STAGE 1: DELNICE – SKRAD
Delnice – Polane – Poljička Kosa – Stari Laz – Ravna Gora – Hlevci – Hribac – Skrad
- TOTAL LENGTH: 26 km
- TOTAL ASCEND: 670 m
- HIGHEST POINT: 1030 m
- LOWEST POINT: 670 m
You start from the centre of the most inhabited town in Croatia along the main town street, Supilova, to Popović mill – mill belonging to the Mihelčić family. All mill devices and parts have been preserved in their original form and can today be seen and heard. If you want to, you can also get freshly milled flour. On the very crossroads is situated the Rački house, the oldest house in Delnice. It is estimated that this house, as well as all similar houses in the area, is around 200-300 years old. Its present appearance tells us most about the household organisation as well as about the old Delnice construction heritage. The most particular is the roof covered with thinly chipped fir tree board (shingle). You can see the house’s interior and its ethnographic collection.
Turn right and you will pass by the Sports Hall and the swimming-pool complex. Then you reach the crossroads with the street that leads from Delnice towards Brod na Kupi (P 8). Here you can take the connection street to reach Kupa valley or continue through the transverse road to reach the crossroads in the direction of Petehovac. Just after passing the crossroads, turn left and you will reach the Dama’s (Lady’s) bridge – over 200 years old stone, massive bridge which due to the rapidly expanding foundations, that, if looking from aside, looks like a big woman dress, crinoline, is called Dama (Lady’s Bridge). After passing the bridge turn right and through the railway tunnel start ascending toward 1098 metres high peak Petehovac which, as an important landscape, has a particular place in tourism of Delnice. After 3.2 km long rise, you will reach the crossroads towards the Polane high plane and then turn left.
Continue your ride through the asphalt road to reach the Hunting lodge. Before the very hunting lodge, turn left to the gravel road and after 100 metres, by the hunting check point, turn right and continue through the gravel road over the Polanska lawn towards Poljička Kosa. After 3.5 km you will reach the Poljička Kosa village located on the Karolina road – the first real road which once connected the continental part of Croatia with the sea. If you turn right, after 4 km you will reach the centre of Mrkopalj from where you can get the transverse road again (P 9) or move toward Ravna Gora (P 10) through Begovo Razdolje.
From Poljička Kosa we then descend on the left towards Stari Laz. In fact, during Charles XI’s reign it was actually only a small path called “Laz”. Through this path Ottomans passed seizing and destroying everything in front of them. After Ottomans, Maria Theresa allowed the place to be populated so the first inhabitants named it Stari Laz. An interesting fact is that Mrkopalj and Ravna Gora market towns were populated only after populating Stari Laz, . After 7 km you will reach Ravna Gora, one of the large mountain settlements named afer the highland on which is located. It is surrounded by a number of hills on which, during the year, events called Mountain Fruits take place. It is a series of touristic events taking place from May until October, offering tourism of a new quality – insights of life in harmony with the nature. It is a combination of recreational and instructive tourism, focusing on homemade gastronomic offer, tasting delicacies made of forest fruits and meeting natural and cultural attractions of Gorski kotar. Do not leave it only on words, stop for a moment at the “Kota” Family Agricultural Farm in the centre of Ravna Gora and try autochthonous mountain delicacies. At the Tourist Information Centre you can get all necessary information about accommodation, gastronomic offer as well as about cycling trails in Ravna Gora that will surely make you stay a day longer.
Mountain cycling transverse from the centre of Ravna Gora continues further in the direction of Skrad. Turn from the Karolina road in the direction of Hlevci village. An asphalt road will take you through the underpass of Rijeka—Zagreb highway and then slightly climbs up through the Mance hamlet to reach the Hlevci village. After the last house ride through a denser forest but already after 2 km you will exit to the lawn and start descending to reach the Hribac village. In the centre of village, near the Fire Station you can refresh yourselves in old water tank with preserved original hand pump. After a break, continue to descend along eastern hills of Skrad’s peak until you reach the crossroads for Divjake village where you continue straight across Skrad’s fields. You will reach Veliko Selce where, after few serpentines, you will reach the centre of Skrad.
P5 (Delnice – Brod na Kupi)
DESCRIPTION: The P5 connection road is the simplest way to descend and reach the Kupa Valley or ascend from it to reach main roads leading to the sea or to the continental part of Croatia.
At the petrol station in Delnice turn left and with no much effort let yourself enjoy the beautiful views of Drgomlje and other mountains surrounding the Kupa River Valley. You will have to pedal twice a short distance, first near the Marija Trošt village and then just before Brod na Kupi when the road starts to follow the Kupica River which flows into Kupa in Brod na Kupi itself.
Length: 12 km
Highest point: 720 m
Lowest point: 220 m
Total ascent: Delnice – Brod na Kupi: 60 m / Brod na Kupi – Delnice: 560 m
P7 (Mrkopalj – Poljička Kosa)
DESCRIPTION: P7 is the connection road of the mountain traverse road which allows you to connect the same road if you want to take a tour around the Mrkopalj area or make several more circular cycling tours on areas of Mrkopalj, Ravna Gora and Delnice.
From the centre of Mrkopalj (close to the Cultural Centre), the connection road continues along the Karolina road in the direction of Ravna Gora, leading you through Mrkopalj all up to the highest point of Poljička Kosa where you again connect to the traverse road. Besides that, on the P9 connection road is the crossroads for Begovo Razdolje which you can also use to reach Ravna Gora (P10).
Length: 4,5 km
Highest point: 1030 m
Lowest point: 820 m
Total ascent: Mrkopalj – Poljička Kosa: 220 m / Poljička Kosa – Mrkopalj:20 m
P8 (Vrbovsko – Ravna Gora)
DESCRIPTION: It is one of the most demanding connection roads as its longest part is a large ascent. Of course, if you are heading from Vrbovsko towards Ravna Gora. The story is completely different in the opposite direction. However, regardless the ascent, this part of Karolina road can be experienced in a different way only if riding a bike.
Ride from Vrbovsko through the Karolina road across the Dobra River. Ascent first through Senjsko and then through Jablan for almost 8 km to reach Stara Sušica. Just before the castle, the most recognized symbol of Stara Sušica, the ascent becomes easier. There are another 7 km of mostly easy ascent and just before the end an easy descend to the centre of Ravna Gora.
Length: 14,5 km
Highest point: 850 m
Lowest point: 390 m
Total ascent: Vrbovsko – Ravna Gora: 670 m / Ravna Gora – Vrbovsko: 205 m