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Forests and Views of Jelovica High-plateau

Mountainbiking · Upper Carniola · open
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Turizem Radovljica Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Lancovo
    / Lancovo
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Selce - pogled na Karavanke
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / View from Talež Mountain Hut
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Planina Zgoška Ravan
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Vodiška planina
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Barigla nad Kropo
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • /
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Kovačkova pot from Kropa to Jamnik
    Photo: Kaja Beton, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Kolesarja v Kropi
    Photo: Jošt Gantar, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Mountain bikers in Kamna Gorica
    Photo: Miran Kambič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The crossing of forest trails
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / On the way to Fuksova brv
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Forest trail leading to Fuksova brv
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Fuksova brv
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The forest path to Radovljica
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Coming back from the forest trail to the paved road
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The steep stairways leading to Radovljica old town
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The viewpoint at the former town gates of medieval Radovljica
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
m 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 km
A longer cycle tour that offers a combination of views, mountain pastures and excellent descents, ending with a chance to see quaint village centres. A real delight for forest lovers!
open
difficult
Distance 37.5 km
6:15 h
1,065 m
1,066 m

Cycling on the Jelovica plateau is real enjoyment for fans of forest. Your ride up to the top of the plateau leads gradually uphill on macadam roads, with an unmissable stop on Talež (marvellous views of the surroundings of Lake Bled). The macadam forest road then continues to the Goška Ravan mountain pasture and onwards (and upwards!) to the Vodiška planina mountain pasture. At the latter you can take a break for some well-deserved refreshments, before continuing through the forests of Jelovica to the Zidana skala viewpoint and down to Jamnik. After having soaked up the great views from the prominent ridge with its church you will start the descent back to the valley; first on a short section of the road before reaching the wonderful forest trail, which you take down to the preserved market centre of Kropa, a village known for its history of iron-forging. Next on your trip is the picturesque village of Kamna Gorica. You will rich Radovljica again via the Fuxova brv footbridge.

 

Author’s recommendation

Don't miss the mighty old linden tree on Vodiška planina alpine pasture. According to folk traditions, it was planted in the year 1473!
Profile picture of Turizem Radovljica
Author
Turizem Radovljica
Update: July 07, 2021
Difficulty
S0 difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1,249 m
Lowest point
408 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

The vast forest of Jelovica, pay great attention to orientation - otherwise you can easily get lost. 

Tips and hints

  • Soon after joining with the forest road to Jelovica plateau at Kolnica hamlet, you will spot a narrow footpath leading left into the forest. If you choose to follow it (by foot), you will reach an interesting source of river Lipnica in just a minute or two. The path branching off to the right-hand side leads further on the Grabnarica Waterside Nature Trail. Hiking the entire trail will unfortunately take you to long, however it  might be worth to walk as far as the first footbridge to feel the ambiance of this truly interesting trail.

  • At Vodiška planina mountain pasture you might not have climbed to the highest point of the tour yet. However, you have definitely reached  one of the main goals of the day. Make a (well deserved) stop at the Partizanski dom mountain hut, and try the delicious home-made Štruklji (rolled cottage cheese dumplings) made by the friendly hut keeper Heidi. 
  • Jamnik is often referred to as  "the panoramic balcony above Gorenjska". Quite rightly, for the image of the scenic church of St. Primus and Felician with a dramatic mountain backdrop is simply unforgettable. No better place for a photo stop!
  •  owards the end of the fantastic descend from Mt. Barigla , you will come across (a surprisingly large) church standing in the forest above the market town Kropa. The church of the Mother of God, known by the locals simply as "The Chapel", was once a popular site of pilgrims. According to the legends, this is where seven boys found a devotional picture of Mary back in 1707.

  • The market town Kropa and the village Kamna Gorica are denoted by their iron forging traditions and rich cultural heritage. Just by cycling through their streets,  the beautiful shutters and fences made from wrought iron will catch your eye.  If you are not too pressured by time, it's worth to stop and see them from up close. Not to mention the skilfully carved portals of ironworkers houses, wooden waterways, vividly painted catholic shrines... Kropa is known also for it's authentic cuisine, which you can at Pr'Kovač and Pri Jarmu guest-houses. The mlin (Slovenian: watermill) restaurant in Kamna Gorica is known for their fresh trout and delightful garden.

