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In Graubünden, Every Path is a Bike Trail

May 31, 2016
by graubuendenBIKE  
Mountain biker on the World Championship Trail with views of the Corviglia mountain station. Sunrise over Pontresina. Copyright by ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line swiss-image.ch Markus Greber

Graubünden, the largest vacation destination in Switzerland, is one of the most appealing mountain biking regions in the world. Graubünden offers everything to make every biker’s heart beat faster – from downhill adrenaline in Lenzerheide Bike Park, singletrack thrills on the Alps Epic Trail Davos, family fun on the pump tracks in Flims, wonders of nature all around Swiss national parks, or freeriding on the Corviglia Flow Trail in St. Moritz. Thanks to a tolerant attitude on the trails, bikers and hikers get along extremely well, and as a result, Graubünden is particularly proud of the fact that with almost no biking restrictions, every path is also a bike trail.

Thousands of kilometers of top-notch singletracks, exciting bike parks, and many other attractions draw bikers to the five bike destinations Davos-Klosters, Lenzerheide, Engadin St. Moritz, Flims, and Scuol Samnaun Val Müstair. Each region has its own specific cultural and scenic characteristics, which is why they offer a particularly unforgettable biking adventure in Graubünden. All these highlights can be reached easily – international guests arrive in Zurich and can get to Graubünden by public transportation within only 90 minutes. All destinations in Graubünden are extremely well connected and easy to reach by train, bus, and mountain railway. In many places, your luggage can simply be transferred from hotel to hotel, and many gondolas are included in the price for accommodation. In addition, professional biking guides are happy to share their secret tips on guided tours. In hotels of all classes certified by graubündenBIKE, time not spent on your bike is also guaranteed to be exciting. With breakfast especially for athletes, bike garages and repair shops, laundry service, bike washing stations, and knowledgeable hoteliers, your downtime is sure to be relaxing and your next tour will definitely get off to a great start. Visitors, who want to leave their bike at home, will easily be able to rent a top bike in all the destinations of graubündenBIKE.

by DKK Scott

Altitudes of 500 to 3,000 meters (1,640 to 9,842 feet) above sea level, a diverse array of flora and fauna, bike trails and attractions for every taste make Graubünden one of the most appealing bike regions in the world. One example is the multifaceted flow tour. Its singletracks are some of the most beautiful in Graubünden – flowing, alpine, varied, and straight through the middle of the mountains in Chur, Lenzerheide, and all the way to Flims, where a descent on the TREK Runca Trail awaits. Over the course of three days, guests pass through 120 kilometers (75 miles) of wild natural landscapes, with the impressive Rheinschlucht – the “Swiss Grand Canyon” – as the tour’s highlight.

The Lenzerheide Bike Park offers a very different experience. An extremely varied playground with five difficulty levels awaits all bikers – from beginners to professional riders – between the Scharmoin intermediate station and the Rothorn base station. This is also where you will find the current World Cup track, where the 2018 World Championships will be held. For everyone, who wants to discover one-of-a-kind landscapes on their mountain bike, the national park in the Scuol Samnaun Val Müstair region offers one of the most scenic tours in Switzerland. The rocky gorge in Val d’Uina and the Bernina Express Trail are two particular highlights of this tour. The tour circles the entire Swiss national park in four stages.

by GaudenzDanuser.com

The Engadin St. Moritz region is not only known for glamorous winter sports, but also for outstanding biking. The Corviglia Flow Trail is an unforgettable descending pump track, which has been harmoniously integrated into the landscape over 480 meters (1,575 feet) of elevation. When riding this flow trail, the spotlight is definitely on the fun factor. The trail leads from the Corviglia top station over the Sass Runzöl and Alp Nova to the Chantarella intermediate station.

Singletrack fans will also get their money’s worth in Davos Klosters, for example on the Alps Epic Trail Davos, which was named an Epic Trail in 2014 by the IMBA. As such, the route from Jakobshorn to Filisur has joined the ranks of the world’s best mountain biking trails. The single track is one of the longest in Switzerland and stands out thanks to its landscape and first-class upkeep – which are both characteristics that apply to all the bike trails throughout the entire Graubünden region.

