Bikepacking means adventure, nature and sleeping in a tent or under the open sky. The Kalkalpen National Park in Upper Austria offers you exactly that and much more. On three exciting stages, you learn about the region’s history and enjoy yourself in rustic mountain huts. There's no shortage of adventure – the loop takes you through the wildest parts of the national park, where animals such as the shy lynx still live. Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse.
In Austria, wild camping is banned almost everywhere and a campsite, where your small tent is squeezed between huge caravans, just doesn't have the same charm as a night under the stars, far away from the stress and noise of civilisation. Luckily, the Kalkalpen National Park has set up two wild camping sites where you can pitch your tent for a night in the midst of nature. This is a rarity in Austria and the perfect for this bikepacking trip.
The Kalkalpen Circuit starts and ends at the train station in Reichraming. Towards the end of the first day, an exciting single trail leads you through a narrow but beautiful valley to your sleeping place, the Steyrsteg bivouac site. You spend the second night at the Weißwasser bivouac site. But, I’d recommend stopping at the Jausenstation Mooshöhe for the food and great views before heading back into the wilderness.
The last day is spectacular; you ride through the heart of the national park. You follow the course of the former Reichraming forest railway through a narrow valley. Tunnels inhabited by bats and old bridges slowly being overtaken by moss lie en route. All this in a unique landscape with waterfalls and crystal-clear streams. It’s an adventure you won’t forget any time soon.
You have 130 kilometres (80 mi) and 3,150 metres (10,300 ft) of elevation gain to overcome on this route. I recommend taking your time and not whizzing through so you can enjoy the nature and adventure to the full. However, if you’re fast and only have a weekend to spare, you can also complete the loop in two days. The second day has some possibilities for shortcuts, depending on your personal preferences. You can find out more about this in the stage descriptions.
It's best to ride a hardtail MTB or a gravel bike if you're not scared off by a few short single-trail sections. An E-MTB is also an option, as you’ll pass huts where you can charge.
You’ll want racks on your bike to strap your tent on.
There are plenty of parking spaces at the start and finish in Reichraming, but I recommend taking the train as it’s more environmentally friendly. There are daily connections every two hours to Linz, where you can change trains for Vienna or Salzburg. The third leg of the day is shorter, so you have enough time to catch a train home.
What are you waiting for? Get on the saddle and let's go. Have fun on your bikepacking adventure.
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Last updated: February 11, 2023
The first stage takes you from Reichraming on the banks of the Enns to the heart of the Kalkalpen National Park. With over 1,500 meters in altitude over almost 55 kilometers, a hilly day awaits you. You can look forward to beautiful panoramas, adventurous trails and a night at the bivouac in the middle…
This tour takes you from one bivouac spot to the next, from Steyrsteg to Weißwasser. The Hengstpass awaits you, which offers you a unique panorama and again a large number of recommendable snack stations and huts. A total of almost 52 kilometers and 1,500 meters in altitude have to be mastered on the…
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Last but not least - the third stage of the Kalkalpenrunde has a lot to offer again. From the Weißwasser bivouac site, you follow the route of an old forest railway to Reichraming. This meanders through a narrow valley, always along the Reichramingbach. You drive past thundering waterfalls and through…
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