Start

Tourist information centre Radovljica (490 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.341288, 14.174478
DMS
46°20'28.6"N 14°10'28.1"E
UTM
33T 436472 5132299
w3w 
///parapet.presets.buttered

Destination

Vodiška planina alpine pasture on Jelovica high-plateau

Turn-by-turn directions

Standing outside the Tourist information centre in Radovljica, follow the narrow street leading south-east onto the colourful Linhart square in the old town centre of Radovljica. Cycle right through the square (or take time for morning coffee in one of the many excellent bars and restaurants!), than turn right at the first street branching off the square to the right hand side (road sign: No admittance for vehicles). This short street bring you to a fabulous viewpoint at the former town gates of medieval Radovljica. Turn right, and descend down a road leading beneath the former town walls and residential houses. Cross the railway overpass and continue cycling downhill towards the river Sava (broad views of the valley bellow).

After about 600 meters, you will come across the main road. Join it carefully, turn left and cycle downhill to a large bridge across river Sava. As soon as you cross the bridge and reach the village Lancovo, turn right and follow the village street running up-stream the Sava river. After 50 meters, the road splits in a Y-shaped fork. The main road continues straight ahead, while you turn left and cycle up the narrow village street. Continue straight ahead for about 100 meters to meet another Y-shaped fork. Turn left and pedal up-hill towards a natural terrace (group of houses, car repair shop). Keep to the right and continue cycling up a (very steep!) hill. Ignore the driveway to the houses on your left-hand side and keep climbing up on the steep traverse. Eventually the road bends to the left and brings you to a delightull natural terrace with a horse-ranch and a group of farm houses.

Turn left at the crossroads (cahtolic shrine on your left-hand side) and pedal right across the meadows and pastures on a gradually ascending road. As the road turns to the right, you will be able to see the church tower of St. Lambert's church directly in front of you. The quiet country road gets rather steep again, however it soon reaches a small pass near the church. A short (but sweet) descent brings you to the hidden Lipnica valley and it's green meadows. Turn left by the catholic shrine, and follow the paved road leading into the village. Continue cycling straight ahead on the main village street, ignoring side road and street branching off to both sides. A the Y-shaped fork turn right and pedal up the ascending road. Keep right by the wooden crucifix, and soon you will reach the southern end of the village. Follow the road exiting the village to reach a junction with the main road after half a kilometre.

Turn right and join the main (two lane) road carefully. Follow it for for about 400 meters to village Zgornje Lancovo (passing by a grocery store and a bar on your left-hand side), than turn right on the ascending road (road sign: Brda, Vošče). Reaching crossroads near the private house, you choose the middle (straight forward) road. Continue cycling straight ahead (passing by the house and the barn). The paved road now gradually ascends into the forest (tall beech trees).

As the road levels, you are greeted by a meadow and an isolated farmhouse on your left-hand side. Cycle straight ahead, ignoring the driveway leading to the house, and the cart track  branching off to the right-hand side. Reaching the next intersection, continue straight ahead (passing a large open storage). Reaching the house on the edge of the plateau, the roads branch off to both left and right hand side. Continue straight ahead (on hardly visible) gravel road which descends into the dense forest. The road brings you to a riverside meadow and a tiny bridge in Kolnica hamlet. Cross the bridge, to reach a wide gravel forest road.

Turn right and follow the wide forest road leading up-stream of Grabnarica brook. After about 500 meters, the road starts gradually ascending up the forests of Jelovica plateau (nice views of village Brda). For the next 5 kilometres, the route is very simple to follow: ignore all side roads and log skidding tracks and cycle up the main gravel road.

Reaching the crossroads with signpost for Talež, Vodiška planina and Goška Ravan, you can make a choice for an "in-out" visit of the Talež Mountain hut. Talež makes an excellent refreshment stop after the long climb, not to mention the absolutely stunning views of Lake Bled from it's front terrace. Definitely a place worth of additional 3 kilometres of (predominantly flat) cycling.

