SK, Bike Trip: Spisska Teplica - Lopuska Valley
Autumn weather is ideal for biking, so today we introduce routes that are suitable for the whole family. We head to the east of Poprad in Slovakia and from there pure adventure awaits.
Our bike trip starts on the parking lot in front of a well-known hypermarket in Poprad. In clothes that should protect us from rain we move along a beautiful tree alley to Spisska Teplica . The drive takes less ten 10 minutes and then the infoboard welcomes us to the town.
Spisska Teplica – The Gate to Lopusna Valley
A ride through the town is really nice. Colorful family houses and maintained sights indicate that villagers take good care of their village. We stop in its center to eat and learn something about the town in brochures we found on the Internet and printed them. We learn that Spisska Teplica is located in the south edge of Popradska Basin on the north hills of Vikarovska Hrast. Also we learn that the town was founded in 13th century, however origin of the first settlement there dates back to the Paleolithic Era. I twas also I teresting to learn that the town was important regional center of the Cistercian Order in Spissky Stiavnik. There were held fairs and there was a market. Locals worked in the agriculture, lumbering, and distilling. The major historical landmark of the village attributes to Samuel Spillenberg from Levoca, who founded a paper mill, which functioned until 1885. Perhaps the most important monument is the church from 1875. Part of its interior is composed of Madonna made by Master Pavol’s of Levoca workshop . Also Slovak poet and translator Stephen Pilárik stayed in the town. And finally there is something on more recent history. The village came to the attention of the world by managing 50th Cyclo-cross World Championship, which took place in 1999.
After we have learned about this we went on to our bike-adventure. From the village we crossed the local cooperative farm on a very good asphalt road with only a slight elevation. Against us a group of young and grown up bikers appeared and passed by as in a high speed. All of them were marked with numbers. Only later we learned that it was the Highlander, an athlete competition. And so, until they tried to descend as quickly as possible to the their finish, we were enjoying the scenery of Poprad Basin in regular pace. Soon we found ourselves in the woods. But not common woods, but in green one! You might say what 's so special about it, after all, the forest is always green, at least conifer forest. That coniferous forest is green isn’t anything unusual. But the fact that there is a grassy meadow under the trees is really unusual! It was a tiny sign that we are approaching the Lopusna valley. And so it was. Before its entry gate and welcomed us board the ban on entry of motor vehicles. There would be nothing unusual what would surprise us, however, the board on the said bikers are banned and have access only on weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. hours and during weekends from 8:00 to 7:00 p.m. We were lucky and we were there in the time it was allowed so we continued on. A few meters from the gate on the right side of the road there was a wooden lodge building. It indicates the Point Vapenice 803 meters above the sea level. There goes a tourist trail from Vapenice to Kozi Kamen, the highest peak of the Goat Ridges. We saw it also from the asphalt road.
After a brief stop and short meditation we continued to climb, passing a large barns, grass pastures in the arms of the forest, until we got to the top. We put on glasses and we ran headlong down the hill. It was a great ride! Too bad it took such a short time, but it was worth it. At the end of the exit we walked into the aforementioned Lopusna Valley. And with our own eyes we have seen that the name is correct. The path was lined with huge burdock, which grew at a roadside asphalt.
Lopusna Valley – Skiers’ Paradise
Lopusna Valley is about 6 kilometers long and it splits to two parts – Greater and Smaller Lopusna. The bike trail goes across the whole valley so we could enjoy it to the fullest. In the first part of the valley were still some green hills of three ski resorts , closed buffets will soon welcome skiers. This area is very popular and many tourists visit it. In its second part we adored luxurious villas . An asphalt road had many potholes in this part so we had to be very careful and watch every meter to avoid them. In the end, i.e. beginning of the valley we joined a bike trail that connects Svit and Poprad. It goes along the Poprad River, the only Slovak river flowing into the Baltic Sea. Then we returned to the place where our trip started yet now we had much impressions.
We managed to drive the trail in three hours so we recommend it to you. Of course, you may go the other way from Poprad across Svit to Spisske Teplice. But you have to count on higher elevation.
Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút
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