Educational trail Kalameny - Liptov Castle
The educational trail begins in the village of Kalameny, 13 km away from the centre of Ružomberok. The trail runs from the church in the centre of the village to a thermal spring with a pond for bathing situated in the mouth of the Kalamenská Valley, through meadows and woods, to the ruins of the Liptov Castle.
The trail runs from the centre of Kalameny to the mouth of the Kalamenská Valley, where you will find one of the most frequently visited natural attractions of Liptov (a pond with warm mineral water). The trail continues through meadows and wood paths to the peak of Sestrč hill with preserved ruins of the Liptov Castle. Along the way, you will learn something about the history of the village of Kalameny and the Liptov Castle, about the geological conditions of the surroundings, about water circulation, the woods, and other interesting facts. Your biggest reward for taking the educational trail are the views of the surroundings, not only from the castle site, but also along the way up.
The trail begins in the centre of Kalameny, by the Church of St. Peter and Paul. By the hiking signpost at the beginning of the route, you will find the first (zero) panel of the educational trail, which informs us about the history of Kalameny and the Liptov Castle. It will also tell us something about the caves located below the castle and about a well-known, frequently visited mineral spring. Before starting the route, we should mention that it is not marked with an educational trail marking, but it runs simultaneously with the yellow-marked hiking trail. From the church, the route runs mildly uphill, past the cellars built into the slope by the road. It passes by the cemetery, the soccer field, below the meadows, to a wooded area at the mouth of the Kalamenská Valley. The first thing to notice will be another educational panel, about flax and hemp, which used to be grown in this area in the past. The panel also provides information on how people used to dress in the Middle Ages. Opposite the panel, you will see a ski tow, which is only in operation when there is enough natural snow. A few metres away, there is a well pipe sticking out of the ground, with warm mineral water flowing out of the pipe into a small pond. This pond is used all-year-round for bathing and it is widely known. Surfacing a few metres behind the pond is the original spring of the mineral water, which is currently not in use. At this place, the educational trail connects with the blue-marked hiking trail running from the village of Lúčky, through the Kalamenská Valley, to the Liptov Castle. The educational trail does not continue into the valley, but it turns to the right in front of the valley, onto a wood path through trees and bushes. After a few metres, the path passes by another educational panel, about water. In addition to interesting facts about water and its circulation, the panel also provides information on how people used to store water at the Liptov Castle in the past. The path climbs up onto meadows, where it follows the periphery of the woods and continues up the hill to notch Sedlo pod Kráľovou. This section of the route gradually reveals views, at first of the village of Kalameny and then of the ridge of the Low Tatras and a part of the Great Fatra. In the notch, the route is joined by the red-marked hiking trail running from train stop “Vlachy” past the Liptovská Mara reservoir and the Archaeological Open-Air Museum “Havránok”. The information panel in the notch provides interesting facts about the Liptov Castle and about the finds discovered at the site. From the notch, we continue along the yellow-marked and the red-marked hiking trails, which run along a wood path, from which we get views of the West Tatras. The uphill path arrives at a small plain. Here, the route of the educational trail turns to the right, from the distinct wood path onto a less distinct wood path. The second-to-last panel will navigate the visitors to the correct path and provide interesting facts about the woods as well as information about the castle fortification. The wood path passes by the growth-covered remnants of cabin “Chata Kata“, which used to serve for the visitors of the castle. However, it was destroyed by a falling tree and never restored. A little bit farther, there is a lovers’ chair carved in a tree by the road, used by the visitors as a location for taking pictures. However, the left-hand curve located a few metres away will reveal more beautiful views. The path, which now runs more mildly uphill, leads us past the rocky summit, to the last panel of the educational trail situated directly below the cliff of the Liptov Castle. In addition to the geological conditions of the Choč Mountains, the panel also informs us about the building techniques used for the castle. To get to the castle itself, you need to use a metal ladder which helps you overcome the castle cliff. Climbing the ladder to the castle and descending back is the most dangerous part of the route. At the castle site, there is a shelter with a sitting area, where the route of the educational trail ends. You can use the same route to descend, but you can also follow the blue-marked hiking trail, which makes a small detour and leads to the mouth of the Kalamenská Valley, to the route of the educational trail. In addition to the castle itself, there are plenty of interesting views along the educational trail. The views from the castle include the West Tatras, the Liptov Basin, the ridge of the Low Tatras, a part of the Great Fatra and the dominant peak of Great Choč.
After finishing the route of the educational trail, you can use the services of the refreshment establishments situated directly by the beginning of the route. To restore your strength on your way down, we recommend using the hot mineral water at the mouth of the Kalamenská Valley, or the services of the spa situated in the neighbouring village of Lúčky.
– The texts on the panels of the educational trail are in Slovak and English.
– The educational trail connects with the blue-marked hiking trail running from Lúčky and the red-marked hiking trail running from Vlachy. Both trails lead to the Liptov Castle.
– The educational trail begins in the cadastral territory of Kalameny, passes through the cadastral territory of Liptovská Teplá and ends in the cadastral territory of Liptovská Sielnica.
– You can walk the trail in winter as well, however, you need to take into account that it is a lot more difficult to navigate and move in the terrain covered with snow.
– The educational trail is approximately 7.5 km long (there and back), and it takes approximately 3 hours to complete. To this time, you need to add the time spent on rest breaks and on the tour of the castle.
– The route overcomes the vertical distance of 430 m.
– Some sections of the route might be waterlogged, muddy and slippery after the rain.
– The most dangerous part of the route is the ascent and descent on the metal ladder.
– When moving at the premises of the castle, pay increased attention and do not leave children without supervision.
– The trail is suitable for older children as well. However, you need to keep in mind that children under the age of 15 should not climb the ladder without supervision, and younger children without the assistance of their parents.
– The marking of the hiking trail is sufficient with the exception of the uphill section to notch Sedlo pod Kráľovou, where it is poorly visible, but you only need to continue uphill to the notch along the periphery of the woods.
– The trail is situated in the Choč Mountains.
– A few metres away from the beginning of the route, there is a grocery store.
– Situated at the beginning of the route are benches and a map of bike trails.
– The introductory panel of the educational trail is decorated with wood carvings.
– The route passes in the vicinity of a mineral spring and several unmaintained springs.
– There are hunters’ hides located at the periphery of the woods in the uphill section to notch Sedlo pod Kráľovou.
– Situated at the castle is a shelter with a wood carving of the castle, a hikers’ book and a game of “Ludo”.
– Situated at the end of the route is a stainless-steel viewpoint compass rose.
– Situated at the castle is a memorial plaque to PhDr. Václav Hanuliak, the leader of the archaeological research of the Liptov Castle in years 1976 to 1983.
– The Liptov Castle is also called Sielnica Castle, Liptov Old Castle or Castle Liptov.
– Situated on the route are also panels of a former educational trail, which provide the same information in a different way.
– In the woods, behave in the way that will not disturb its inhabitants, do not damage anything, do not pick anything or leave anything in the woods.
– The educational trail was built by the Citizen Association CASTRUM LIPTOV.
By car: You can park your car at the metered car park situated directly by the beginning of the educational trail in the centre of Kalameny, by the church.
By bus: You can ride a bus from the bus station in Ružomberok to bus stop “Kalameny,,kult.dom”, which is located directly at the beginning of the route.
By taxi: Taxi from the centre of the town will cost you about 15€.