Winter scenery
© © Reit im Winkl - Hannes Heigenhauser Mount Inspire Photographie

Trip report Great Valley Loop

date: 18.03.2022
from: Hannes Heigenhauser

There are those paths that give you the feeling that they tell more about a place than you originally thought. The Great Valley Loop in Reit im Winkl is one such route. We take you on a tour of discovery in wintry Reit im Winkl.

Reit im Winkl - winter wonder land

It's snowing and it's snowing thick flakes in the already wintry Reit im Winkl when we set off. The winter hiking trail begins almost in the middle of the town, in the cross-country stadium in Reit im Winkl. The light snowflake dance accompanies us on the first few meters of our way. Our first realization: It really is winter.

And after a few steps along the snow-covered winter hiking trail, we are in the midst of the most beautiful winter landscape, surrounded only by white areas and trees with a touch of white. There can't be a nicer attunement to this tour than those first steps, we are enchanted by the winter atmosphere of this special place.

The secret of sustainable energy

We dive into the winter forest that stretches across to Tyrol until we arrive at the "Naturwärme" heating plant of Reit im Winkl. A large part of the heating energy required for Reit im Winkl has been obtained from renewable energy for over 20 years. Real pioneering work and a role model for many other central heating supply systems throughout Germany. It is not without reason that the air in Reit im Winkl is so pure and soothing.

To Blindau - on the Great Valley Loop winter hiking trail

After the heating plant, the path continues through the snow-covered forest up to Blindau. This small cluster of houses near the Benzeck lifts is a historically grown hamlet. Take your time and keep discovering new aspects, such as the lovingly decorated houses, the low entrance door to the chapel or the Heistracher family's horse farm.

Great Valley Loop and winter sports in Reit im Winkl

You have to be careful over the next few meters, and in more ways than one. Because on the way to Gut Steinbach you not only cross the cross-country trails, but also the toboggan run up to the Hindenburghütte. It is possible that you will meet daredevil tobogganists on their wooden sleds, whizzing down the last few meters to Blindau.

Reit im Winkl and winter sports, a story all of its own. But so much becomes clear on the village tour. Winter sports are a connecting element in the entire town. The cross-country trails, winter hiking trails and paths connect the individual districts to form a large whole. Arriving at Gut Steinbach, this is also made clear by the ski jumps on which the young skiers train for the largest distances.

To Entfelden - on the Great Valley Loop winter hiking trail

The further path leads us to Entfelden, where the Gasthof Rosi Mittermaier can be seen from afar. Up until the 1990s, skiers skied down to Entfelden on the slopes below the Walmberg hill. And today, backcountry skiiers are still drawn up the mountain and make their tracks in the deep snow with a view of Reit im Winkl.

Our view is directed again to the center of Reit im Winkl and beyond to the Wilder and Zahmer Kaiser mountains. The maypole behind the modern Tourist Information can be seen from afar. Another pillar and insight in Reit im Winkl is the cohesion of the various branches in town to create a real experience for the guests. From the baker to the shoe seller, from the traditional costume club to the ski school, everyone is immortalized here on the maypole.

View of Reit im Winkl
© © Chiemgau Tourismus, Thomas Kujat

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Finally the sun - crowning conclusion of the Great Valley Loop with mulled wine

Meanwhile, the sun and snow have traded places. And bright sunshine transforms the fresh snow into a glittering white world. Numerous snow sports enthusiasts have followed the call and are doing their lengths on cross-country skis in the stadium. Or they whiz down into the valley on sleds, bobsleighs and toboggans on the toboggan slope. We are tired but happy after the eight kilometers of hiking. We can now comfortably watch the hustle and bustle with a glass of mulled wine. When the sun goes down behind the Kaiser Mountains, we have experienced the perfect winter day in Reit im Winkl.

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About the author Hannes Heigenhauser

Hannes Heigenhauser is a freelance copywriter and spends every free minute in the mountains around Reit im Winkl. For him, the most beautiful thing is the diversity and variety of the region, whether in winter or in summer.

His texts deal with experiences on the mountain, the right preparation and personalities in Reit im Winkl.