CZ, Prague – Chuchelský Háj Nature Trail
The Chuchelský háj nature trail passes through the nature reserve above Prague's Chuchle, which connects to the Barrandovské skály nature trail. It will take you along a yellow tourist and at the same time cycling asphalt road, mostly through deciduous vegetation from Velká to Malá Chuchle, or vice versa. The biggest attraction, especially for children, is the local zoo.
You can get to Chuchelský háj either from the crossroads of Malá Chuchle or from Pod Akáty street in Velká Chuchle, where there is also a public transport stop. Although the nature trail is not circular, the forest crosses many paved paths and everyone can find a circuit on their own. There is a possibility of parking at the boarding point from one side and the other. You can only be on a leash with your dog.
We start from the car park on Pod Akáty Street and from the information board we learn about Pacold's limestone and the local quarry, from where limestone was mined in the 15th century, or about the Homolka nature reserve with the hill of the same name, whose territory is a rich fossil site. We will also try our own circuit and instead of following the yellow sign, we head left up a gentle hill through the Homolka nature reserve.
The road will take us to the outskirts of Sliven, where a new residential area was created on a green field. In addition to the information board, there is also a signpost to the forest zoo at the crossroads. We continue along a flat path, which is lined on one side by a field and on the other by mature oaks and linden trees. Unfortunately, the rapeseed field drowned out the smell of the linden alley.
After a few hundred meters, the path connects to the yellow-marked nature trail and takes us back to Chuchelský háj, to the already mixed forest, where pine trees have the largest representation among conifers. For children there is a wooden playground, gazebos, benches and a fun quiz towards the zoo in the trees.
Who would expect a small zoo with several animals will be pleasantly surprised. In addition to lynx, foxes, goats, mouflons and roe deer, they have wooden aviaries with forest birds. You can see an owl, a jay, a raven or a buzzard up close, but the king of the local birds is the great eagle owl. In the summer season, snacks are also open.
If you set out from the forest zoo towards Malá Chuchle, you will find a forest well and the chapel of the Virgin Mary on the route. We return to the starting point around the church of St. Jan Nepomucký. Behind him is a lookout point where you can rest on a bench and enjoy the view in the distance. The place of reverence also includes a small cemetery and a memorial to the victims of the May Revolutionary Deaths of 1945 in Velká Chuchle.
Chuchelský háj is a very popular place not only for Praguers. For its romantic rocks, views, centuries-old oak and hornbeam vegetation, which will create a pleasant shade along the entire length of the nature trail even in the hottest summer, it has become a place where you will return again.
GPS: 49°59'50.5"N 14°21'28.0"E
Text and photos: Monika Babická
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