Once the local population deeply admired mother nature’s work looking at it with deep awe or even fear and calling this land ‘the devil’s gardens’, maybe due to the dense, hard to penetrate woods or maybe because of the Turkish Empire frontier being so nearby. Legends were woven about this isolated and unexplored area, tales were told about the Black Queen, Fairies of the Lake, freezing-cold winters, mountain giants and wild forest creatures. Then, towards the end of the 19th century, Plitvice was discovered by the sovereigns of the time. During that period several trails were built, connecting the peaks of the mountains, including the trail constructed in 1894 leading to Tupi (Dull) Medveđak Peak, as well as a trail dating from 1900 connecting the place where the mountain hotel was located to Oštri (Sharp) Medveđak Peak. The trail was called Blanka’s Trail, after Archduke Leopold Salvator’s wife (Habsburg-Lothringen dynasty). The trail fits nicely into the landscape and reflects the exceptional care devoted to nature conservation. Our trail run goes through Medveđak – an 8-km long woodland slope stretching from Mt Plješivica in NW direction and represents one of the most enchanting points in the Park, with its numerous panoramic vistas of the Plitvice Lakes and of the whole area between Mala Kapela and Lička Plješivica.
This triail tour goes through the ridge that is characterised by three peaks: Oštri Medveđak (889 m), Tupi Medveđak (868 m) and Turčić (801 m), with old beech forests that had been left to natural development. This interesting phenomenon links all three Medveđak peaks. This area is exceptionally rich in biodiversity, teeming with species that thrive in these natural conditions, including rare or endangered species.
This area is a perfect habitat for large predators: wolf (Canis lupus L.), lynx (Lynx lynx L.), and brown bear (Ursus arctos L.). Indeed, this massif is called after the bear (Croatian: medvjed, i.e. Medveđak). Those who venture here will be delighted to hear the sounds of wild animals in the distance and enjoy the colourful blossoms during the flowering season.
During this trail run, instructive boards are set up alongside the trail, providing various interesting facts about forest ecological systems. The complete experience of the National Park definitely includes insight into its eco-systems that cover over three-quarters of its surface area.
The peaks of Medveđak are interesting in any season, however, their early spring and late autumn aspect is a peculiarity, i.e. both before the leaves appear on the trees as well as when the leaves fall off. Observation of this area in winter, with moderate amounts of snowfall, is also worthwhile.
On this running tour you will be accompanied by us, local runners who all grew up on these trails. We will help you understand Plitvice lakes, its beauty and importance, why Tito liked spending time here, where the Croatian War of independence in 1991 started, and eventually return to our finish line. Also, we will be happy to advise on where to eat, sleep and what else to do at Plitvice lakes.
IMPORTANT: This tour dour does not include tickets to the park. To avoid waiting in long queues (or even not being able to enter the park), we highly recommend you to book Park entrance tickets on official Park web page.