Top five educational trails around Zagreb
A half-hour walk a day protects our bodies and boosts our immune system. Today, this is more important than ever. Spending time in nature is beneficial to our health. We all know that, but often seem to forget about it. Forests are the “lungs” of our planet, so walking the winding trails in nature means a lot to our health. The connection between man and nature is important to one's physical and mental health.
Spending time in nature has many other positive qualities. Walking through parks or forest trails strengthens the connection between family or friends. School children develop faster and are calmer if they spend at least half an hour a day in the woods. It has been proven that patients recover faster if they spend time in nature.
Walking through the forest is free therapy for all the cells in our bodies. In Japan, there is the tradition of Shinri-ioku, which denotes immersing in the forest. Plants emit antimicrobial compounds of plant derivatives into the environment, affecting fungi and bacteria and thus helping our immune system. The improvement lasts for up to two months after walking through the forest for only two hours.
Walking through the forest stimulates creativity and inspires positive thoughts, which is also very important for our psychophysical health. Spending time in nature is of the utmost importance, so go out as soon as possible.
Here is a list of some of the most beautiful trails near Zagreb.
- Staza kneževa, Budinjak
If you take a stroll down the “Staza kneževa” trail in the Nature Park Žumberak–Samobor Hills, you will find yourself on a journey through the rich history, in a landscape that has been shaped and maintained by people who have lived in harmony with nature for millennia.
You can not get lost–the part of the trail that starts in front of the Budinjak Eco-Centre is marked with wooden poles with panels containing information on heading direction and points of the trail. It will take you two hours to find two different archaeological sites in the Archaeological park. You will recognize the one from the Early Iron Age in Budinjak, and the other from the Roman Age in Bratelji by the interpretative panels set on the entrances.
- “Okićnica” educational trail, Samobor Hills
Old town Okić is in front of you. If you want to get to know it better before you visit it, check if you have an hour of free time, three thousand steps in your feet, and a half-litre bottle of water for refreshment. If you do have all of that—the Okićnica educational trail is waiting for you. A circular trail that starts and ends here will lead you around Okić. After you have walked 2,5 km of mostly flat and to mountain climbers unchallenging trail, you will see what has been drawing people to the rocky Okić since the dawn of time. Upon returning to that place, you will learn what has predetermined the shape Okić has today, where its strategic importance lies, and how people have seen, valued and used it throughout history. And then, when you start ascending towards Old town Okić, you will feel as if you were visiting an old friend.
- Otruševec educational trail, Samobor
It only takes an hour and a half of walking the two-kilometer trail to visit nine diverse points and see the life, customs and legends of the Otruševec area; from the subterranean beauty in Grgos Cave, through geological and biological specifics, to stories about ancient giants and hardworking people of the Samobor area. The view of the Sava valley and Medvednica in the distance is a reward for all those who have hiked almost half the trail. From here, you can see Sljeme with its 1035 meters of height, but Otruševec is also a force to be reckoned with—at an altitude of a little more than 320 meters the air is crisper and richer, and the view is clearer and more spectacular than in the lowland.
- “Šumarica” educational trail, Turopolje
If you want to spend the day without a car, the Šumarica walking trail is an ideal choice. The trail is nine kilometers long, connects the villages of Krušak and Kozjača, and you need two hours of a leisurely stroll to walk it. The walk along its trails leads through the forest, forest slopes, meadows, and the trail is accompanied by informative panels that teach you about the history of the Vukomerić Hills, wooden construction, flora and fauna.
- “Žutica” and “Marča” educational trails, Ivanić-Grad
The Žutica educational trail consists of 10 educational points, and it is around 2500 meters long. The trail starts next to the “Pleso” forestry lodge. It was designed to take the visitors through different forest stands. The trail goes through the English oak forest, the European hornbeam forest to the narrow-leafed ash floodplain forest. One part of the trail goes along the old Lonja stream bed.
The Mrača educational trail is situated on the western slopes of Mt. Moslavačka Gora near the village of Šumećani, with a starting point on the road next to Kezele Rural Tourism Estate. The trail is circular and 3000 meters long. The starting point is at an altitude of 180 meters and is followed by a 100-meter descend to the Sudarica marsh and lake, and the returning path is a circular gentle climb with an elevation gain of 80 meters.