How did we get there?

Ludbreg is a small town in the north of Croatia, which, according to legend, is the location of the center of the world. The legend states that all the big cities are located on concentric circles starting from this place. The town was built on the remains of an ancient roman city called Castrum Iovia. It is surrounded by fields and, in the southwest, gentle sloping hills with vineyards and forests.

One weekend I participated in a sprint orienteering race there and after the race, as I was sightseeing in the main square I noticed a sign for the Ludbreg hiking trail. I had never before heard of it, and I shared the picture with my partner, who immediately replied: “Next weekend?”. We called a couple of friends and the Ludbreg adventure was set.

The trail

Regarding the trail, I was impressed by it’s very existence, and by the colorful new sign in the town center, and also the freshly updated website detailing the trail, control points, contact person, and two different maps. I must say that the trail itself didn’t impress me. The trail is circular, 24 km long, and as it starts in the town, a part of the trail takes the road, and another part goes through the fields. I prefer trails through wilder areas, and definitely not on roads. I decided to stick to the most interesting part going through the forest, which entailed taking two cars, leaving one in the vineyards, and taking the other to the start of our hike in the village Slanje.

Hiking with friends

The forest was nice and the air was fresh, so we walked looking around and talking, enjoying the day and the company.  Some of the first part of the trail was on the forest road, parts of which were deeply muddy, so we tried to walk beside the road, which was not always possible. I expect mud, and always prepare clean shoes to wait for me in the car, and, well, I like a little mud.

Deforestation

At one point we reached a terrible sight: a whole slope had been recently deforested! Lonely tree stumps, huge logs stacked by the forest road (is it still a forest road if someone destroys the forest?), open sky where there should be branches sprouting new leaves… Someone picked clean not just one, but two slopes in that forest. Horrified, we continued through this tree carnage. I do not have photos, none of us felt like taking them.

The trail

After that, the trail soon turned sharply left, leaving the forest road. We would have missed the trail markings were it not for Rafael, who noticed them in the forest. It is always interesting when the trail is marked through the forest without a visible path, but here I didn’t really like the fact that this trail took us either through wide forest roads or off path through the forest. I had the impression that not a lot of people hike in this area.

I’m glad we hiked in the Ludbreg area, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to this trail. I had a good time hiking with my friends, and I also enjoyed sightseeing in Ludbreg, where on workdays and Saturdays you can visit the archaeological park with interesting remains from ancient roman times. Unfortunately, we were there on Sunday.

About the Author: Sonja

Sonja is an explorer, exploring the outdoors by hiking, trail running, or her favorite - orienteering. Exploring is also embedded in her day job which is always connected to research and new knowledge.
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