Masaryk Forest Enterprise To Reopen Hiking Routes in the Moravian Karst and Soběšice From April

Tourists will again be able to use routes in Josefovske udoli in the Moravian Karst and the Karel Morávek Walk. In addition, a new route might open to replace a closed route. Photo credit: Coline Béguet / BD.

Brno, April 9 (BD) – From April, tourists will again be able to visit the temporarily closed routes in Josefovske udoli in the Moravian Karst, which lead to Býčí skála and the Výpustek cave. They will also be able to take the Karel Morávek Walk near Soběšice. At both locations, some trees had to be removed due to their poor condition, resulting from the extreme drought in recent years. In addition, foresters are proposing a new route to replace one closed route in the Moravian Karst.

“The section of the blue tourist route from Sedmi dubů to Jelenec will be cancelled after an agreement with Czech Tourism, due to the high risk of widespread forest collapse, especially in the part of the route that passes through the Býčí skála national nature reserve,” explained Lumír Dobrovolný from the Masaryk Forest School Enterprise in Křtiny (ŠLP Křtiny). “Instead, we are proposing a new route – a bridge from Sedmi dubů to Josefovské údolí, which could be very attractive for tourists.”

At Soběšice, the cutting of trees was completed at the end of March, so the Karel Morávek footpath has been accessible since 1 April. “The trail has a length of seven kilometres and has been cut and cleared of dangerous trees; some of it has also been newly dug. Mining will take place in the surrounding forests according to the economic plan. The trail will no longer be affected by mining, except for possible one-off operations in the future,” said forest manager Ivo Březina.

In Josefovské údolí, felling was finished by the end of January. After mining operations ended, the safety of cut trees and the cleaning of the route due to mining residues was evaluated. Mining took place around the tourist tracks over an approximate area of 310 hectares.

“In Josefovské údolí, we cut down a total of 231 trees, which were left in the reserve to decay. The cost of dangerous felling by a specialised company totalled CZK 330,000, which is approximately four times more expensive than regular felling,” said Dobrovolný.

The death of the trees was caused by the extreme drought between 2015 and 2019. Droughts weaken trees, making them more susceptible to pests. The problem mainly affected older beeches and ash trees, but these are the predominant trees in the area. 

“We are not currently planning any further restrictions, but due to climate change and the continuing drying of trees, further restrictions will certainly occur,” added Dobrovolný.

Everything is now ready for the tourist season. “Even so, visitors enter the forest at their own risk,” stressed Dobrovolný. “We do not recommend going into the woods, especially in bad weather conditions. And in the case of the valley blue route from Adamov to Býčí skála, which passes through the reservation, where for reasons of nature protection the trees are purposefully left to live until they decay, the risk of falling trees or branches will continue to increase.”

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