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Karst Bridge Track | Primeval Beech Forests of Carpathians | UNESCO World Heritage
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Karst Bridge Track | Carpathian Biospere Reserve

In Primeval Beech Forests of Carpathians that was listed in UNESCO World Heritage in 2007 there is unique Karst Bridge Track with length of route of 5 km and elevation of 500 meters. The duration of walk on Karst Bridge Track is 2,5-3 hours and the best time to walk the track - April-October.

Karst Bridge Track Route Description

The beginning of the track (410 meters above sea level) is in Mala Uholka near office of Carpathian Biospere Reserve. Nearby there are evergreen plants - Pseudotsuga Taxifolia from North America. Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga Taxifolia) at home occupies large areas and reaches large proportions - up to 100 meters high and several meters in diameter.

Primeval Beech Forests of Carpathians | UNESCO World HeritageDouglas-fir (Pseudotsuga Taxifolia) in Mala Uholka were planted by local foresters more than hundred years ago to create Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga Taxifolia) plantation. Nearby housed the local school which until World War II served as a hunting lodge for graph-landowner.

400 meters (500 meters above sea level) is karst cave "Druzhba" (Friendship) - the largest cave in Ukrainian Carpathians (historical name on the cave is "Romagna"). Total length of passages of the cave is more than 1 km.

This area is characterized by well-developed karst so here presented different karst forms as aboveground and underground karst funnels, caves, mines, tunnels and wells. Only caves on the territory of Mala Uholka there are over thirty. Some of these caves have retained their stone decoration - stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnates.

Karst Cave Friendship Druzhba | Carpathian Biospere Reserve400 meters (650 meters above sea level) - from cave "Druzhba" (Friendship) Karst Bridge Track steadily rises with every step farther leads deep into the array of Primeval Beech Forests. Single beech tree is reaching 35-40 meters tall and 1 meter in diameter. Their age has 250-300 years.

1200 meters (750 meters above sea level) - Middle Stone. It is called rocky limestone ridge that cuts through nearly a kilometer from west to east. His numerous peaks rising above forest canopy reminding giant comb. This is one of the most interesting places of limestone ridge - everywhere are marbled crystalline limestones which are covered with dense moss. All this gives the impression of some ancient not typical of our era creation.

1600 meters (750 meters above sea level). In the last hundred meters Karst Bridge Track passes traverse the slope and barely rises. Around the track there are cliffs and limestone boulders. The special charm of this place stands out in the spring when there is mass bloom of ephemeroides.

At this time slopes covered with incredibly beautiful and colorful blue, yellow and pink carpet with Zubyanka (Dentaria Glandulosa) and Ryast (Corydalis Solida). Among them there are bright white snowdrop (Galantus Nivalis). Overall this pattern creates a lasting impression.

Beautiful view of beech forests of Uholka and Tisza river valley | Carpathian Biospere Reserve2300 meters (850 meters above sea level) - Tract "Chur". Next the route leads to one of the most beautiful places on Karst Bridge Track. If you go up on high cliff you will see a majestic view of Primeval Beech Forests, Uholka valley and Tisza river. On the horizon to the south could be seen mountain ridges that are in Romania. Down at the foot of the cliff is one of the many limestone caves of Uholka.

According to legends and chronicles the cave has huge size and aforementioned cave "Druzhba" (Friendship) is only a small fragment of that cave.

Ambassador of Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible during the trip from Tsargrad (Constantinople or Istanbul) to Moscow in 1552 stayed in Zanivskyi Monastery wrote about this cave. The latest exploration found a cave at the bottom of vertical stroke clogged great clay-stone stopper.

2500 meters (800 meters above sea level) - Кarst Bridge or Stone Bridge - the most significant natural monument on the track. This is an unique natural arch which was formed as a result of karst processes on the seabed. The length of Karst Bridge is more than 16 meters and the hight of the arch is more than 3 meters. Arch of Karst Bridge on the one hand rests against the rock and on the other hand splits into two legs. It originality attracted the attention of people since ancient times.

Primeval Beech Forests of Carpathians | Carpathian Biospere ReserveEven 500 years ago when Christianity celebrated its 1500th anniversary here in the heart of Europe flourished heathen cult that worshiped the sun. On Karst Bridge were their temple as evidenced by found archival materials and artifacts. Karst Bridge is work of nature of marbled limestone covered with Primeval Beech Forests and open areas of this huge boulders covered by mosses and lichens.

2800 meters (700 meters above sea level) - Primeval Beech Forests. From Karst Bridge the track descends. At a distance of about 200-300 meters encounter almost perfect plot of Beech Forests - from seedlings to powerful giant trees aged 300 years or more. If the humidity is high enough it could often be found spotted salamander - typical beech forests representative of tailed amphibian that is listed in Red Book of Ukraine.

3200 meters (600 meters above sea level) - Primeval Beech Forests. First of all thrown into the eyes many tall plants - among them are rare species listed in Red Book of Ukraine: Lunaria Rediviva, Atropa Belladonna and others.

5000 meters (410 meters above sea level) - Karst Bridge Track descends to the river and former hunting lodge of a graph.

Another 300 meters and we find ourselves at the office of Carpathian Biospere Reserve in Mala Uholka where started our journey to one of the last wilderness areas in Central Europe.

You could walk Karst Bridge Track in tour package Ukraine Tour West Ring or choose individual or small group tour.

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
Tour Guide
Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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