Forests in the Czech Republic
You needn’t be afraid in Czech forests! Instead of palm trees and exotic trees, you will discover spruce, firs, beeches, maples and elms, and instead of wild beasts, you can catch a glimpse of the famous residents of mountain meadows and forests. And most importantly you can get an idea of how the forests of Central Europe looked thousands of years ago.
Most famous: Boubín Forest
It’s located in Šumava, at the southeast foot of Mount Boubín. The core of the forest consists of the best preserved remnant of the originally vast mountain forests of Šumava, the so-called borderland forest. The forest was demarcated in 1858, but some spruces, firs, beeches and maples reach the age of 300-400 years.
What to know: A circular nature trail runs around the perimeter of the forest, and an observation tower offering a beautiful panoramic view stands at the top of Mount Boubín.
Oldest: Žofín Forest and Hojná voda
Europe’s first nature reserve, Hojnovoda and Žofín Forest, is located in South Bohemia in the Novohradské Mountains. It was established in 1838 by Count Jiří František August Buquoy, the owner of the Nové Hrady domains. Žofín Forest is fenced in similarly like Šumava’s Boubín, while the smaller Hojná voda Forest is freely accessible.
What to know: You will find the Žofín hunting lodge with guest house and restaurant, a favorite place for all weary hikers, not far from Žofín Forest.
Outermost: Mionší Forest
In the deep woods near the Czech-Polish border you can visit the Mionší Forest from June to September. This largest accumulation of natural beech and fir is the last remnants of the original mixed Beskydy Forests. The steeply ascending path from the village of Dolní Lomná leads to the forest, with a nature trail running along its perimeter and for part of the actual forest itself.
What to know: The trail runs along narrow hunting pathways, so it is not suitable for prams or people with mobility problems.
Highest altitude: Dvorský Forest in Krkonoše
You can see how the Krkonoše forests looked before humans came to the mountains in Dvorský Forest. It is an old beech forest on Rýchory Ridge (1033 meters above sea level), enduring heavy winds and a harsh mountain climate. The nature trail that runs through the forest begins at Rýchorské boudy.
What to know: Several marked trails lead to the forest, the best way to get there is from Horní Maršov or from Žacléř.
Most mysterious: Razula Mountain Forest
Not so big or well known like older and larger forests, this fir-beech forest is located in Javorníky at the end of Malá Hanzlůvka Valley. Trails head in this direction from the village of Léskové, which is part of Velké Karlovice, but none of them go directly to the forest or around it.
What to know: The name of the forest was taken from a nearby ski resort.
Steepest: Ghost of the Forest adventure trail
One of the adventure trails for visitors to Šumava begins at dammed Lake Plešné and ends a few hundred meters up, near the monument to writer A. Stifter high up in the lakeside wall. The trail will familiarize you with the forest as our ancestors knew them. The trail is not long, but according to the selected direction, you can expect a steep and difficult climb or descent.
What to know: The trail winds along the slopes of Mount Plechý (1378 m), the highest peak of the Czech part of Šumava.