Tatra educational paths
Štátne lesy TANAP have prepared for you and your children some educational paths that will not only make your holiday refreshing but also it will bring you a new knowledge and understanding of Tatra nature (of its origin, fauna, flora and natural laws of nature).
Educational path Zverovka (West Tatras)
t is actually a 2 200-metre long circle which starts and ends on Zverovka. When walking slowly, it takes less than one hour. It was an idea of Oto Baračka from the protective district of the State Forests of TANAP on Zverovka – he worked on given facts of the terrain as well as on the fact that not every visitor of the Tatras has to be interested in alpine hiking, but a less physically demanding walking can appeal to him.
The path is specific because there is only one board with text – at the beginning of the track. The visitor can read a brief characteristic of the educational path there, he can see a map of the track as well as names of particular stops. These are marked in terrain with simple stakes with boxes on – when the visitor opens them, there is several information material available (texts and pictures in A4 format). It is actually a self-service information system. There are 5 stops of this kind on the track, with the following topics – origin of the forest, Studený brook, a tree ending its life, activity of glaciers and a small tarn Maras, rocks.
From Štrbské Pleso to Popradské pleso (High Tatras)
„Walking through a forest between a settlement and a tarn“ - this could be another name for a path with a length of almost four kilometres, leading along the ridge of Trigan. Walking takes around 1.5 hour. At fourteen stops the visitor learns a lot of information about the fact that a forest does not mean only trees, but also animals and plants living there. Equally interesting is information concerning the origin of the Tatras, their geology and soil structure, description of trees and their target composition similar to a natural forest. One of the information boards is dedicated only to the description of avalanches which are very frequent in this area. This is also the reason why the red marked tourist path is partly closed in the winter. In case of good weather you can walk the educational path along the winter track marked green. In both directions: from Štrbské Tarn to Popradské Tarn as well as from Popradské Tarn to Štrbské Tarn.
Educational geological area Podmuráň (Belianske Tatras)
Visitors of the Tatra National Park can see a unique geological exposition of its kind in Slovakia in the open when visiting Javorová valley. On the blue marked tourist path in front of the valley entrance point, staff of the State Forests of TANAP created the Educational geological area Podmuráň. Dominant are rock samples which have been found in the Tatras from their beginning till now. There are signs with descriptions of the rock names, their origin and age, as well as added information - which part of the Tatras is formed of the particular rock. Small parts of each exposed rock are ground off so that the structure would be clearly visible.
A part of the geological exposition in the open are boards with photos and a detailed description of the origin of the Tatras, the way and time period of their uprising as well as forming to their present shape. A complicated dictionary of geological expressions is translated into easy understandable texts. And each of them is added a photo or picture which can be compared to the reality right at the place.
The dominant point of the geological exposition in the open is a granite boulder with a carving representing the prehistoric sea where the Tatras originated. Right at the place there is a panoramic photo of the Tatras including a description of the peaks which the tourist can see in front of him. Finally a heap of stones which is also a part of the exposition represents a moraine pushed to the valley by a glacier.
Educational path Roháčske tarns (West Tatras)
In Roháčska valley there is the Educational path Roháčske tarns, reopen to the tourist public after a complete reconstruction. On eight boards located along the blue marked tourist path leading from the ramp next to the car parking on Zverovka to the third Roháčske tarn visitors can learn information about the most precious species of fauna and flora here. The first board giving information about avalanches and their damages to the nature around stands on the road leading to Ťatliakova chalet, right at a place where avalanches damage the forest every year. The boards offer an opportunity to see not only the common vegetation growing along the tourist path, but also further precious species hidden on farther places. Since not everybody has an opportunity to meet a bear, lynx or chamois, there is information about their real life conditions on steep slopes of Roháče placed on the fifth board. The educational tourist path passes three Roháčske tarns and thus there must be a description of waters of the area on the boards. There is information not only about the origin of the tarns and the present life inside of them, but also the fact that they are a part of a basin draining into the Black Sea. To make it more illustrative for the tourist, photos used on all boards are made only on places where the tourist is standing.
