Video: Andrew Neethling Checks Out the Other Side of Leogang - Chasing Trail Ep. 29

Sep 13, 2019
by SCOTT Sports  

I have been coming to Leogang, Austria ever since the first Downhill World Cup they hosted back in 2010. This region in the Alps is famous for its winter months but is quickly becoming a popular biking destination. We can look back to the 2002 World Championships which was held down the Valley in Kaprun, Zel Em See which may have started it all. I competed as a Junior at that event and remember it fondly. It was the race where the great Nico Vouilloz won his 10th and Final World Championship Title.

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn


Racing in Leogang was always a pleasure. It is a great, all-around track and the event has a relaxed atmosphere. This time around, however, I wasn’t here to race. I came to create memories that had nothing to do with racing.

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

Racing is all about being smart with your time and energy. There is no chance to site see or take in the surrounding trails when at a race. You barely have a chance to look around at the most magnificent mountain peaks which surround Leogang because you are so focused with the job at hand. The mountain ranges are truly breathtaking. I was excited to see what they had to offer away from the race scene and race track.

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

I insisted on starting my trip with a guilt free weiner schnitzel and a beer, something I would highly recommend when visiting. The next day our goal was to see as much of the riding outside the bike park as possible. The local tourism board has put great effort into some new trails which you can access by taking the lift which suited me just fine. There are also easy access roads to ride up to get some kms in.

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

The trails snake their way down some beautiful woods and can be enjoyed by most skill levels which is key to the success of the area. To break up the day I had lunch mid-way up the mountain “Après Ski” style which added to the experience. Watch out for the free roaming cows! If you’re looking for a longer ride, on day 2 we made our way out to an old hiking trail which is now legal to ride. Lovely raw single track again with out of this world views and it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere.

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

For all the years of racing here I had not ridden the actual bike park so I obviously couldn’t resist slapping some bike park turns and having some fun on the more man-made trails to end my trip. There is truly something here for everyone. With the region known for its delicious cheese, spicy sausage, crunchy vegetables and cleansing schnapps – the farmers in Pinzgau know how to honor their roots and made for great fuel to keep my energy levels up. I think it’s safe to say I will be back to explore in the future. Cheers LEOGANG

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

SCOTT Keno Derleyn

For more Episodes of "Chasing Trail", click HERE!

Text: Andrew Neethling
Photos: Keno Derleyn
Video: ShapeRideShoot
Location: Leogang


20 Comments

  • 2 0
 Headed to Austria in a month and have been doing some research. Getting so many mixed reviews, especially about Leogang. I hear the bike park is expensive and unimpressive. The Matzalm trail sounds nice but this is only 1 trail. I hear a lot of trails are closed to bikes, and in general bikes are not very welcome. Lift served is nice but I'd like to know where I can find a good assortment of up and down loops I can ride, the closer to Vienna or Munich the better.
  • 1 0
 I life about 45-50 minutes away from Leogang and never go there after many years beeing a regular visitor. Can´t say anything about the new trails (Matzalm, Schwarzleo) but the rest is just not up to what others are offering. The trails have been "reshaped" several times and in my personal opinion others (Nauders, Sölden, Brandtnertal) do it better.

My personal favorite is Nauders as there is not many man-made stuff and rough terrain.

Sorry I can´t give you any tipps that are close to Munich or Vienna.
  • 5 0
 Leogang is easily connected with Saalbach and Hinterglemm by bike and there are many trails for riders of all skills. I can especially recommend the more natural trails Hackelberg and Bergstadl also X-Line on the same hill. All of this is connected with cable cars. Not a bad destination for biking. But there is a trail centre/bikepark in every valey in Austria, so there are so many opportunities to ride.. Wink
  • 3 0
 @i-am-lp: you clearly have not experienced what mountain biking is on the other side of the pond. When you travel that far away to make it down the single single track the valley has to offer, it is rather disappointing. Nauders is not bad, but it is not very well maintained i'd say and there are still some remnants of poor judgment in the building of some trails. Solden has invested a lot, and so have many other places. Since i live in Austria, I prefer exploring natural trails, illegal of course, which deliver the goods and aren't as travelled at this time of the year...Your best bet is to find locals, where ever you end up being, and follow them! Or you just go to Sud-Tirol, where you get the same food and beer, but also get cycle friendly people supporting mountain biking...
  • 4 0
 @H2o1199 you might get a better suggestions if you let us know what kind of biking you'd like to do.