If you choose to visit Talež hut, continue straight forward on a road that soon starts to descent, passing by the private chalets and then goes flat untill it reaches a crossroad with a big sign for Talež (right turn). Turn sharply right to the road, comming from your right-hand site and continue paddaling for a few minutes untill you reach the lately renovated wooden lodge on your right and a large parking on the left. From the terrace the amazing views await! on the edge of the forest. After rehydrating and  having taken in the views, retrace your route back to the first crossroad.

Turn right and begin with another long steady ascent through the vast forest of Jelovica high-plateau. After the first Y-shaped fork (turn right! - signpost: Goška ravan) the road starts ascending steeper and reaches Goška ravan alpine pastures. Cycle past the cattle pastures, or stop at the mountain hut (herdsmen's hut), kindly inviting you to a visit from the right-hand side (drinks, warm dishes).

Return (or stay) on the forest road, passing-by the alpine pastures and climbing up further up the forest. Soon the forest levels and the next kilometre is a bit easier on your chest and your legs. Keep cycling on the widest gravel road, ignoring all side roads and log-skidding tracks. Reaching a T-junction at Razpok (small alpine meadow with a few holiday cottages, nice view of the Karavanke mountain range), turn right and follow the forest road leading towards south.

After the first punchy climb you will reach another junction. Take the left forest road that will gently take you south and south east up and down towards the next junction when you again take the left road and ride over a crest, take the gentle descend and gentle ascend and after that keep a sharp eye to make a right turn onto a forest path that will take you towards the forest road to Vodiška planina. Follow the clear path that you are now on and the red and white markings on the trees all the way up to a forest road, where you will make a left turn again and after 300 meters reach the Partizanski dom mountain hut at the Vodiška planina alpine pasture. Make sure to have a break here, you won't regret it.

After your stop, continue up from the Vodiška planina mountain pasture towards Zidana skala viewpoint. The first part of the ascend is a steep forest part that you can also push your bike up on, as it is a punchy climb. After it you will again reach more mellow terrain and soon a forest path where you will again go left and ride along to the south/southeast direction. After about 3 kilometers of riding this forest path you will reach a very distinct T junction on a forest road where you will take a left turn again (towards the north at the beginning, but after the first turn towards the south) down towards Jamnik village. When you reach the asphalt main road at the bottom of the first part of your gravel descend turn sharp left and continue your ride along the GPX track through the village to reach the bottom village road that will take you towards the most scenic viewpoint in the Gorenjska region - the natural balcony next to Jamnik church.

After soaking in the views return on the same path you reached the church from but at the end of the ridge turn right and take the forest path under the main road towards the north. Passing an old farm courtyard on the way, you will again reach the main road that you will take a mere 500 meters to reach your next turn and descend. To reach the entrance to the trail you need to ride the first first two sharp turns of the asphalt descend and then enter the trail at a marked tree (red circle with white filling). The beginning of the forest trail is a bit steeper with loose soil and some leaves, so make sure that you ride it as safely as possible. The descend will take you along a relatively wide forest path down towards a forest crossroad on a saddle. Continue straight until you reach another saddle in the forest.

Reaching the crossroads at the saddle on the lowest point of the ridge (signpost: Kropa, adjusted on a tall beech tree), turn sharply to the left, than follow a wide forest trail gradualy descending towards the old town of Kropa. Soon, the trail get steeper and crosses a gully with a tiny brook. Sihlhutte of a an unussual church bell tower can be seen through the trees, and quite soon you meet a (suprigly large) church standing in the forest above the town. It worth to stop here for the view, or continue the descent on the steep gravel track. Soon after passing-by a large catholic shrine on your left-hand side, the road descends straight down into the old market town Kropa.

