Tips for trips

Trips between Železná Ruda and Prášily

The bustling places in Železná Ruda are a sharp contrast to the peacefully passing time in the western portion of Šumava National Park. Once off the main road, you are soon engulfed by seemingly endless forests and the barren plains that replaced former settlements. Prášily and Železná Ruda are also good starting points for ski trips in the wintertime. The inaccessibility during the Cold War is something to thank for the chance to explore and admire the territory in its entirety.

Prášily---situace

 

In addition to the unique natural system, the Šumava Plains are special in that they provide good grounds for cyclists in summer and skiers in winter with only gradual descents and ascents. The journey over the border ridge (Polom, 1,295 metres) is an exception, designated only for hardy tourists.

The Gerlova Huť car park is the site to embark on a cycle highway (cyclist route 33) which cuts through Šumava National Park. In addition to the border crossing in Alžbětín there are other border crossings into Bavarian Forest National Park that are open seasonally and year-round.


 

Trip to the lake of Laka via Polom

Prášily-1

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pohled-k-Polomu-P.HubenýFrom Železná Ruda you head for the peak of Debrník (marked in green). The manor of the Hafenbrädls, a glass-making family, once stood here, but now there is only a meadow. From now on, the route steadily rises to the peak of Polom (marked in red). Its Czech name translates as windbreak and it really worked in 2007 when the place was hit by Hurricane Kyrill. It is only now that the area is turning green again after the destruction of that storm.

A few steps forward and you already turn to the lake. The smallest (2.5 hectares) and the shallowest (3.9 m) of the glacial lakes in Šumava, it also features the highest elevation of all (1,090 m). On the way back, you descend via Hůrka, an abandoned glass-making settlement, to board a bus in Nová Hůrka and go back to Železná Ruda.

 

From Prášily to the lake of Laka

Prášily-2

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Laka-jez--M.ČubanThe gurgling brook of Prášilský potok (red marks) takes you to Gsenget. Passing through the small mountain saddle of Zlatý stoleček, where smugglers reportedly transferred contraband to one another, you reach the lake of Laka with its patches of peat floating on the surface; it is expected to become completely overgrown within a few hundred years. Along the stream of Jezerní potok you go downhill to Hůrka with the cemetery chapel of the Abel Family and the conciliation bell, passing the foundations of St Vincent Church re-arranged very recently with respect to the original purpose of the building. Heading for Vysoké Lávky (yellow marks) and Formberg (green marks) you turn back to Prášily via a deep forest.
Please note that the route from Gsenget to Laka is closed between 15 March and 15 July due to the nesting period of the capercaillie.

 

Zhůří na Keplích

Prášily-3

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Zhůří-M.ValentaThe route starts at the Stará Huť car park (green marks) and leads you to the former village of Zhůří which stretched over the meandering upper reach of the River Křemelná. Today there stands a new Chapel of the Holy Trinity and a memorial dedicated to the U.S. soldiers who fell here during the liberation of Šumava; a cross of conciliation is also being built here. The cooling boards refer to an ancient tradition, when the deceased were put on boards in the attic when the ground was frozen.

A panoramic view of Šumava opens from the hill of Hadí vrch before you continue to Keply, a site that was once famous for being included among the royal magistracies. Now there is nothing to indicate a place like that. There is just peace and quiet all around.

 

 


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