Small Carpathian Ridge Line - Part 2
Hiking times: Pezinská Baba – Čmeľok ¾ h. – Javorina ½ h. – Skalnatá 1 h. – Čermák ½ h. – Hubalová ¾ h. – Panské uhliská ¼ h. – Taricové skaly ½ h. – Skalka ½ h. – Sklená huta 1 ¾ h. – Parina reservoir 1 ¼ h. – Majdan 1 h. – Lošonec ¾ h.
Total: 9 ½ h.
Total climb: 489 m
This difficult full-day hike is demanding both in terms of length and the trail profile in specific sections but navigation is simple. The trail is not a classic ridge line trail as it bypasses Vápenná and goes through a less difficult section (in particular with respect to the climb) through Sklená huta to Lošonec.
The trail beings at the Pezinská Baba recreation centre at Baba pass (527 m) along the red-blazed Štefánik Trail (E8, 0701). Along a short and easy section the trail begins a rather steep ascent through the forest to Čmeľok (709 m) with the border of a nearby military installation not far away, as indicated by the "Vstup len na povolenie" (Restricted access) sign. A short while later the forest opens up and the Vysoká massif in the distance. Taricové skaly later comes into view, which the trail should reach in nearly 4 hours' time. From Čmeľok, the trail descends slightly into Javorina pass (615 m), where the Štefánik Trail crosses with the yellow-blazed trail connecting Pernek and Harmónia. The trail continues along the red-blazed trail to the north and Čertov kopec. The massive and forested summit of Čertov kopec (752 m) is bypassed to the south. There is no need to head up to the summit for the views as one clearing or clear cut area provides a beautiful view to the left onto Vysoká, which appears to be a slightly smaller Veľký Rozsutec from this point. An even more beautiful panoramic view is provided by the next peak along the ridge line – Skalnatá (704 m). The peak certainly lives up to its name (literally 'rocky'). A maple tree with a directional marker stands on the summit of this beautiful rocky peak. The view provides a strikingly clear overlook into the Small Carpathians. To the left is Vysoká with Vápenná in the centre and Záruby in the distance. A steeper descent leads down into the gap and another climb brings the trail to a meadow at Čermák pass (590 m), which once was the site of a cemetery. Today the pass is an attractive picnicking site. A green-blazed trail passes through it. The trail moves along a forest road and bypasses the following two peaks along the ridge line, Modranská Baba (646 m) and Gajdoš (650 m). In Hubalová pass (535 m) a blue-blazed trail joins the red-blazed trail on the right-hand side but again leaves the trail at Panské uhliská (600 m) by turning to the left. It continues in a westerly direction to the summit of Vysoká. The trail crosses over undulating terrain following the red blazes to Taricové skaly (620 m). The limestone rocks provide beautiful views that are among the best on this route. A wonderful view of Vysoká is provided, which doesn't seem as tall as from the previous summit, along with Skalka, Rohožník and a portion of the Zahorie lowlands. The trail heads up the rocky terrain to the left of the game fencing to Skalka pass (525 m,Variant I) following blue blazes. The trail continues beneath Jahodník following blue blazes and not down into Sološnicka dolina following the red hiking blazes. A rather long section follows (nearly 1 ½ h.) along a path that for the most part follows along the game fencing with more downhill than uphill to Sklená Huta (420 m, Variant II). This area has an interesting history associated with the estate ruled from Červený Kameň. Today almost nothing remains from the one-time prosperous smelting works that were located here. The trail continues along the yellow-blazed trail (8108) that follows a green-blazed trail in parallel from the site known as Nad jarkami. The trail continues along a paved forest road and swaps the yellow blazes for the green blazes (5108) near the Zabité warden's house (Variant III) that continues on to the Parina reservoir (300 m). A forest railway line once ran along the side of the reservoir. Today a forest educational trail uses the same route with individual stops that provide information on the historical and natural features of this area of the Small Carpathians. The trail continues aroundRybárne (294 m) and follows a green-blazed paved road to the Husí stok spring and Olšovsky mlyn. At the edge of the hamlet of Majdan (236 m) the trail turns to the left and through Lošonský háj along a green-blazed trail to the town of Lošonec (263 m). Before the end of the trail is one more view of the Lošonská kotlina (basin), Záruby and Smolenice. The U Kováčov penzion (bed and breakfast) offers a place to relax at the end of the hike.
Variant I: The basic route offers a number of detours and shortcuts at various locations. Only those that shorten the route after Skalka are presented here. The same applies for this variant where the trail turns to the left at Skalka and continues down into the Sološnická dolina along the red-blazed trail. The blazes lead the trail down to the base of the valley and to a yellow-blazed trail. Turn to the left onto this trail and continue to Sološnica (total: 6 ¼ h.).
Variant II: An alternative route to summit Vápenná is to cross Sološnická dolina and continue along the Štefánik Trail; the trail however does not end like the first variant in Sološnica. This hike is a demanding ascent up to the summit of the third highest mountain in the Small Carpathians. The trail continues from the summit along the yellow-blazed trail back down into Plavecké Podhradie (total 9 h.).
Variant III: A shorter option than the basic trail is for those who want to end their trip in Doľany. From the Zabité warden's house, continue straight along the yellow-blazed hiking trail. The paved road provides convenient access to the middle of Doľany (total: 8 h.).
Foto: Peter Mach