Go slow as you approach the village (sports playground on your right-hand side), for the steep trail suddenly ends on the main street leading through the old market town. Turn left, pass-by the blacksmith cooperative (on your right-hand side) and the Iron forging museum (on your leftt-hand side) to reach the main market square. If you are not to tired, you can stop and explore Kropa and it's sights, otherwise cross the old stone bridge and turn right onto a narrow street.  Descend down this charming street (sorruned by historic buildings) and ignore road branching off to the right-hand side. Soon after meeting a small river (and the metal factory walls), the street turns to the left and climbs up a small hill. Reaching the Y-junction at the top, turn right and descend down the road leading out of the town. Ignore the road adjoining from the right, and cycle futher in the same direction. After cycling through a small patch of forest, the road brings further towards the new part of the Kropa (factory workers family homes from the second half of the 20th century). Cycle straight ahead on the main street, which soon ends in a small meadow. Keep right and follow the road descending steeply into the forest. You might be surprised to see a public swimming pool in the valley floor on your right-hand side. A refreshing swim might be a good idea on a hot summer day, however - there is still some cycling to be done before the end of this tour.

Pass-by the swimming pool to reach the junction with the main road (a bridge an WWII monument on your right-hand side). Turn left and carefully join the main road. Saddly there is no other alternative, but to cycle on the main road for a good kilometre. After passing-by the local primary school, a road branches of to the right-hand side. Ignore it, and cycle further on the main road leading you towards an isolated house (former blacksmith's shop) with an interesting private water reservoir (pond).

Reaching the village Kamna Gorica (guest house and pizzeria Mlin on the right-hand side of the road), look for the second street branching on your left-hand side, running parallel with a small brook. This narrow village street (running in-between charming historic buildings) soon brings you to the bridge across Lipnica stream. Turn right in the Y-shaped junction on the other side of the bridge, and follow the street leading you further into the the heart of the village (a miniature blacksmith's shop with a water wheel on your right-hand side). The street widens into a broad village square, dominated by a tall linden tree and WWII monument (in a shape of blast furnace, once standing here). Take a few moments to breath-in the atmosphere (a short hike up to the village church of St. Trinity is rewarded with a splendid view), before cycling further up the main village street leading you across the second bridge on Lipnica stream (interesting water-way bridge on your right-hand side).

Crossing the bridge, turn right and cycle pass the post office and sports playgrounds. Meeting the main road again, look both ways and carefully cross to the other side (large catholic shrine/column). The street continues further in the same direction, passing by a neighbourhood of family homes. Ignore the side-streets branching off on both side, and cycle straight ahead towards a glamping facility. Follow the field track starting at the end of the paved road and head further towards the meadows on the edge of the forest (ignoring the cart track leading sharply back to the left). Running alongside the meadow, the track brings you into the forest, where you come across the crossroads of several trails (marked by a wooden shrine dedicated to Mother Mary and an information panel). Cycle to the leftt, following the gravel track descending down towards the north-west (signpost: Fuxova brv, Radovljica). Stay on the main track, ignoring the trails going up on your left-hand site. Soon you pass-by a cluster of information panels presenting forest wild life, continue the descend on long traverse through boulder strewn forest.

Reaching the first Y-shaped fork, turn right (signpost: Fuxova brv, Radovljica) and continue straightforward, ignoring the tracks leading left and right. Right after another path joins from the left, the trail descends steeply down towards the river. Since the ground surface is very loose (pebble stones), less experinced bikers should ride this section very carefully - especially since it ends very abruptly on the start of a narrow suspension bridge.

Cycling across the Fux footbridge can definitely be considered as one of the highlights of this tour. The emerald green waters of river Sava down bellow, mountain vistas in the background, the wobbly bridge swinging underneath your wheels...

Reaching the northern bank of river Sava, cycle pass the rafting centre to a gravel paved parking area. Here you can choose between to options, on how to proceed the tour:

option A

Proper mountain bikers will look for a tiny footpath (equipped by wooden handrail)  ascending across the steep conglomerate slope directly in front of you. You might have to carry or push the bike for a minute or two, but it's definitely worth the effort. Reaching the top of the natural terrace, turn right and pedal alongside the paintball course towards the anchor point of a zip-line cable. Just before reaching it, turn 90 degrees to the left and follow the track running alongside the paintball field again. At the end of the fence, the track widens into a gravel road which ascends higher up to the next river terrace. The terrain levels once again and the gravel road leads through a quiet forest. Ignore the roads and trails branching off the left, continue cycling straight ahead on a gradually ascending forest road which eventually brings you to a parking area next to the asphalt paved road.

option B

If you had enough gravel for the day, you can choose this (not at all scenic!) alternative:

Standing at the gravel parking area by the bridge, turn right and cycle towards the waste recycling yard. Folow the asphalt road leading alongside the river and the sewage plant towards an Y-shaped junction next to a concrete mixing plant. Turn left, and cycle up the road. Be careful,this road is predominately used by heavy trucks! The road will bring you to the small parking area where you meet with the track from the forest (option A).

