The Triglav National Park (TNP) is Slovenia's only national park. It extends along the Italian border and close to the Austrian border in the mountainous north-western part of the country. The first protected area, much smaller than the present-day park, was founded in 1924. The park was enlarged in 1961 and 1981, and since 2010, when the new Triglav National Park Act was adopted, it measures 83,981 ha, or 4% of Slovenia's territory. Within its borders, the TNP incorporates 25 settlements with a total population of 2,352 people. It is visited by 1.6 million visitors every year.
The altitude difference between Mt Triglav (2,864 m), the highest point of the park, the Tolminka troughs (180 m) as the lowest point, is 2,684 m, boasting a wide variety of natural and cultural features and attractions which form the basis for the protection of the area as a national park.
The park is mountainous, alpine, in nature, with forests taking up two thirds of its surface area. The predominating tree species on the south side of the park is the beech, whereas spruces and larches are characteristic of the northern side of the park. The TNP is known for its wealth of subterranean water bodies, karst springs, watercourses and glacier lakes, and waterfalls. The mountain ridges between the Sava and the Soča rivers mark the watershed between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Typical park animals include the chamois, ibex, red deer, marmot, capercaillie, black grouse, mountain eagle, and marble trout. Recently, the brown bear is becoming a common occurrence. The most characteristic plants include alpine snowbells, gentians, louseworts, edelweisses, orchids, and carnations. Both flora and fauna boast a number of endemic species.
The TNP is divided into three protective regimes. The first protective regime (31,487 ha) covers most of the central zone of the park and is primarily intended for the enforcement of nature protection and conservation; permitted activities include traditional grazing in high-altitude areas and conservation of the cultural heritage of alpine grazing. The second protective regime (32,412 ha) fills the gap between the first and third protective regimes: in this area, various forms of traditional natural resource use are permitted (sustainable agriculture and forestry, sustainable wildlife and fish management). The third protective regime (20,082 ha) contains all 25 settlements: the primary objective of this regime is to ensure protection and conservation of natural assets and cultural heritage as well as to promote sustainable development.
In TNP, the Alpe Adria Trail runs along the existing paths, through all three protective regimes, mostly the third, encompassing:
- Stage 21 Kranjska Gora – Trenta: the area of the Vršič Pass: 1st regime; the sections on both sides of the Vršič Pass (from the entry to the park at Kranjska Gora and from the source of the Soča towards the Vršič Pass): 2nd regime; from the source of the Soča to Trenta (to TNP Information Centre Na Logu in Trenta): 3rd regime;
- Stage 22 Trenta – Bovec: a section of the Soča Trail (from the TNP Information Centre Na Logu in Trenta to the park border at Kal-Koritnica): 3rd regime;
- Stage 24 Drežnica (Kobarid) – Tolmin: the section of the trail 'below Krn' (the border of the park above the village of Drežnica – the Planica monument – the Kuhinja alp): 2nd regime.
When in nature – anywhere, not just in the national park – be respectful! Give due respect to the nature, wildlife, and, last but not least, the inhabitants of the park. Be curious, relax, enjoy yourself – but never forget you are not alone. My freedom ends where your freedom begins!
Take all your waste with you. * Admire the plants, but do not pick them. * Do not disturb the wildlife – be considerate and quiet, and become part of the natural environment. * Keep your dog on a leash. * Do not make open fires. * No tents or camping outside the designated spaces. * Do not drive or park motor vehicles in the natural environment. * Keep to marked paths and observe the notice signs.