Nature Trails in Czech Karst Protected Area
Berounka Nature Trail (canoeing)
Route: The first information board is situated near the village of Zvíkovec on the right bank of the Berounka. The trail finishes near Hlásná Třebaň.
Length: about 60 km
The unique Berounka canoeing nature trail goes through the Protected Areas of Křivoklátsko and Czech Karst (Český kras). Its route is formed by the Berounka River. There are thirteen stops with information boards, which tell visitors about local natural and historical places of interest.
Karlštejn Nature Trail
Route: starting point: Srbsko, Karlštejn – common route, Kubrychtova bouda – Bubovice Falls (Bubovické vodopády) – Propadlé vody – Svatý Jan pod Skalou – Hostim – Kačák Valley – Berounka – Srbsko.
Length: 10.3 km (main loop trail starting in Srbsko); 4 km (trail from Karlštejn connected to the main loop)
The Karlštejn Nature Trail intersects the Karlštejn Nature Reserve. It has two starting points. The main loop trail begins in Srbsko (at the footbridge over the Berounka) and the other one starts in Karlštejn (at the bridge over the Berounka, below Budňanská skála). The end of the trail is in Srbsko. At both starting points you can find an introductory information board providing general facts about the Czech Karst. The trail that starts in Srbsko features twelve stops with information boards marked with the letters A–L. The connecting trail leading from Karlštejn is lined by five boards marked with lowercase letters a–e.
At the individual stops visitors learn about the local geological, botanical and zoological points of interest. The trail is of medium strenuousness with a few steep ascents and descents. It usually follows forest roads and in some sections also paved wagon roads or motor roads. In the gorge of Bubovice Falls (Bubovické vodopády) you need to get over rock steps with wooden railings and narrow ledges above the creek. The whole route can be completed in less than six hours at a moderate pace, but you can also take only some of its parts. The trail is marked by traditional green and white nature trail marks and in some parts it is parallel to other hiking trails.
Koukolova hora – Kotýz Nature Trail
Route: Slavíky – Koukolova Hora - Havlíčkův Mlýn – Velveteen Gate (Aksamitová brána) – Kotýz (+Zlatý kůň hill near Koněprusy)
Length: 4 km
The trail starts in the settlement of Slavíky and climbs to the top of Koukol Hill (Koukolova hora). After descending the hill and going to the settlement of Havlíčkův Mlýn it starts ascending steeply past the formation called Velveteen Gate (Aksamitová brána) to the top of Kotýz, where it finishes. There are nine information boards on this trail. From the top of Kotýz you can continue to Zlatý kůň and the Koněprusy Caves (Koněpruské jeskyně); see Zlatý kůň Nature Trail.
The trail as such is not marked – from Slavíky it follows the green hiking trail and from Koukol Hill to its end the yellow one. There are nine information boards. The introductory board contains basic information about local points of interest and a simple map of the trail. The trail mostly follows good quality roads and paths or the motor road. Climbing Kotýz may be very difficult, if not impossible, during wet periods. Please be aware of the fact that in some places the trail comes close to the edges of rock faces or depressions (on the top of Koukol Hill past the chapel; Jelínek Bridge on Kotýz, etc.).
Svatý Jan pod Skalou Nature Trail
Route: Svatý Jan pod Skalou – Skála – Solvayovy lomy (Paraple Quarry) – Propadlé vody – Svatý Jan pod Skalou
Length: 4 km
This is one of the most beautiful trails, intersecting the Czech Karst Protected Area and the Karlštejn Natural Reserve. It connects the village of Svatý Jan pod Skalou with a vantage point on a rock overlooking the valley of the Kačák Brook, the open-air museum of limestone quarrying and processing called Solvay Quarry (Solvayovy lomy) in the Paraple Quarry, beautiful broadleaf forests and the deep valley of Propadlé vody. Each step brings you wonderful sceneries, which will make you want to come again.
In Svatý Jan pod Skalou the trail starts at the introductory information board and there are ten more of these boards along the trail. The trail starts and finishes at the car park in front of the church. It is rather short but it is also a little more strenuous – you need to climb up the Rock (Skála) and the local vantage point. The middle section is less strenuous. At the end the trail descends steeply to Svatý Jan. It is marked by the traditional green and white nature trail markings. It follows forest roads and paths and there are steps which make the climb up the Rock (Skála) easier. The descent through the valley of Propadlé vody is steep and sometimes slippery, which is not a problem in dry periods.