Turn left (or go straight-ahead) and follow the bumpy asphalt paved road leading straight into a railway underpass. Cycle through the (short) tunnel carefully, than turn immediately to the left (signpost: Radovljica). A nice (sometimes partly muddy) forest trail leads you northwards alongside the railway tracks. After about 300 meters, the forest opens into a meadow, from where you can already see dominating silhouette of the old town of Radovljica. Continue straight ahead on a narrower trail running in-between a hedge and a fence to reach the first house in Radovljica and the paved road.

Though you might be tempted to turn left and climb right up to the old town, this might not be the best idea (the path includes many steep stairs). Therefore, turn right and pedal up the steep street ascending up hill (and away from the old town). Reaching the top of the slope, turn left and follow the main street into the village. Don't miss the tiny street (signpost: Gubčeva ulica), branching off to the left after about 200 meters. Descend down this narrow village street, which soon starts ascending back up again towards the medieval town walls. Cycle straight ahead and up a very steep street, to reach the tiny square outside the old town of Radovljica (Tourist information centre).

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

By train: arriving from the direction of either Ljubljana or Jesenice, exit the train at Radovljica train station, than cycle (push a bike)  straight up the steep narrow street (Kolodvorska ulica) leading you directly to the square (roundabout) in front of the Tourist information centre in Radovljica.

 

By bus:  frequent buses connect Radovljica to Bled, Kranjska Gora, Jesenice and Ljubljana. On most Arriva operated bus lines you can load the mountain bike on the bus free of charge,providing there is enough space in the luggage  compartment.

From the bus station in Radovljica, cross the main road at the road crossing  by the market, than cycle through the park stretching in-front of the Grajski dvor hotel. Turn right at the end of the gravel lane, and you will find yourself on the square (roundabout) in front of the Tourist information centre in Radovljica.

Getting there

Arriving from Bled:

Use the motorway A2 and take the exit 4 (OMV petrol station). Follow the signs for Radovljica, when reaching the first junction. Turn left and drive towards the town until reaching the junction with traffic lights, than turn left again. Follow the principal road (Kranjska cesta), than Gorenjska cesta for the old town centre.

 

Arriving from Ljubljana:

Use the motorway A2 and take the exit 4 (OMV petrol station). Reaching the local road, turn right for Radovljica and cross the motorway overpass. Drive towards Radovljica until reaching the junction with traffic lights, than turn left again. Follow the principal road (Kranjska cesta), than Gorenjska cesta for the old town centre.

Parking

Most parking spaces in Radovljica are time limited. For mountain biking tours we therefore advise you, to find parking area without time limitation. The nearest such parking area to the old town is in Kajuhova street. After having passed-by the bank (on your left), and the court and high school (on your right-hand side) turn right and follow the street leading pass the school to the edge of a natural terrace above the railway line. Parking spaces can be found on the left hand side of the road. If this parking area is busy, try the parking spaces near the Health centre (Swimming pool) in Kopališka ulica street.

Coordinates

DD
46.341288, 14.174478
DMS
46°20'28.6"N 14°10'28.1"E
UTM
33T 436472 5132299
w3w 
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

  • a technicaly flawless mountain bike or full suspension bike

  • backpack

  • helmet, gloves, sunglasses

  • rain jacket, extra shirt

  • food and drinks from backpack

  • spare inner tube, pump, multitool, basic personal first aid kit

  • personal document (ID card), health insurance card


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Status
open
Difficulty
S0 difficult
Distance
37.5 km
Duration
6:15 h
Ascent
1,065 m
Descent
1,066 m
Public-transport-friendly Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Botanical highlights

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