Austria is famous for its Alpine mountains, for winter sports and scenic hikes. With so many destinations to choose from, it is not easy to find the right one. Gemeindealpe Mitterbach, an Alpine mountain with its peak at 1,626 metres, offers the right adventure for everyone – from outdoor and sports enthusiasts, to those preferring a calm environment to relax.

After taking the lift up to the top, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach offers visitors a great deal of fun and action in summer and in winter. The mountain lies directly in the famous Mariazell area and, when it comes to the weather, it combines two outstanding features. The weather in summer is often very sunny and in winter snowfall is guaranteed. From Gemeindealpe Mitterbach’s peak, one has the best view over the surrounding landscape: over the Erlaufsee, a lake at its foot, towards Mariazell, only 5.5 kilometres away, on the one side, on the other from the Alpine foothills towards Schneeberg, Rax and Hochschwab. Even further on the horizon, visitors can get a glimpse of the Gesäuse National Park with its high-rising mountains.

Photo: NÖVOG / Leiminger

“Gemeindealpe Mitterbach is the ideal destination for those who like active holidays or to spend time in nature,” says Gerhard Stindl, managing director at NÖVOG. The company operates the lifts around Gemeindealpe Mitterbach as well as various trains in Lower Austria. Gemeindealpe Mitterbach has a four-seat chair lift called the Bodenbauer Express that takes guests up to the mid-station at 1,300 metres. To carry on the journey to the peak, from here visitors can take another two-seat chair lift. In winter there is also a ski tow in operation leading up from the vale to the mid-station. A smaller one is available near the valley station for those only practising skiing on the beginner’s slope.

“During the summer months the Mountaincarts and Monsterroller are quite popular,” says Stindl about activities possible at the Gemeindealpe. “From the mid-station there is a 4.5-kilometre-long gravel road down towards the valley.” Mountaincarts are three-wheeled carts that in a way mimic going downhill on a sledge, but with handle and brakes and of course on wheels. The Monsterroller on the other hand looks like a normal scooter but with large wheels and deep profile tyres. Even looking at the equipment one can imagine that this is a fun sport for those who like speed and action.

But Gemeindealpe Mitterbach is also a place for those who prefer calm and relaxing surroundings, untouched nature either in full bloom or covered in thick layers of snow. Not only the 360-degree panoramic view from the peak is breath-taking. The well-marked hiking trails allow people to discover and explore on their own – everyone to his or her ability. Last summer a new panoramic trail was established that is easy to hike and even suitable for prams, ideal for those without much Alpine experience. “An adventure playground directly at the Terzerhaus completes our family-friendly portfolio,” states Gerhard Stindl.

Photo: NÖVOG / Leiminger

The Terzerhaus is one of the various restaurants and mountain huts offering food and drinks on the Gemeindealpe and in the village – the ideal place for everyone needing a rest. The Terzerhaus lies directly at the mountain’s peak and was completely refurbished in 2014, now combining the newest technology with the typical Alpine ambience. “The panoramic windows offer a fantastic view over the landscape,” says Stindl.

In winter, on the other hand, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach becomes a hotspot for ambitious sportspeople and not so much for families: “While many other ski resorts in the region have focused on families, we have established an alternative programme: With the steepest slope in Lower Austria, a high-speed slope with speed measurements, a freeride area and a marked route for ski touring we have an extensive range for advanced skiers.” The snow park is especially famous with freestylers: With 17 different elements and 550 metres it is suitable for experienced snowboarders and skiers. For those who want to become even better, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach offers a wide range of courses – and, of course, there is the possibility to borrow equipment.

Something to enjoy in summer and winter – either when travelling to Mitterbach village or for a daytrip – is the Mariazellerbahn, a railway operating between St. Pölten and Mariazell, Austria’s most famous and important pilgrimage place. The Mitterbach station lies only a few minutes away by foot from the valley station and therefore is the ideal means of transport to get there. For those staying longer than a day, there are various hotels and bed and breakfasts accommodating guests.

NÖVOG Infocenter

Tel.: +43 2742 360 990-99

noevog.at

gemeindealpe.at

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

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