Zlatý kůň Nature Trail
Route: Koněprusy Caves (Koněpruské jeskyně) – top of Zlatý kůň – Houba Quarry (Houbův lom) – Na Kobyle Quarry – Koněprusy Caves (car park)
Length: 3.5 km
The trail starts and ends near the Koněprusy Caves and is an interesting addition to your visit to the caves. It gives you information about the geological past of the area, old limestone quarries and their reclamation, local paleontological sites (fossils), and about the flora and fauna of the Czech Karst Protected Area, in particular with the Zlatý kůň Natural Monument (the hill with the Koněprusy Caves inside it) and the Kobyla Nature Reserve (a former quarry, about 1 km from Zlatý kůň). The trail also leads through Houba Quarry (Houbový lom), from which the Koněprusy Caves were discovered in 1950.
The trail is marked by the traditional green and white nature trail markings but unfortunately, the marking is not always sufficient. It follows stony or wagon roads and paths. During descents it is sometimes necessary to be careful; approaching the edges of the quarry walls is dangerous. There are eleven stops with information boards. A shortcut can be taken: from stop no. 7 you can walk up the connecting trail to the car park below the caves. In spite of that, we recommend hiking the whole trail as it is not long and the nearby Na Kobyle Quarry is worth visiting.
The oldest marked hiking trail.
The trail is named after the founder of the Czech Hiking Club, the traveller Vojta Náprstek. It is marked in red and starts in the square in Beroun, leading over Herinky Hill, where a memorial oak tree used to stand. The tree died in 1974, so now you can only see its stump. However, there is a new oak tree growing close to it. The trail continues to Svatý Jan pod Skalou, where an old hermit called Ivan used to live. The local healing spring is named after him.
You can find it to the right of the entrance to the Church of the Birth of John the Baptist. A climb up a forest slope will take you to the Propadlé vody fork and then to Boubová. From there you will walk to Bubovice Creek (Bubovický potok), following it all the way to Bubovice Falls (Bubovické vodopády). However, part of the creek’s water disappears underground. Then the trail will lead you to the Seven Brothers oak tree (Dub sedmi bratří), with a girth of 5 metres.
After that the trail veers towards Karlštejn Castle. From there it continues through the village of Mořinka and Karlice Valley (Karlické údolí) to Kulová hora, where the Staňkovky Nature Reserve starts. It takes you all the way to Radotín, where it ends. The most beautiful part of the trail is the section between Svatý Jan pod Skalou and Karlštejn.
Nature trails in Křivoklát protected area
Křivoklát School Nature Trail
Route: The trail starts at the primary school in Křivoklát and finishes at the end of the forest above Křivoklát.
Length: 0.9 km
The trail is not a loop , so visitors return to the starting point, which is the primary school. There are 25 information boards that will tell you everything about the typical fauna and flora in the Křivoklátsko Protected Area. A guide with photographs and drawings for this trail is available at the Information Centre in Křivoklát.
Brdatka Nature Reserve Trail
Route: red hiking trail from Křivoklát going to Klíčavská přehrada – ends on the green hiking trail before Zbečno.
Length: 3.3 km
This trail was created for all nature lovers who come here not only to relax but also to learn. If the visitor is attentive, they can see everything that is mentioned on the information boards all along the trail. It follows the yellow hiking trail (Křivoklát – Lány). After 800 m the visitor enters the Brdatka Nature Reserve, leaving it after another 900 m.
Then the trail connects to the green hiking trail and goes on across a forest meadow called Fořmanská seč and through the Štíhlice Brook Valley to Zbečno. There are sixteen information boards. The trail features a view of the Berounka River valley and of the Stříbrný luh Nature Reserve. The time needed to walk this trail is about two hours.
Travelling through Ota Pavel’s Countryside
We will begin our learning at the information centre in the town of Křivoklát and then we follow the yellow hiking trail leading to Roztoky. There we cross the bridge, turn right and walk past the football pitch to the beginning of the U Eremita Nature Reserve, which is owned by Lesy ČR, s. p. This nature reserve is an example of an almost natural growth with a large biological diversity. The well-preserved state of the forest plant community is proven by the abundance of the protected common yew, of which more than 1,000 specimen of all age groups have been recorded within the reserve.
After walking through the nature reserve we start hiking towards the village of Branov, where Ota Pavel’s memorial hall is situated. Then the trail descends to Luh pod Branovem, where you can see the Ota Pavel Museum. Suddenly, you will find yourself near the ferry where Uncle Prošek ferried visitors to this picturesque place in the Křivoklátsko countryside and where Ota Pavel spent the most beautiful time of his childhood.
The ferry still runs, so you can get ferried to the opposite side in order to continue walking upstream along the left bank of the Berounka to the legendary U Rozvědčíka pub and to the magical Čertova skála Nature Reserve. There the trail joins the red hiking trail and leads you through Křiniště – Nezabudice and the Nezabudické skály Nature Reserve back to Roztoky.