Fore more information check out: www.graubuenden.ch/en / @graubuendenBIKE

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25 Comments

  • 9 0
 What about the bike ban in Samedan?
www.ride.ch/news/samedan-fuehrt-grossflaechig-bike-verbote-ein
Didn't you know about that? Yes things are going backwards in Graubünden I'm afraid
  • 4 0
 @EnduroManiac Yes, we also heard about this intended bike ban on some trails around Samedan. the ban is not definitiv at the moment. A meeting is planned between the tourism-organisation of Engadin St. Moritz and the community. So we hope they will find a solution, because we really have the big advantage, that we can bike in Graubünden on almost all tracks. And mostly we really have no problems between hikers and bikers. Of course, it's very important in the communication to advise both of the "trail-tolerance" (with flyers, information-board etc.). So, we hope that we can convince the community of Samedan of the importance of attractive trails for bikers.
  • 3 0
 @graubuendenBIKE: I hope you manage to, I use to spend my holidays there, and still plan to for this summer. I might have to change that though... Hopefully not!
  • 1 0
 @graubuendenBIKE: Maybe you should propose a bit of maintenance on the trails. For example, closing off short cuts on switch backs, closing worn out and unused lines....Be a leader! There is so much money in Engadin, for sure if you are motivated to keep the great trails open and rideable, you can fund a trail crew.

Take this picture as an example of how shitty and not maintained the trails are here. This Trail is in Glarus, (neighboring Kanton to Graubünden). I have seen similar situation to this all over in GR.
www.ufdereis.ch/Wandern/5Seen/slides/5%20Seen%20Wanderung%20'Baschalvasee'%2021_09_2010%20(32).JPG32

How many lines can you count around that lake. Its embarrasing that they let it get so bad, but no one seems to care as long as the Tourists keep coming.....yet at the same time the whole tourism industry and Hotels are constantly complaining about decreasing visitor numbers.....Maybe if they took care of their resources things would be different.

rant over :-)
  • 2 3
 Yes, but who cares about one dorf complaining about destroyed trails?! I have been riding all over GR in last 5 years and it is not the mountainbikers that destroy the trails. Its the hikers, cows, beginners that are on the brakes all the time. (Un)fortunately there are not that many bikers in GR yet. The trails been there for hundreds of years and only recently bikers are exploring the region. Naturally those trails wear out but guess how much money it would take to maintain them. Too much given the manpower rate. If you complain about insufficiently maintained trails, maybe trail riding is not for you and you should consider road biking or BMX. Or just give up and watch TV. Bikeparks are very well maintained and some trails are a bit rough, but that only adds to the fun of riding them.

GR is doing a great job in promoting mountainbiking in the kanton. It is easily reachable and there are tons of great singletrails. Take any app and you can just go and take any lift and adventure for days. There is enormous potential in Switzerland and especially GR. For instance, take Chur. They open early and were open till 31 December. St Moritz is differernt story. It is in remote place, daypass is expensive, but the flowtrail is great. Plus the terrain is different to rest of GR. If you combine that with Livigno or Madesimo (both in ITA), it is still a great destination.

I have not come across angry farmers or hikers in Switzerland (Ticino might be exception but they are Italians..). So come and ride in GR and/or Wallis!!
  • 3 1
 @edmundsg:
This is exactly what the problem is here in Switz. As edmundsg illustrates, the typical Swiss rider does not understand the concept of trail MAINTENANCE, and automatically equates it with a manicured bikepark.
the issue I tried to illustrate in the link I attached is that without maintenance, and no culture of responsibility among bikers many lines develop (like in the pic I attached), and eventually people realize that 37 trails going around a little mountain lake does not look nice, nor is it neccesary. Then they decide 'to do something' about it....and that usually means kicking out the bikers ( as in the case of Samedan).

edmundsg you should be ashamed to say 'who cares' when ANY location closes trails to mountain bikes. When a trail is closed all mountain bikers lose. Closed trails set a precident that this is how to deal with overused trails, instead of just fixing or maintaining them.
  • 2 0
 @thedirtyburritto: I agree with the need for a) respecting other trail users; b) being responsible and aware of the impact that our actions have on other riders and (in principle) c) with the need for some trail maintenance. However, the latter is, if I am not mistaken, far from trivial in Switzerland. I believe that most trails run through someone's land, which would then require any crew to get permission from quite some people to work on a trail. Add to that that cows roam over most trails and then things get even logistically complicated. If Graubunden Tourism wants to promote mountain biking then they could have some leverage regarding maintenance (though the situation in Samedan shows that their leverage is limited), but how would you go about maintaining some remote trail in Glarus?
  • 1 0
 @thedirtyburritto: I'm not sure where you come from, but what you call trail on that picture are cow path. It has always been like this in the alps, well before biker showed up. Don't cry wolf.

In Wallis we had problem with trail erosion on some of our trail (eg: The Brazilian). But outside those few trails the problem is minimal. Erosion due to cattles, lifestock and horses is way more common and in fact it's not considered a problem. Those alpine trails are just like living organisms: changing constantly.

Now, it looks like you don't know that trails (not bike specific or bikepark ones) are maintained by municipalities. Some do more work than others. Did you think those fallen trees you encounter in the spring are magically removed?

