Searching for animal tracks
With every step the fresh snow crunches under your feet and thousands of ice crystals glisten in the cold winter air. Away from the fun on the slopes and in the mountain huts, the Achensee region offers gentle winter moments that let us slow down and reconnect with the surrounding nature. Nature park ranger Sebastian Pilloni offers guided snowshoe hikes to give you an insight into the flora and fauna in winter.
Tracking a nimble snow hare or a shy deer? Reading animal tracks in the snow is part of a winter snowshoe hike. Visitors can explore 150 kilometres of the most beautiful winter hiking trails in the enchanting landscape around Lake Achensee. Nature park rangers, who offer daily changing hikes, offer insights into nature in winter. One of the rangers is Sebastian Pilloni. His special subject: animal tracks of any kind. “For my hikes I bring samples with me that make it easier to identify animal tracks. For example, I show a piece of wood chewed by a beaver or nuts that snow gnawing marks by squirrels, but also faecal samples of various animals. On the way, we see of course many tracks in the snow which we identify. Recently I was out with a group and we could observe two chamois directly beside the trail,” says the ranger.
Staying on the designated trails can be crucial for both hikers and wildlife. “In winter, the animals in the forest generally have a problem with their energy reserves, as there is little food available. If the animals are often disturbed by hikers, this can be life-threatening for them. That’s why we stay on the trails during our hikes – you don’t even have to enter the remotest quiet zones to experience nature,” explains Pilloni.
Guided snowshoe hikes for the whole family
The snowshoe hikes are available in various levels of difficulty. Tours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are easy hikes which are especially suitable for families, and tours on Thursday and Friday are more demanding. The participation fee is € 15 per person and includes snowshoe equipment. The number of participants per hike is limited to 10 people, registration is required on the day before the respective tour. Click here for more information.
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