Nature as Therapy: A Trail below Čebrať
As more restrictions have been imposed on us, we decided to visit Ružomberok only briefly, specifically the neighbouring town of Likavka. On this trip, in addition to replenishing our energy and the sense of calm by being in nature, we are also going to learn a few things, as we are going to pass an educational trail called “Čebrať – Skalky“. After passing the trail, we will walk to Ružomberok through the meadows below Čebrať, where the views will make this trip enjoyable for our eyes too.
We begin the route in the town of Likavka, by local shepherd’s hut Likava situated by the main road at the end of the town in the direction to Dolný Kubín. It is possible to get to the beginning of the route on foot. To get there, we will follow the red-marked hiking trail from the station in Ružomberok, along which we should get there in about half an hour. To clarify, you need to make a turn to the left from the red-marked trail by the Likavka Tourist-Information Office, towards the main road. We can also get here with our own car and park it at the parking area for the visitors of the Likava Castle, which is situated nearby. There are also suburban buses running to the beginning of the route from Ružomberok, and you need to get off the bus at bus stop “Likavka,,hrad“. The bus stop is situated a few metres away from the beginning of our route. The route of the educational trail we are going to follow is marked with standard painted marks of educational trails, which is a white square with a diagonal green stripe led through the square. We can find the marks on trees, posts and other places, and use them to help us find the way.
First, we cross the road to get to the local shepherd’s hut with a chapel situated nearby, at which we can make a stop before the trip. On a metal panel with the Likava Castle, we see a painted mark of the educational trail, which tells us to continue along the field road running up the meadow by the shepherd’s hut. As we are walking up the road, we may notice a wooden cross rising on a small hill right in front of us, towards which we are being led by this indistinct, grass-covered road. By the road, there are balks with bushes, on which we can find rose hips or hawthorn, which, however, are probably no longer good for tea at this time, but we can at least eat their frostbitten, softened flesh, to get some vitamins or minerals. When we look back, we can admire the nearby Likava Castle, towering in the woods above the town. Continuing on the road, we will arrive below the cross. If you want to, you can go to the cross, but you need to climb steep and slippery trails to get there, therefore it is better to see it on the way back, when we can walk down to it on meadows. Below the cross, the road turns slightly downhill, leading us to an old quarry with the first educational panel on our route. We continue on the road, which runs uphill towards a wooded area. After a few minutes, we enter the wooded area, and shortly after, we arrive at a meadow called Hlivovo. Our route continues further into the woods, to the right. We take a short break on the meadow, as there is another panel of the educational trail, a hiking shelter with a fireplace and a jubilee garden planted in 2018 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic.
At this point, we would like to mention what we already talked about in the previous article. On our routes, we find litter in larger or smaller amounts. We always try to carry away from nature at least some of it. Not all litter we find in nature is the fault of people, some pieces are blown away by the wind or brought by animals when they try to get the leftover food from the packaging. We could not resist and we took a photo of a plastic bag we found by the hiking shelter, which was being used as a makeshift trash bin. The trash put by the visitors into this type of bags often ends up thrown all over the area. The animals passing by try to retrieve what they smell from the bag, thus spreading the contents of the bag in the area, where it is additionally scattered by the wind. That is why we want to encourage everyone to embody the idea of #ObjavUdržateľnéSlovensko (DiscoverSustainableSlovakia) and to care about what your surroundings look like and to not leave litter in this type of bags, but to bring everything back with you instead.
After a short rest and reading the information on the panel, we continue on the road into the woods, and after a few meters, we pass by a well, in which we did not find much water at this time. The road through the woods leads us to the next panel, where we can read more interesting information. The marks of the educational trail lead us to another panel situated nearby. The forest / field road turns downhill and leads us to the Chapel of St. Hubert: patron of hunters, which has been situated in this area since 2014. From the chapel, we walk a few meters downhill, to an intersection of field roads. Remember this place, we will come back to it. From the intersection, we continue to the left, to the last information panel and a hiking shelter. Situated here is a lake called “Nižné jazierko medzi Čebraťmi”, which is, however, covered with grass and looks more like some kind of a large puddle. By the shelter, the educational trail ends, and after resting, we return to the mentioned intersection. From the intersection, we continue to the left, down the hill. We arrive at meadows, on which we continue to the right. On the meadows, we get to the vicinity of the wooden cross we saw at the beginning of our route and we can come closer to it and have a look. Above the cross, at the periphery of the woods, there is a feeder for woodland animals, by which we can easily walk down to the road which we used earlier. However, we do not continue on the road, but we pass through the bushes to get to the meadows. We continue on the meadows, mildly downhill in the direction to Ružomberok. We may notice a waterworks building above the town, to which we will get, and from which a field road will lead us directly to Likavka and then to Ružomberok.
Along the route, we get lovely views of the Likava Castle, Likavka, Ružomberok, the Liptov Basin, the Choč Mountains, the West Tatras, the Low Tatras, the Great Fatra and the High Tatras with Kriváň. We may also have a look at the motorway construction above the town of Likavka.
If you want to learn more about the educational trail, you can visit website https://visit.ruzomberok.sk, where you will find more information.
The text was prepared by Milan Kolčák and Ján Benčík from the Ružomberok Information Centre.
This is the eleventh article of the article series with subtitle Nature as Therapy.