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From the babbling brook to the mighty river – the Inn Cycle Path

habi (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From the babbling brook to the mighty river – the Inn Cycle Path

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

High up in the mountains of Eastern Switzerland, springs the Inn River. The bubbling mountain stream quickly turns into several lakes and then flows wildly and thunders through the Engadine. After arriving in Austria, the Inn meanders through its wide valley, traversing Tyrol from east to west before becoming a stately river in Bavaria. In Passau, the Inn finally flows together with the Ilz into the Danube.

In this Collection, you will accompany the Inn for more than 340 miles (550 kilometres) from Maloja to Passau, passing through three countries and discovering unique natural landscapes, historic and lively cities, and marvellous views of high mountains and idyllic rivers. We have divided the Inn Cycle Path into ten routes in this Collection. All stages end in cities where you can find plenty of accommodation, ranging from campsites to boutique hotels. You can also explore many cultural highlights and enjoy a variety of dining options. Although you always follow the Inn, the stages are not always flat. As the river is buried deep in the mountains, the bike path runs high above the river. However, the breathtaking views are simply unforgettable.

The Inn Cycle Path is mostly signposted, although not everywhere and sometimes not consistently. Often, you also have the option of either going to the left or right of the river. In this Collection, we have chosen the path that we find most beautiful. You will start in the Upper Engadine in Maloja which you can easily reach by public transport. From here, you will ride along the lakes of Upper Engadine to Scuol in the Lower Engadine. Here, the saying goes "there are eight months of snow and four months are cold". Bear in mind that you may start at over 5,900 feet (1,800 meters) and experience snow even in August, so make sure to come prepared for cold weather.

After crossing the Engadine, you will cycle through Tyrol. Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, is the largest city on the Inn. At Kufstein, you will cross into Germany for the first time. Here, the Inn Valley narrows again and the bike path becomes more hilly. Between Simbach and Passau, the Inn forms the border between Germany and Austria and has become a stately river surrounded by tranquil meadows. After a good 340 miles (550 kilometres), you finally reach the three-river town of Passau. The Inn Cycle Path ends in this baroque pearl and you can then either return by train or continue your adventure on the Danube Cycle Path.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Intermediate
    04:31
    35.5 mi
    7.9 mph
    1,325 ft
    2,425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your exciting journey along the Inn starts in the pretty Engadine town of Maloja. The best thing to do is to travel to St. Moritz with the Rhaetian Railway and take the bus from there, which also takes bicycles. From Maloja you can see the rugged mountains in which the Inn rises beyond the 2,500 meters.The Upper Engadin Lake District is hard to beat in terms of beauty. Snow-capped mountains are reflected in crystal clear lakes. You drive along the banks to Sankt Moritz. The place is best known for the Olympic Winter Games and countless five-star hotels, but also for the exciting Segantini Museum, which is dedicated to the Engadine artist. If you go up to the center of Sankt Moritz, you can whiz down the “Cresta Run”. In winter, this cycle path is converted into a natural bobsleigh run. Or you continue to follow the Inn.On your way there are picturesque Engadine villages like Zuoz and S-chanf, where the Rhaeto-Romanic culture is still alive. Later the cycle path leads through the forest a little above the river. After a few climbs, the descent to Zernez follows, the end point of the first stage. An interesting sight in town is the Nature Park House, an interactive exhibition on the nearby national park.

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    Difficult
    04:28
    32.7 mi
    7.3 mph
    2,950 ft
    4,400 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Ahead of you lies a crisp, but varied and promising stage. At the beginning the Inn valley is so narrow that there is no space for a bike path along the river. That's why you drive on beautiful, small roads through idyllic villages above the Inn.From Zernez you drive via Susch to Lavin. After you have crossed the covered wooden bridge, there is an incline into the village, whose inhabitants are jokingly called "the cow stranglers". Past the small church, which is well worth seeing, a long slope follows. A unique panorama of the valley and the mountain peaks opens up from the route.The next place along your route is Guarda. It is one of the best preserved villages in the Engadine. Especially the pretty houses with the sgraffiti decorations are worth seeing. Continue to Ardez and after another long climb you will reach Ftan. The place was hit by avalanches several times, once so violently that the place was divided into two parts.The rushing descent to Scuol begins in Ftan. On the way you have great views of Tarasp Castle. When you arrive in Scuol, countless medicinal and mineral water springs and the Bogn Engiadina mineral bath await you, where you can really relax.From Scuol you drive on great forest trails towards the Austrian border. In the village of Strada you will find a little gem: the Stamparia Book Printing Museum (stamparia.ch). Important works of Romansh literature were printed here. The stage ends in Martina, the border town with Austria and not far from the border with Italy.

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  • Intermediate
    02:50
    27.8 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,950 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Martina is the last place in the Engadine before you go to Tyrol. Here the Inn valley is so narrow that there is only space for the country road on which you complete the first kilometers. Shortly after the junction in Vinadi - wine was actually grown here in the past, today a small road leads up from here into the Samnaun valley - you leave the country road and drive to the border fortification Altfinstermünz.The impressive building dates back to 1263 and can be visited from May to October. As soon as the Inn Valley widens a bit, there are some pretty villages like Pfunds and Ried on your way. There you can strengthen yourself in several inns before you set course for Landeck.Until you reach your final destination, you often cross the Inn on some very beautiful covered wooden bridges. The river also changes direction from time to time, so that you cycle alternately on the sunny and shady side. At the confluence of the Sanna and Inn you have finally reached Landeck.

