Tobogganing is a popular sport in Bavaria. Kids hurtle down the village slopes. Grown men vie for glory on giant horn sleds. Long tobogganing runs offer several minutes of downhill fun – and in the Rhön there are even two people that make the classic Davos sledges entirely by hand. Andreas Weber and Alexander Hergenhan.
Run for it!
Where is the longest toboggan run? Where is the most beautiful natural toboggan run? Where is the most daring toboggan run? From Bad Hindelang in Allgäu over the Tegernsee, with the Wallberg up to the Berchtesgaden Region, there are numerous toboggan runs waiting to be discovered. The Ochsenkopf in the Fichtel Mountains and the Grosser Arber in the Bavarian Forest also have long runs.
Equipped with toboggan, gloves and winter shoes – the ‘pros’ also wear ski goggles and a helmet – it’s up mountain we go. Even in winter, some alpine huts are catered, so you can eat very comfortably at high altitudes. Often the custodians of the huts also rent out sledges. So nothing stands in the way of a spontaneous sledge ride. Illuminated toboggan runs can also be found in some places.
Sledging with children
Tobogganing is a popular winter sport, especially for families. It doesn’t always have to be a kilometre-long descent – the toboggan slope next to the accommodation is often enough for the little ones to have fun in the snow. In some regions, you can also use the ski lift to climb the mountain and then start your descent into the valley in quite a relaxed manner.
Winter events with sledges
Bavaria offers outstanding tobogganing events: In Pfronten im Allgäu things get especially wild when daring men and women in rustic disguises with wooden sledges with horn-shaped runners rush down the mountain. At the International Dog Sledge Race in Inzell, huskies pull the sledges and really pick up speed. At the traditional horse-drawn sledge races, heavy draft horses, Haflingers and Norwegians compete in one-horse carriages with sledges, some of which are over 80 years old.
Down the mountain on a sledge
The Davos sledge is a genuine classic on Bavaria’s toboggan runs, such as the one from Wallberg down to the town of Tegernsee. It is one of the most beautiful runs in the country. You slide through a snow-covered winter landscape for half an hour, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the speed of the runners. Winter can be so beautiful.
Tobogganing can also be enjoyed to the full in the rest of Bavaria. The highest run is on the Zugspitze, the Allgäu has descents of up to 6.5 kilometres and on the Ochsenkopf/Fichtel Mountains there are six runs ready for the thrill of the downhill. It sounds very sporty, but tobogganing is a relaxed affair in Bavaria. A typical Bavarian tobogganing excursion usually includes a welcome break in a mountain hut or inn with friends and family. In Bavaria, tobogganing is a community experience – and makes you seriously hungry.
Unlike today, sledges in the Rhön were not always used for sport and fun: They were used in winter to reach other towns or villages as fast as possible, for shopping and transport.
If you want to work on your tobogganing skills, Oberaudorf offers the perfect opportunity. Courses here teach you how to steer a sledge elegantly round a corner. And when you get to the bottom, with red cheeks and the thrill of having completed a successful downhill run, there’s only one thing you want to do: Go back to the top and do it again.