Montelino’s Adventure Trail in Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria
Montelino’s Adventure Trail is accessed from the top of the Kohlmais cable car in Saalbach but first we had to find the darn gondola, off a side street. The easy way would have been walking through the center of Saalbach, following the signs. Duh… Actually, the detour gave me a chance to walk in several hotels. checking prices.
Neither of us had ever seen anything like the Kohlmais “cable car”; a weird looking contrapation that had 5 gondolas linked together and comes to a complete stop at mid-station and top to load and unload passengers. We planned on taking a trail up, stopping to watch children enjoying Montelino’s Adventure Trail on the way, and consulted with a mountain guide at the bottom of the lift on which trail she recommended .
Montelino’s Adventure Trail is even suitable for families with strollers/prams who walk downhill, all the way from the top station to the Kohlmais middle station on what I’d call a “gravel road.”
A little clown Montelino lost his smile when he neglected his friends and toys until they disappeared. “…Now its your turn to bring the smile back to Montelino. Take a box and try to find all his friends and toys again. Follow the wise owl – it will help you! Enjoy a new adventure and help Montelino to smile again….” There are instructions in three languages at the bottom of Kohlmais where children also receive an empty toy box to keep treasures at the game stations. I tell you, Saalbach Hinterglemm thought of everything.
Take your children to visit the play stations along Montelino’s Adventure Trail. Just follow the signs leading off the walking path. A spider’s web, giant snake, playground equipment, squirral’s nest with a golden nut, tree house; even deer feeding at certain times of the day. The walk can take 1-1/2 hours over a 3km/1.6 miles distance, again, downhill, but most family make a day of it, allowing children plenty of time to play and enjoy.
Daily stats? 2:45 (only because I stopped a gazillion times to watch the children), 3-1/2 miles up, 2,000′ altitude gain. The usual photogeaphs at the top of Kohlmais with plans to return on a nicer day, perhaps Sunday.
Resorts in Austria usually schedule free Sunday concerts on one of their mountains. Always a fun experience listening to oom-pa-pa music at one of the gorgeous huttes. Today’s concert would take place between 11:00a-2:00p at the Panorama-alm, halfway between the Kohlmais top and middle stations.
We actually took the Kohlmais up and walked down to the Panorama-alm. Lively music in the sun that would have been even nicer if there had been anyplace to sit down. Unfortunately, most tourists took the Kohlmais cablecar up, found seats, plopped themselves at a table to sit, drinking, eating for the rest of the day. Oh well. Since the walk down was pretty boring, ex-Marine and I turned around to walk back up to the top before taking the Kohmais down. Without a little exercise, how could we justify the daily Topfenstrudel (cheese strudel) fix? Not only that, what about the gigantic ham and cheese sandwich, bowl of yoghurt, meusli, fruit, brown bread with jelly eaten at breakfast? The two of us can ingest double the calories expended exercising. A sad truth…