The world keeps spinning faster and faster, technology advancing at the speed of light with one innovation after another. In these hectic times, some of us long for the simple things in life. Perhaps a trip to the winter woods, some quality holiday time and a pair of snowshoes are all it takes to find your inner balance in this fast-paced world.. Need to unplug and unwind? It's time for a snowshoe tour in Ruhpolding, Upper Bavaria.
The motto is "back to the roots" - in many ways. Head out into nature, inhale the fragrances of the trees and let the calming atmosphere have its effect on your body and soul. But why snowshoes?(Photo: © Ruhpolding Tourismus GmbH)
From flat stretches in the valley to moderate ascents and steep climbs up to the summit, everything is possible in Ruhpolding. In any case, it's not a competition - it's about getting some fresh air and exercise in this beautiful natural setting. Snowshoeing is a great way to be connected to it all. You might discover a few animal tracks away from the path. A squirrel looking for his hidden stash, something rustling in the forest - maybe a fox or even a deer? Several kilometres of winter hiking trails and snowshoe trails lead across snow-covered meadows, through pristine forests dotted with rustic cabins.
Snowshoeing can be as strenuous as you make it. In Ruhpolding, the ‘beginners' tour to the Weingarten’ takes you off the beaten track to the mountain inn of the same name. The reward for all your hard work: a mouthwatering meal of crispy pork knuckle polished off with cream cheese strudel and stunning panoramic views across the Ruhpolding valley. Still not tired? Take it up a notch and climb the challenging trail to the Haaralm or even up to the Haaralmschneid. The forest trail will take you ever higher, past lonely spring wells covered in ice and eventually up to the cabins of the Haaralm. Here the southern slope of the Haaralmschneid rises steeply into the heavens. This section should only be attempted by people who are well-versed in avalanche safety skills and we strongly recommend booking an experienced guide to help you safely master the 4.5-hour hike with 800 metres of vertical gain.(Photo: © Ruhpolding Tourismus GmbH)
Snowshoes have undergone centuries of innovation and bear little resemblance to the ancient snowshoes depicted in 12,000-year-old cave drawings: round, tear-shaped, specimens made of wood and leather or long slats, to name a few. These shoes made with curved ash and leather straps have long since become a thing of the past. High-quality plastic snowshoes have been around since the 1980s and are vastly more comfortable.
To experience this winter wonderland from a different perspective, we highly recommend taking a horse-drawn carriage ride in Ruhpolding. From this elevated vantage point you get to enjoy a completely different view of the snow-covered winter landscape. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. This is a unique experience that will show you a side of Ruhpolding you don't see when hiking, cross-country skiing or skiing. While you're at it, don't miss the opportunity to have a chat with the driver about the Ruhpolding locals, Bavarian customs, insider tips or well-known legends. A driver always has stories to tell!(Photo: © Ruhpolding Tourismus GmbH)
No matter how you choose to travel, the forests of Bavaria offer an enriching experience for the body and soul. Find your inner energy and you'll be ready to jump back into action - perhaps on the 150 kilometres of prepared cross-country trails around Ruhpolding. The Chiemgau Arena and the three Ruhpolding ski resorts at Unternberg, Westernberg and Maiergschwendt also contribute to that Bavarian winter feeling.
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Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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