Educational path Juráňova valley (West Tatras)
For a walk along the Educational path Juráňova valley you should plan at least three hours. You can hardly manage the eight-kilometre long track in a shorter time. If you make a stop at every board (there are five of them), you can learn detailed information about the history, fauna and flora of this precious nature reserve. Crossing a canyon – a karst relief which got its present shape by getting moulded into limestone by water – is a real experience. It is a rarity that in the whole Carpathian arc the dwarf pine has the lowest location right here. Another rarity is lime loving flora which is the most beautiful in the spring.
It is not a problem to find the educational path: at the crossroads in Oravice you follow the red marked tourist path. Do not be misled by the fact that a part of the track leads along Tichý brook in Tichá valley. If you continue, the same red marked tourist path will lead you through Juráňova valley up to the saddle Umrlá. And you can get back to Oravice through Bobrovecká valley along the green marked tourist path. You do not have to give up the walk in case of bad weather. The tourist path is adapted for walking tourists so that it is possible to cross the canyon in dry as well as wet conditions.
Educational locality Partisan hospital (West Tatras)
The yellow marked tourist path leading to Partisan hospital under Salatín is also serving as a path leading to the educational locality Partisan hospital. While walking the visitor learns information, written on five boards, about destinies of people having survived the time between December 1944 and February 1945 in Salatínska valley. “The forestry chalet in Salatínska valley provided shelter for 14 injured partisans, two of their nurses and a doctor in December 1944. Occupants of the forestry chalet – partisan hospital spent two long months in hard winter conditions of Roháče. Since a descent to the nearby settlement Zuberec was not possible, the doctor and the nurses had to amputate fingers to one of the injured partisans. Without anaesthetics, with a knife and only one medicine, permanganate. The injured partisan was in danger of toxaemia. The doctor was sent to search for help in Poland. The Polish mountain rescue service TOPR took over the rescue. In very hard terrain and weather conditions they managed to transport all injured partisans as well as their doctor and nurses to Zakopane on 11th and 12th February 1945. Nobody died,“ tells Juraj Majerčák, chief of the protective district Zverovka of the State Forests of TANAP, briefly.
The yellow marked path leading to the former field hospital starts next to the monument of the Slovak National Uprising and Juraj Majerčák describes it in detail: “The path leads into an ordinary overgrown glen with a small stream flowing through. After stepping over it we traverse through a wooded side ridge and get into another glen which is more narrow and steeper. At first we climb its rocky bottom steeply upwards, afterwards we turn right. We continue along the path traversing up to a chalet of Partisan hospital. After looking around for a while we turn back along the same track. It is an easy and comfortable walk through a spruce stand, lasting around one hour in one direction. From the path there is a nice view of Osobitá in the North and of the massif of Predný Salatín in the South.“
Educational path Zadné Meďodoly (Belianske Tatras)
Also the blue marked tourist path leading from Tatranská Javorina to Kopské saddle has its ten stops. On information boards of the educational path Zadné Meďodoly tourists are offered by the State Forests of TANAP not only information about the local fauna and rich flora of Belianske Tatras, but also the unforgettable history of the valley. Photos of the bark beetle calamity which did not avoid the local spruce monocultures answer the question “What troubles the forest”. Detailed information about the origin and changes of the Tatras is offered by the Educational geological area Podmuráň. Tourists learn at further stops that the forest is able to absorb water and release it gradually, that the canyon Bránky has not been there forever and that it was formed by Meďodolský brook, that the bear is a real ruler of the forest, that shepherds even died in shepherd´s wars and that the copper ore was really being mined in Predné and Zadné Meďodoly in the past.
An approximately four – kilometre long educational path starting in Tatranská Javorina and ending in Kopské saddle takes three hours to walk slowly. “The surface of the tourist path is adapted also to prams,“ says Marián Šturcel, the deputy director of the State Forests of TANAP and continues: “Almost on the first two kilometres from Tatranská Javorina to the gamekeeper´s lodge Podmuráň and to the educational geological area the path is accessible also for wheel chairs. The path does not serve as a cycling route. And thus we hope that it will be popular mostly with families with children because of the beautiful scenery surrounding it.“