If big jumps and air time is your thing - don't go to Nauders, go to Leogang.

If you are more into lift-assisted enduro - don't go to Leogang, go to Nauders.

and so on Smile

I personally like Leogang because of the jumps, I'd gladly ride HotShots and Freeride all day , I wish there were more A-line like tracks around.
That said, Matzalm trail is a lot of fun too, if it's not super wet, it is short-ish though, so is Antonious, but then when I want to ride natural gnar...I go elsewhere.
  • 1 0
 @Milko3D: Thanks for the help. I will be in Austria the week of 10/26, so I realize I may need to make plans according to the weather. I'd assume the more "Alp-like" areas may be pretty cold and snowy by then. For riding style, I prefer more natural, enduro-style trails over flow and jump trails. Ideally, I'd end up somewhere where I can rent a good bike and go on a several-hour ride on natural trails that are "off the beaten path."
  • 1 0
 @Milko3D: Bergstadl Trail looks like more my style.
  • 3 0
 I went there last summer. Stay in saalbach-hintergleim on the backside of the mountain of Leogang. You get free lift pass for the 5 gondola's in saalbach and 1 free lift/day at leogang bikepark.
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: Cool. Any advice on where to stay and where to rent a good bike?
  • 1 0
 @H2o1199: It's super nice indeed. I think Bergstadl was my favorite trail I rode in that area last summer. X-Trail was pretty nice as well. I also got to ride the Antonius Trail just a few days after it opened. Super nice!
  • 3 0
 @H2o1199: Nice! In that case you'd be better off doing what @LaXcarp said and stay on the Saalbach side.
There's the X line, the Hacklberg, the Bergstadl plus a few others for variety. And the 1 up per day with the Asitzbahn (the Leogang lift) which is kinda enough to explore.

There are also some legal trails that are part of the hiking network which should suit your preference (and some that aren't but are cool to do).

Rental bike: There are two bike shops that offer good bikes in my opinion though prices aren't exactly low: Sport Hagleitner and Bike 'n' Soul. Some hotels and a few other shops also offer bikes to rent, but they are a touch lower end.

As to where to stay - well, it's up to your budget and how fancy you wanna go. The most important thing is to get the Joker Card - that's your lift pass and most accommodations offer it.

If you still need something closer to Munich, we'll talk separately Smile
  • 1 0
 Thanks @Milko3D ! According to the Saalbach website, the lifts will be closed right before I arrive. I don't mind climbing and it looks like there are a lot of work roads for climbing. Am I right or am I going to wish I had an e-bike?
  • 1 0
 @H2o1199: Ah, bummer.

There are, you can get to all trails on your own. However, some of the climbs are long and/or steep, nothing impossible but Id' be impressed if you fancied 2000 vertical meters every day for a week for one 5min run.

If the lifts are closed, make sure to check the bike shops opening times.

Have a look at alternatives maybe, here are the closing times of most places around:
www.lines-mag.at/bikepark-closings-2019/?fbclid=IwAR21svjhXwRSDiafTot08Plau9gYqYHNUXln08WvyEbrMbeznIe9bTGHcR0
  • 1 0
 @H2o1199: there are lots of lodging options, just make sure they have the joker card. Saalbach is a sleepover town, hintergleim has a bit more touristy things
  • 1 0
 @H2o1199: you can rent an ebike in town
  • 2 0
 Hey everybody. In Austria you will find every kind of riding area. The sport is growing realy fast and so the spots. I live here in Austria near Graz and do my pasion nearly 20 years. If you wanna have a good impression of the bike areas it will be good to have a roadtrip from the south east then goes up. You will reach good spots within 400-500km of driving, may starting with a day in Maribor(SLO) near the boarder to Austria and go up in the north to Graz, many spots are there, most of them are illegal, may you swith to the Wexl Areas and Semmering Bike Park then go to Salzburg with Saalbach, Wagrain, Leogang and so on. Also the EWS trail in coritia called thriller will challange you. Next year bike park Schladming is back on track, so it is up to you. Near munich are the Spots in Salzburg.
  • 1 0
 I have been to Leogang at the time of world cup and was riding Schwarzleo Trail a lot. I really like the new direction Leogang is taking by building more trails instead of tracks.
  • 1 0
 The "otherside" of Leogang is actually saalbach-hintergleim and has some pretty sick riding.
  • 1 0
 Looks awesome, but I had to turn the sound off about half way through as the repetition was doing my head!
  • 1 0
 ..

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