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    Intermediate
    03:01
    32.1 mi
    10.6 mph
    800 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In Landeck the Inn makes a bend and merges with the Sanna. From here you follow the Inn valley eastwards through Tyrol. Today's stage is much flatter than the last two. It is mostly flat with a few smaller counter climbs.A wonderful route through the forest begins after Imst. The path leads a little above the Inn and lets you look into the wild river bed. The Inn valley often changes its appearance. Sometimes the Inn flows in a narrow gorge, sometimes in a wide river bed. The Inn Valley is particularly fertile there, as you can see, for example, from the many apple trees on Haiminger Apple Road.The cultural highlight of this stage is undoubtedly the Stams monastery. Cistercian monks no longer live in the baroque gem of the Inn Valley, but the monastery operates an interesting museum on the history of monastery life and of course a schnapps distillery. From Stams it is only a few kilometers to your stage destination Telfs. The third largest municipality in Tyrol is a lively place where tradition and modernity come together.

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    Easy
    01:40
    18.2 mi
    11.0 mph
    75 ft
    250 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you have a flat stage of just 30 kilometers in front of you as a breather. Then you still have plenty of time to explore the lively student city of Innsbruck. You start the stage in Telfs and follow the course of the Inn.In Zirl you drive past a huge, gray mountain. The striking Hechenberg slopes steeply to the south and is hardly overgrown. On the slope, known to many as Martinswand, you can see the Kaiser-Max-Grotto and the railway, which is partially carved into the rock, that leads from Innsbruck to Mittenwald.A short time later you will reach your stage destination Innsbruck. The colorful capital of Tyrol awaits you with all kinds of charming sights and countless inns, cafés and pubs. The historic old town with the Golden Roof, the narrow streets and the courtyard garden is particularly worth seeing.

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    Intermediate
    02:31
    27.1 mi
    10.7 mph
    200 ft
    375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    You leave the capital of Tyrol and follow the Inn. You drive through the Olympic Village, where the athletes lived during the Winter Olympics. After around ten kilometers you will reach the next gem on the Inn: Hall in Tirol. The many cafés in the narrow streets of the pretty old town are ideal for a short coffee break.Today's stage is flat and tends to go downhill. In Tyrol, the Inn Valley is quite wide and densely populated. Two railways have their starting point in Jenbach: the Zillertalbahn and the Achenseebahn. With the latter you can take a trip to the Achensee, a lake surrounded by a great mountain backdrop.Shortly after Jenbach, the stage ends in Strass im Zillertal, where the Ziller meets the Inn. If you have some time - maybe you just stay here one night longer - a trip to the Zillertal is worthwhile, either by bike or by train.

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    Intermediate
    03:14
    34.2 mi
    10.6 mph
    375 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Shortly after your start you will reach a very special city: Rattenberg. The smallest municipality in terms of area and the smallest town in Austria in terms of population is a beautiful medieval town. About an hour later you drive through the former climatic health resort of Wörgl.The next highlight is not long in coming. You can see the fortress of the border town of Kufstein from afar. This enormous defensive structure was also necessary, because Kufstein was repeatedly the scene of border disputes between Bavaria and Tyrol.From Kufstein the Inn forms the border between Germany and Austria. Numerous bridges and a very special yaw ferry connect the two countries. You cycle on the Austrian side to Erl. This small place is known for the Tyrolean Festival Erl. The two modern buildings of the Festspielhaus are an exciting contrast to the surrounding mountains.

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    Intermediate
    03:54
    33.6 mi
    8.6 mph
    800 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After you have left Erl, the Inn no longer forms the border river between Germany and Austria for the next two stages. The Inn valley is now very wide, the Inn has grown into a stately river and there are beautiful bathing lakes to the left and right, such as the Neubeurer See or the Hochstrasser See.The first half of the stage is completely flat and easy to cycle. After 25 kilometers you will reach the city of Rosenheim at the confluence of the Inn and Mangfall rivers. Many beautiful parks and countless cafes and restaurants invite you to take an extended lunch break.20 kilometers later the river pattern changes and the bike path becomes hilly. In Attel, which is known for its former monastery, the valley narrows and the Inn begins to flow in loops. Your stage destination Wasserburg is in one of these loops. The very beautiful old town is almost completely surrounded by the Inn and can only be reached via a narrow headland and a bridge.

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    Difficult
    03:22
    31.2 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    A demanding stage awaits you today: 50 kilometers and 500 meters in altitude are to be completed today. But by now you're well trained and beautiful views make up for any effort. Right at the beginning it goes up to the Innleiten and you can enjoy a great view of Wasserburg.The Inn meanders through the landscape and you follow its course, sometimes directly on its bank, sometimes a little further away. Often the path leads through the forest, again and again you drive through beautiful, small places. Kraiburg is ideal for a leisurely lunch break, for example, because here you will find many great places to stop for a break.Then there is only one more drawn out uphill, then the stage to your stage destination Mühldorf is flat. A few kilometers from your destination is the Flossinger See, a small but pretty swimming lake in which you can cool off wonderfully.

