Risnjak

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Veliki Risnjak is the highest point of the park, and it has been a popular destination among mountaineers and excursionists since ancient times. Below the summit there is a mountain lodge that was named after dr. Josip Schlosser Klekovski, botanist and the first president of the Croatian Mountaineering Association. The summit of Risnjak and the mountain lodge can be reached by five marked trails coming from different directions:

 

  1. Horvat’s Trail (Horvatova staza): This mountain trail starts near the main entrance to the National Park and the administrative building in Bijela Vodica and leads to the mountain lodge on Risnjak. After 3 kilometres of forest trail, the path becomes a scenic mountain trail that passes through Bukovac and Smrekovac, picturesque areas of primal beauty. While walking along this wild and narrow path, you will pass by the localities of Vučja jama, Klupica and Stara lugarnica. The trail from Smrekovac to the mountain lodge is known as Moravec’s Trail (Moravčeva staza) after the duke’s head forester from the forestry office in Bijela Vodica near Crni Lug, as the trail was built on his incentive way back in 1899.
  • Time: 2 h 40 min
  • Altitude at start: 690 m
  • Altitude at end: 1528 m
  • Altitude difference: 838 m
  • Total length: 7918 m
  • Trail difficulty: Intermediate
  • Best seasons to visit: spring, summer, autumn, in winter only with equipment (for experienced mountaineers)

 

 

  1. Trail across Marko’s Lair (Staza preko Markovog brloga)– the second trail that leads from the main entrance to the National Park and the administrative building in Bijela Vodica to the mountain lodge. It complements Horvat’s Trail during ascent to or descent from Risnjak, and it follows the route of the old forest road that was built in the second half of the 19th century, today a monument to forestry and its rich history. The most prominent localities on this path are Marko’s Lair (Markov brlog), Janissaries’ Pass (Janjičarska vrata) and, finally, Bear Pass (Medvjeđa vrata), from which paths lead in multiple directions.
  • Time: 3 h 
  • Altitude at start: 690 m
  • Altitude at end: 1528 m
  • Altitude difference: 838 m
  • Total length: 8900 m
  • Trail difficulty: Intermediate
  • Best seasons to visit: spring, summer, autumn, in winter only with equipment (for experienced mountaineers)

 

  1. Vilje – Veliki Risnjak Trail – This western access to the summit of Risnjak and the mountain lodge begins at the parking lot / Vilje entrance, and it is the easiest way to reach this stunning peak.  The first part of the trail from Vilje mildly ascends along the old forest road to Bear Pass (Medvjeđa vrata – 1289 m)- a striking intersection of mountain paths, continuing along the mountain route across the ridge of  Južni Mali Risnjak to Schlosser’s Meadow (Schlosserova livada) and the mountain lodge all the way up to the summit. The path was once used to transport materials for the construction of the mountain lodge, and today it still serves as a supply route due to its accessibility and average width of 100 to 150 cm.

 

  • Time: 1 h 
  • Altitude at start: 1166 m
  • Altitude at end: 1528 m
  • Altitude difference: 362 m
  • Total length: 3145 m
  • Trail difficulty: Easy
  • Best seasons to visit: spring, summer, autumn, in winter only with equipment (for experienced mountaineers)

 

 

  1. Lazac- Risnjak Trail – The shortest access to the summit of Risnjak from the northwest from the direction of Gerovo is the mountain trail that starts at the mountain meadow of Lazac, from where it mildly ascends through the area of Podcajtige, passing through mountain spruce forests. As it approaches the Risnjak massif in the area of Grič, the path becomes steeper, and the wide forest path turns into a narrow mountain trail that passes through beech forests and sinkhole-ridden terrain until it reaches the mountain lodge on Risnjak.
  • Time: 1 h 15 min
  • Altitude at start: 1057 m
  • Altitude at end: 1528 m
  • Altitude difference: 471 m
  • Total length: 3750 m
  • Trail difficulty: Easy/ Intermediate
  • Best seasons to visit: spring, summer, autumn, in winter only with equipment (for experienced mountaineers)

 

5.         Platak – Cajtige – Risnjak Trail – This trail begins in the famous sports and recreation centre of Platak. First, it follows the route of the beginner’s ski trail, intersecting it several times, until it reaches the border of Risnjak National Park. From the border of the National Park, and below the Roman Pass  (Rimska vrata), the path to Risnjak branches off to the right and, passing near Fratrovi dolci, emerges on the forest path 500 metres from the Cajtige intersection. From there, it follows a steeper ascent through the regions of Cajtnik and Grič up to the mountain lodge and the summit of Risnjak.

 

  • Time: 2 h 30 min
  • Altitude at start: 1115 m
  • Altitude at end: 1528 m
  • Altitude difference: 413 m
  • Total length: 7316 m
  • Trail difficulty: Easy/ Intermediate
  • Best seasons to visit: spring, summer, autumn, in winter only with equipment (for experienced mountaineers)

 

 

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