Hiking times: Plavecké Podhradie – Pod Vápennou 1 ¾ h. – Vápenná ¼ h. – Mesačná lúka ¾ h. – Uhliská ¼ h. – Ámonova lúka ½ h. – Plavecký Castle 1 h. – Plavecké Podhradie ½ h.
Total: 5 h.
Total climb: 533 m
This is a demanding trail (in particular due to total climb) that is more than a half-day hike. The well-marked trail ascends the third highest peak in the Small Carpathians and covers multiple crossings, which require careful navigation.
This trail begins at the crossroads near the manor house in the town of Plavecké Podhradie (219 m, Variant I). The first section of the trail follows the yellow hiking blazes (8127) in the direction of the church. Past the church the trail turns to the right at the upper edge of the town. The street itself transitions into a field road. Follow the yellow-blazed trail and pass the drinking water spring to the left. The trail turns to the right and then slightly climbs up to a telecommunications tower. Looking back down offers a beautiful silhouette of the Pohanská massif and occasional long-distance views down into the Záhorie lowlands. Before long the trail enters the forest and along the edge of the Roštún national natural reservation and follows along the fall line up the slope. To the left is the deep Čertova dolina with its beautiful rock formations. From the path the trail continues along a slightly rising forest road to the Pod Vápennou crossing (705 m). Turn to the left onto the short and steep trail marked with yellow, green (5104) and red hiking blazes (Štefánik Trail – E8, 0701), that leads to the concrete pylon at the summit of Vápenná (752 m), the highest point on the trail. The yellow blazes end at the summit. The view from Vápenná is dominated by the nearby Vysoká (754 m) and only opens into the interior of the Small Carpathians. In order to get a view to the west, which is blocked by tall, primarily beech trees, take the metal ladder installed in the concrete pylon to reach the observation tower. To descend from Vápenná follow along the long rocky ridge line that drops down slightly to Mesačná lúka(640 m) with its well. The portal to Pri kríži cave is located to the west of the crossing but is not open to the public. From this spot the green-blazed trail turns off to the right and the trail continues along the red-blazed forest trail that leads into the meadow pass named Uhliská (570 m). After the pass the trail enters the Klokoč national natural reservation and then reaches Klokoč peak (661 m) with beautiful views along a partially forested ridge line. From the peak the trail descends along the ridge line to Ámonova lúka (560 m, Variant II), which once hosted a warden's house. A well is located to the south of the meadow. At the crossing the trail leaves the red-blazed Štefánik Trail and turns to the left onto the blue-blazed trail (2408) that is a part of the Plavec Karst Educational Trail. This slowly descending forest trail leads to the sharp-edged terrain below the summit of Báborská (542 m). The steep and sometimes grassy slopes offer views down into the Záhorie lowlands. The flat forest trail beneath the rocky summit reaches Plavecký Castle crossing (379 m) with the remains of the Plavecký Castle (400 m) above on the summit. The ruins of this royal guard castle dating from the 13th century offer a beautiful view down into the Záhorie lowlands and the western parts of the Small Carpathians. From the meadow pass beneath the castle summit, the trail angles down the slope of Pohanská (495 m) along a stone path that drops down into the town of Plavecké Podhradie (219 m) where this route ends near the manor house.
Variant I: The hike can also begin in Sološnica by taking the green-blazed trail through the Pod Malou Vápennou crossing to the summit of Vápenná (total: 5 ¼ h.).
Variant II: The hike can end in Plavecký Mikuláš by taking the red-blazed trail from the Ámonova lúka crossing to the Mon Repos hunting chalet. Then follow the green-blazed trail through Mokrá dolina down into Plavecký Mikuláš (total: 5 ½ h.).
Foto: Peter Mach