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    Intermediate
    03:19
    29.9 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Right at the beginning it goes uphill on the Innleiten and you can enjoy a beautiful view of Wasserburg. The first 15 kilometers of the stage usually do not lead directly along the Inn, as the Inn valley is very narrow here and the river meanders through the hills. It also goes up and down a lot, but you often change your perspective and have beautiful views.At the Jettenbach dam you cross the Inn and drive to Waldkraiburg. The city is ideal for a lunch break. Then you drive along the island that lies between the Inn and the Innwerk Canal.Your stage destination, the historic city of Mühldorf, is known for the impressive town square. There you will surely find a café or a pub where you can relax after the hilly stage. Just before you reach the city center, you can make yourself comfortable on beautiful gravel banks or jump into the Inn to cool off.

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    Intermediate
    03:54
    35.8 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The east variant of the tenth stage is a bit hilly and, for a change, hardly leads along the Inn. For this you make a detour to Burghausen with the longest castle complex in the world. From Mühldorf you cycle comfortably through small villages to Altötting. The town center with a rich ensemble of different churches is particularly impressive.It continues hilly through the forest and over the Alz and Alz Canal to the Salzach. Burghausen is on the Austrian border. The city is so beautiful that it is worth taking a longer break here. You can stroll through the over one kilometer long castle complex, stroll through the old town and swim in the Wöhrsee, an oxbow lake of the Inn.An ascent, a long descent and another steep slope later you reach the confluence of the Inn and Salzach rivers. The two rivers form here with several oxbow lakes and lakes a natural paradise in which different birds feel at home. The last kilometers you drive on the Inndamm to Braunau and on to Simbach on the other, again German side of the Inn.

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    Difficult
    03:55
    32.6 mi
    8.3 mph
    400 ft
    575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On this stage, the focus is on wonderful bike paths through the beautiful nature. From Mühldorf you drive a little further between the Inn and the Inn Canal in the direction of Neuötting. A trip over the bridge into the town center is always worthwhile, because there you will find many beautiful, historic buildings.To Marktl, the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI., You drive on an idyllic path along the mighty Inn. On the way you will find several bathing lakes that provide for cooling off on the way. A recommended detour from Marktl is the detour via Burghausen with its huge castle and its romantic old town.Soon you will reach the confluence of the Inn and Salzach rivers. The area around the confluence is a special natural paradise. Here the Inn Cycle Path joins the Tauern Cycle Path and from here the Inn again forms the border between Austria and Germany. Passing the next bathing lake you reach your stage destination Simbach am Inn.

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    Intermediate
    04:28
    41.2 mi
    9.2 mph
    975 ft
    1,150 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Inn Cycle Path will also come to an end at some point. Therefore, enjoy the last, varied stage especially. This variant takes you on the Austrian side along the Inn through idyllic floodplain landscapes to Obernberg with its colorful houses on the market square.There are quite a few rows of houses with brightly painted facades in this area. You can find a particularly beautiful copy in Schärding on the upper town square. The baroque border town is ideal for an extended break. You can have a picnic in the baroque garden or in the castle park, or you can stop off at one of the many good restaurants. One tip is the Lachinger, where you can enjoy particularly good Innviertel specialties.Finally, you cycle directly along the banks of the Inn to Passau. On the way you can stop at the popular must farmer and strengthen yourself again. When you arrive in Passau, a fantastic panorama awaits you. From the Marienbrücke you can see the beautiful old town of Passau. A little later you have reached the top of the village, where not only the Inn, but also the Ilz flow into the Danube. A wonderful place to review the many impressions of the trip.

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    Difficult
    05:18
    41.1 mi
    7.7 mph
    600 ft
    750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Inn Cycle Path is slowly coming to an end. So enjoy the last stage especially. This variant takes you on the German side along the Inn through extensive floodplain landscapes. After almost 30 kilometers you can make a detour to the spa town of Bad Füssing and pay a visit to the thermal baths there.Across from Neuhaus is the beautiful town of Schärding on the Austrian side. The brightly painted houses on the upper town square are exceptionally beautiful. The baroque border town is ideal for an extended break. You can have a picnic in the baroque garden or in the castle park or stop by one of the many good restaurants. One tip is the Lachinger, where you can enjoy particularly good Innviertel specialties.Finally, you cycle directly along the banks of the Inn to Passau. The path leads through a wonderful forest, again and again gently rising. When you arrive in Passau, a fantastic panorama awaits you. From the Marienbrücke you can see the beautiful old town of Passau. A little later you have reached the top of the village, where not only the Inn, but also the Ilz flow into the Danube. A wonderful place to review the many impressions of the trip.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    14
  • Distance
    453 mi
  • Duration
    50:26 h
  • Elevation
    13,750 ft
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From the babbling brook to the mighty river – the Inn Cycle Path