SK: Small Carpathians – From Pernek to Skalnata
Skalnatá – A Seven-Hundred-Meter Peak in the Small Carpathians
Skalnata peak (704 m) is one of Small Carpathians' eleven highest peaks. These mountains are often groupped as the seven-hundred-meter peaks of the Small Carpathians. This ridge is frequented by tourists simply because grassy meadows covering its slopes open amazing vistas over the mountains and valleys around. . Skalnata stretches somewhere almost in the middle of the mountain range, in the Pezinske Carpathians. These are situated right on the part of the Small Carpathians's ridge which stretches between Pezinska Baba and Cermak meadow. The famous red tourist trail known as Stefanikova Magistrala crosses this meadow. You can hike to Skalnata along different tourist trails either from Pernek, Kuchyna, Modry, Dubova, or Pila. We chose Pernek town to be our point of start as it is situated on the east of the quiant region of Zahorie.
From Pernek along the Yellow Trail
We start the 16,2 km trek with 821 meters of elevation at Pernek. By the church we join the yellow trial. We leave the village and walk eastwards. The trail winds on forest covered hillsides and we enjoy the beauty of a small forest in the Small Carpathians. We go slightly uphill and pass a. Mierne stúpame, prechádzame okolo vyťažených piles from former mines. We can see the traces of mining activity of the past at different places. The walkway later follows steeper terrain. We go uphill, to the mountains and pass Prostredny Vrch (601 m). Upon this section we reach the Klippe below Javorina crossroad which gets us to the Small Carpathians ridge.
Along the Ridge across the Stefanik's Trail
On the crossroad of several tourist trails you can rest for a while and regain some energy. Next we continue along the red tourist trail toward northeast. We would follow the legendary Stefanikova Magistrala. This tourist trail is a part of the international E8. We move on uneven forest-covered ridge of the Small Carpathians with the rising and descending terrain. This ridge trail goes along other peaks of the Small Carpathians rising up to 700 meters – Javorina (703 m) and Certov Kopec (752 m). Before we start the final hike up to Skalnata, we may enjoy a beautiful vista to the south.
On the Peak of Skalnata
By going along the ridge our altitude slowly rises. The walkway takes us to the mixed forest which is mostly dominated by conifers. Once we finished this section of the trail, we get out the forest and eagerly approach teh peak of Skalnata (704 m) We find ourselves on an open grassy plain with the well-known lonely tree on the very top. The vistas are nothing but amazing. We can see the entire Small Carpathians. The double peak of Vysoka (754 m) is easy to spot. In the distance, you can spot the long ridge of Vapenna (752 m) as well as the twin peaks of Jelenec (694 m) and Geldek (694 m), or Velka Homole (709 m) with an observation tower on its very top. The Small Carpathian may seem like an insignificant mountain range yet they have charm of their own and may be found exciting even by an average tourist. Thanks to its diversity, the nature of the Small Carpathians is beautiful and fascinating.
Text and photos: Radoslav Biskupič
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