Slovensky Raj National Park is a candidate member of the European Wilderness Network. The subject of the recent Field Audit focused on very unique place in this park: Kysel Gorge

Slovensky Raj is famous due to its top biodiversity in Slovakia, attractive gorges and remarkable areas of the wild land. The new zoning system approved in the last year not only increased the size of strictly protected zone but also partially reduced fragmentation.

The core of the present potential Wilderness – the Nature State Reserve Kysel, was already created in the 60s. That Reserve gradually grew in the following decades. In 1976 the central part of the Kysel Gorge was impacted by the heavy fire! Narrow gorge with the steep slopes and thin soil burned for several days. The result was that several hectares of forest and vegetation cover were burned down. After long discussion the decision was made and the Kysel Gorge was closed to the public. The trail was shut down and deleted from the tourism map. The ladders and ropes helping visitors cross the difficult sections have been dismantled. The gorge was closed for the following 40 years!

Last year, 2016, the trail was open to the public again. After 4 decades, nature created by its own a new and unique scenery. Outcomes of the spontaneous nature guiding restoration together with scenic gorge and waterfalls are subject of exploration by the new generation of visitors. To bring them safely to this fragile area park administration decided to build a Kysel – Ferrata Nature Trail. That means that the visitors are recommended to have a  ferrata set and be ready for a demanding climbing/walking exercise. Reward is however enormous. Exploring the most wild piece of the Slovensky Raj National Park.

Before the fire, the Kysel Gorge, used to be the most visited gorge in Slovensky Raj. This, however, is no longer an ambitious of the park management due to distance,  fragile ecosystems and difficult access. This place is offering something else. Peace and quietness. Possibility to experience the untouched nature. Possibility to explore this unique area using your senses in combination with a little bit of adrenaline boosting activity.

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About Author

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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