It goes without saying that Innsbruck is absolutely picturesque. Colorful Austrian buildings nestled in amongst towering snow-capped mountains – it’s a nature-lover’s dream. And without doubt there is plenty to do during the high seasons. Winter provides some of Europe’s best skiing and snowboarding, while trail riding there in the summer is one of the mountain biking’s best kept secrets.
However, this time of year, most ski resorts have closed for the winter and the city’s surrounding bike trails are still in rough shape post-melt. That said, a classic sunny day in Innsbruck never goes to waste, so we gathered a crew and headed off for one of Innsbruck’s must-do activities – a walk along the Sillschlucht Gorge.
With a dog in tow, we rode through the colourful streets of Innsbruck and met at the trailhead of the “Panoramaweg” (Panorama Way). This is walk is a total cruise and offers some incredible panoramic views of Innsbruck and the mountainous backdrop.
From there, we ended up just behind the Bergisel Ski Jump. Designed in the early 2000s, the structure has become something of an architectural icon.
Below the ski jump is the Drachenfelsen Observation Deck. It extends 20m from the edge of the gorge to look out over the Sill River 50m below. It’s a great way to get a birds-eye view of the gorge below, before continuing down the trail to walk along the water.
As we made our way down to the river, we came across several waterfalls where we stopped for some playtime with the pup and lunch. During shoulder season, this hike is unusually absent of tourists. It’s quite a peaceful and easy getaway from the city.
During the high summer, the Sillschlucht is a popular spot for a refreshing dip and bonfires due to its close proximity to the city. But once you’re in the forest, it feels as if town is a hundred miles away. It’s the perfect urban to alpine getaway.
Adventuring this summer? Swap your cotton for merino, we promise you’ll never look back. From the city streets to evergreen forests to the high alpine, light and fast-drying merino will keep you cool in the lows, warm in the highs and keep odour at bay.
Photos: Peter Kaiser
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