Tips for trips

Trips to Boubín

In 1858, Prince Johann Adolf Schwarzenberg published a regulation that in the remaining part of the primeval forest on Boubín ‘for eternity one shall not fell any tree and the forest shall be left only to itself'. This set up the second-to-the-oldest primeval forest in Bohemia (after the primeval forest of Žofín, founded in 1838). The Boubín Virgin Forest today is unique not only in Bohemia, but also in Europe. It is a site to learn about in schools and compulsory to visit for foresters.



The forest is named after the majestic mountain of Boubín (1,362 metres). The left-to-itself forest in 1858 had an area of 138 ha; after a devastating windstorm in the 19th century, however, only about 47 hectares remained and form the core of today's primeval forest.

Today, the entire reserve includes 666 ha of natural forest. The diversity of rare fungi, lichens, plants, etc., attracts scientists from around the world - instances include a ghost orchid, a reportedly disappeared species re-discovered here in 2007.


Boubín Virgin Forest


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Boubínský-prales-PHubenýThe best place to start the trail around the forest is Idina Pila. The local visitor centre tells you about the history of the forest as well as local trolls. The lake of Boubínské jezírko is the first place to see; it is a former timber-floating reservoir. Do you wonder how the primeval forest looked? Generally, it is much thinner than expected; yet it is hard for a human to pass through. The surfaces are covered in plenty of rotting wood in all stages of disintegration.

Young trees fight for each and every spot in the light. Those that have been fortunate enough to get a patch of sunlight, survive. The main competitors are beech, spruce, and fir. You can see for yourself who wins. The oldest spruce trees are over 500 years old and more than 50 metres high! Since 1979, the core zone of the forest has been surrounded by a fence to protect it from both animals (browsing trees) and humans (trampling soil and leading to erosion).


Boubín Viewing Tower


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Boubín-rozhledna-PHubenýAt 1,362 metres, Boubín is the highest peak of Šumava outside the border ridge, offering special views. Since 2005, there is also a wooden viewing tower 21 metres high. The view of the forested mountains of Šumava plus inland, into the valleys of villages and meadows, is a rare sight. When the visibility is good (especially in autumn), you can see as far as the Alps over a hundred kilometres far away.

The peak of Boubín is easiest to climb from Kubova Huť (blue marks). To return, you can either walk around the forest to Idina Pila and get on the train, or set off back to Kubova Huť on foot.


Trip to see stony sights

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The Boubín massif is dotted with many small monuments and inscriptions in stone. They can be encountered whether hiking along the roads or paths.

One of the events immortalised in stone is the visit of Cardinal Friedrich Schwarzenberg to the peak of Boubín on 3 August 1867.

The triangular stone of Johnův kámen located on the border of three forest districts - Zátoň, Včelná, and Kubova Huť - forms the most famous landmark. Stones like Knížecí cesta or Fürstenweg, Princovo odpočívadlo or Prinzenruh, and others are sought by enthusiasts. What's more, even those who currently manage Boubín have been trying to leave a footprint in stone.


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