced rider. Full playlist of all tracks here.
With lines crisscrossing there are multiple possibilities to combine your favorite passages together for your perfect way down the mountain. You’ll find natural wood sections, huge berms, rock gardens, jumps and a slopestyle line and some sizeable drops at your disposal.
The nearby parking lot is also a great, free option for campers, but hotels are just as close by.
“Family Friendly Trailpark”
“Corona Park” in St. Corona am Wechsel is also located in the state of Styria, towards Austria’s southeast 118 kilometers from the capital Graz and 94 kilometers from Vienna.
The Wexl Trail Area is definitely one of the more interesting venues for its trail selection and overall hill size. It’s amazing what the shaper crew managed to build here on a hill not as steep as the usual park in alpine mountains.
You can come here on any mountain bike: Hardtail, Enduro or Downhill. While the uphill flow may favor one type of bike and the off-camber downhill line another, the trails in between are built for all mountain bikers to enjoy.
There’s even a flowy jump line rivaling the 99 Jumps in Schladming in terms of flow and size, just not in length.
With a dedicated kids area, a “mini bike park” and maybe the most kids-friendly MTB trail around, the “Bergabradweg” (engl. downhill bike path), it’s the most family-friendly place to go ride with kids of any age.
Here’s my YouTube playlist of all lift-accessible trails, which are only a portion of what this trail center has to offer!
Brandnertal Bike Park
The award for the funniest names for its’s trails goes to Brandnertal in Vorarlberg, one of the most western regions of Austria.
They’re kind of an inside joke, where famous English names are written how a german-speaking person would write them down.
This park is a regular host to the IXS European Cus DH races on the Downhill line, which has got to be the track with the most roots ever.
All-in-all there’s a great variety of natural and shaped trails which all feature some kind of wooden feature.
When on your way through to Switzerland, Italy or Germany, definitely pick this one off too.
Other Good Parks in Austria
Trail Center Hohe Wand Wiese – Vienna’s MTB Zone
Yes, the capital Vienna has its own mountain bike area, located in the Wienerwald (Vienna’s forest) at Vienna’s outskirts. This is where the relatively little elevation is used for a uniquely fun trail area.
It has a basic tow lift that takes you up halfway, and your legs take you the rest of the ascent.
Trails are designed to also be ridden from the mid-point. Alternatively, if you’ve got some energy to burn, the uphill trail to the top starts from the very bottom. Trail usage fee still is to be paid even without lift access.
Wurbauerkogel – Short and steep
Windischgarsten is located in the state of Upper Austria, towards Austria’s north 88 kilometers from the capital Linz and 250 kilometers from Vienna.
While it is a bike park the tracks are relatively short for alpine standards. But it still has three tracks in all difficulties from easy to difficult.
So in that sense, it’s beginner-friendly and also has a technical track that was the host for the Austrian national champs a couple of times now.
All tracks share the same bottom third: a jump line with some berm corners to get to the lift station.
As it rains frequently in this valley, I should mention that it’s not recommended to ride there in rain or if it’s wet from rain the day before. The soil doesn’t soak up the water much which makes for a slippery affair.
The slow single-seater chairlift is one of the main setbacks here. So, no bench racing on the lift with your mates.
“All Season Riding”
Schöckl mountain is located in the state of Styria, in Austria’s south end just 20 kilometers from the capital Graz and 193 kilometers from Vienna.
You definitely won’t find any beginner trails on this mountain. Rather, here is the training grounds for Austria’s downhill elite. Even the new jump line has no easing into it with some sizeable double jumps out of the gate.
The tracks are littered with roots upon roots, rock gardens and loose rocks all the way down.
Natural features combined with man-made obstacles turn the trails there into some of the most notoriously technical and rough tracks in Austria that require careful line selection and technical proficiency.
For a different kind of challenge, you can even take the gondola in the winter, when the trails are covered with snow. It’s the only park I know that operates even with snow on the ground.
The tourism village Wagrain is located in the state of Salzburg, towards Austria’s west only 66 kilometers from the capital Salzburg city and 356 kilometers from Vienna.
Bike park Wagrain offers a mellow entry to alpine mountain biking near the other big bike parks Schladming, Leogang and Saalbach-Hinterglemm. If anything it takes the cake for the most touristy cable car name: Flying Mozart.
Don’t let the relatively small mountain in alpine standards fool you, this park is packed full of tracks and trail sections.
For the most amount of freeride flow, check out the almost 4-kilometer-long Hard Rock line full of rollers, jumps mixed with natural features. Naturally, the downhill line is only half the size, pointing straight down the mountain.
All in all what you find here prepares you for similar features, only larger and steeper in the bigger parks.
Additionally, it’s not as overrun, making for an enjoyable, stress-free atmosphere all around. Like at Semmering, the sections can be combined to your personal liking.
Königsberg – Pre-season riding
Hollenstein an der Ybbs is located in the state of Lower Austria, towards Austria’s north 100 kilometers from the capital St. Pölten and 173 kilometers from Vienna.
This relatively small park is on a smaller, less steep hill, which is rather unusual in Austria. With three tracks and a skills area, it still offers something for everybody. Natural single track, freeride jumps with north shore elements and an off-camber downhill line.
The downhill track is also not recommended in the rain or after rain, as the soil keeps the moisture for a long time and the track turns into a giant mud pool. Which creates for some entertaining video (like from the national championships training) but not so much for enjoyable riding.