If you think an official trail (listed in Swisstopo) has a maintenance problem, just signal it to your municipality/city/etc..
  • 8 0
 In Wallis every trail is runs through an angry sheep farmers rented land where they put the fences as close to the trail as possible. At least Graubunden is trying and making trails for us.
  • 2 0
 I lived in GR for five years. There is a huge potential for biking, no doubt, and they do a great job advertising it,
but it is like everywhere else: more bikers leads to worn-out trails, crowded gondolas, closures, etc.
GR-turismus is a the turning point where they need to realize that they need to think ahead the trail planning and
maintenance. And put in the money there, not in advertising anymore.
  • 3 0
 This is absolutely true. The big difference between the trails in Switzerland and those in the US for example, is a huge lack of maintenance. There is no such thing as a 'trail crew' in Switz. at least not in the same style as in US, or Canada. GR Tourism has seen how beneficial biking can be for the economy, but they also need to think about the condition of the trails after all this increased use. Just click the link that EnduroManiac posted, and you can see in the picture one very big reason why bike bans will be more common in Switz. in the coming years.....a spiders web of trails, with no clear 'official' line and zero maintenance. If I was a landowner and I had this on my land I'd be pissed too. I also have to say many, many riders here in the Alps have no respect for the trail or nature. Lots of guys cut corners and skidding all over the place. You dont' have to be a fortune teller to see that an irresponsible riding culture along with no maintenance plan is going to be a disaster.
  • 1 0
 @thedirtyburritto: 100% agreed. While I actually like our trail often not being built for mountain bikers (makes it more challenging/interesting), I have to admit that skidding and leaving the actual trail here is way too common.
I was in Western Colorado for a couple of months and there the tire marks never leave the actual trail. And if you do leave it or skid you get roasted by the locals. I know that the soil/plants there are even more sensitive than in Switzerland but still...
But when I tell my friends they don't even understand what I'm trying to say and drop lines like "skidding is just fun"!
  • 1 0
 @mainissueMTB: You can't compare trails in Colorado and trails here in Switzerland. The trail system density is thru the roof in the alps.
Look, in Wallis alone we have more than 8'000 km (+- 5000 miles) of hiking trail that are marked in an area that is less than 5'500km2 (+- 2200 sq/miles). And those are only the official marked trails...

@thedirtyburritto:
If you want to do something for your municipality/community. Just ask them if it's possible to join and help them when they do trail maintenance. They wont refuse any help.
  • 1 0
 @inversedotch: Generally, your right. But most riding there (Western Colorado) doesn't happen on remote single trail covering huge areas but in relatively small but dense trail systems. Like the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction or 18 Road in Fruita. And still, barely anyone used shortcuts or rode "creative lines", leaving the designated track.

But yes: In Crested Butte for example, where the riding is much like here in the Alps, it's a different story.
  • 2 0
 To those complaining about the situation in Graubunden : Go for a ride in the Freiburger Pre-Alps. You'll see barbed wire (with HUGE spikes) really close to the trail, trees fallen in the middle of the road… So, stop complaining about not having manicured trails and for god's sake have RESPECT. Respect to the mountain, to the hikers (and whatsoever shares the trails with you (yes, E-bikes too)) and to the wildlife. Because when you see a tampax (sanitary napkin) in the middle of the trail I really want to kill the person who left it there.
Respect the nature for God's sake !

P.S : If you are a respectful rider you're not concerned by the last part.
Cheers and enjoy your ride !
  • 1 1
 No offence to aserta22 but this is a very good example about how the simple idea of trail maintenance is like a foreign language for many Swiss. Many people here, hear the word 'maintenance' and think 'manicured'....just like in the post above. No one here said anything about manicured trails, we have simply been talking about maintenance of the overused hiking paths....there is a very big difference. I absolutely prefer the raw, hiking trails in the alps and never ride in a bike park, but the old walking trails are just not taken care of....truly a shame.
  • 2 0
 We live in Davos (in Graubünden) and we have a great trail crew who do a superb job working with local landowners, keeping our shared trails in tip top condition. This is probably the best biking destination in the world. Feel free to stay away though, all the more space for us ????
  • 4 0
 @EnduroManiac Same thing I just wanted to post too.. sad thing - we'll see how it develops
  • 5 0
 Switzeeeeeeeeerland Smile
  • 2 0
 Trail ban is really becomming an issue and just wait for the planed e-bikes invasion, you will see the desastre here in Switzerland...
  • 5 4
 Graubünden.. Graubünden.. Graubünden ... bla bla. How much did you pay for this?
  • 4 0
 haha. well, somebody has to pay for the great daily content on here.
but at least Graubünden tourism is doing something. If only every tourism region would push mountainbiking as hard as they are doing it right now...
  • 5 1
 as you can read it's a press release..so nobody pays. but thank you for moaning Smile
  • 1 1
 @xkriegerx: Do you belive in Santa Claus?
  • 2 0
 @pascalchristen: Yes, it is very good Graubünden tourism is at least doing something!

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