STAGE 7: FUŽINE – DELNICE
Fužine – Lokve – Brestova Draga – Rudine – Mrkopalj – Presika – Delnice
- TOTAL LENGTH: 41 km
- TOTAL ASCEND: 650 m
- HIGHEST POINT: 950 m
- LOWEST POINT: 710 m
From the main crossroads on the Karolina road in the centre of Fužine you can take even 4 different roads. Roads from the direction of the Bajer Lake and Vrelo Cave, whilst on your right you can continue through the Karolina road towards Zlobin and further ahead towards the sea. If you continue straight, after 3 km you will arrive to the Lič village, one of the oldest Gorski kotar’s villages. Located in Lič Field and surrounded by mountains above 1000 metres high, from Lič you can also head towards Drivenik and further ahead towards Tribalj, over Lukovo all way down to Novi Vinodolski or across Burni Bitoraj towards Vrata or Brestova Draga. Right on this last stage (P6), you can see ruinous remains of Gradina, a watchtower from the beginning of 17th century and, of course, wherever you go, you should not miss the Our Lady of Snow’s Shrine and a small church in Lika’s Field.
The transverse road will take you from the main crossroads to the Tourist Office and through the Karolina road on your left along the St. Anthony’s rise, saint patron of Fužine. After a 300 metres long rise, you will be able to experience once again all the magic and colours of the Bajer Lake on your left side, whilst on your right side the Lika’s Field will seem to be on your palm. After another short rise you will go over the pass and enter the Vrata village, a typical mountain village with a long series of houses on both sides of the main road. When exiting the Vrata village, you will face a railway tunnel which other side is the entrance to Belo Selo and “Instructive Karolina’s Mountain Garden” where you can find out everything about Gorski Kotar’s flora and fauna and learn something about growing the forest fruits and, of course, taste some of the products made by “Borovnica” Craft. If you like the garden and you wish to stay a day longer, you can stay in the apartment offered for accomodation.
From here you continue on Karolina road ascending towards the area called Sleme. At the end of the rise you will come to the crossroads on which you turn left. Before turning towards Lokve, we sugget you to continue straight where, after 500 metres, will arrive to the Bukovac Cave entrance. It is the cave in which have been found traces of the prehistoric man and bones of the cave bear.. Archeological researches are still carried out in this almost 100 metres long cave. You will need a lamp or a torch to visit the cave as it is not illuminated.
After visiting the Bukovac Cave, we go back to Sleme and turn downhill towards Lokve. After 1 km of a steep descends, you will reach the “old Rijeka – Zagreb road”. Cross it and continue through the gravel road until you reach a small bridge passing over the Lokvarka stream and then to the original stage of the Lujzijana road by the Lokve wood industry. On the connection with Lujzijana road turn right but you can also left towards the lake and Mountian Paradise (P 5) if you wish. Continue on the road through Lokve and exactly after 1 km on your right side the “House of Nature on Lujzijana” will appear. In that house you will be offered to taste autochthonous liquers, jams, teas, spreads, pastries produced by diligent hands of Arbanas family. Besides tasting, you can also listen to the story about Lujzijana – a 200-year-old road connecting Rijeka and Karlovac.
After tasting continue through the main road to reach the centre of Lokve where is located the Tourist office and where you can get all information about Lokve. In the front of it is the Frog Museum, symbol of Lokve, but also the crossroads on which, if you turn right, you can arrive to the “Golubinjak” Park Forest – a natural paradise surrounded by coniferous woods and richness of karst caves and rocks. Besides natural phenomena, in Lokve you can visit an interesting ethnographic collection exhibited in the Elementary School and find out more about life of local people and their customs. Continue on Lujzijana road from the centre of Lokve in direction of Delnice and just before the connection with the “new stage” of Lujzijana road, on your left you will see an info kiosk of another mountain phenomenon – Lokvarka Cave located 200 metres from the kiosk. Discovered in 1912, it is considered one of the largest caves in Croatia, aimed and arranged for tourists’ visit. It is 1200 metres long, but visitors are allowed to sightsee only 900 metres of it. The altitude between the entrance and last point available for visitors is even 140 metres so walking along the arranged paths and stairs through the interesting cave stones provides with a special charm. The transverse road takes from the Lokve Cave to the crossroads with old Rijeka – Zagreb road on which you turn left and after 100 metres right again. You pass the overpass of the Rijeka – Zagreb highway and continue until the first larger crossroads. The road on your right will take you back to Fužine, on your left towars Mrkopalj, but you continue straight on the gravel road towards Brestova Draga. After 3.5 km you will reach the first houses whose inhabitants started to settle this area at the beginning of 18th century when the Karolina road was built. The first stage of that road passes through this settlement. If you turn right on the main crossroads in the village, after 1.5 km of gravel road you will reach the “fajer” – a unique architectonic solution to span the valley. It is about the former timber viaduct with a pretty hard rise from which 13 visible truncated stone pyramids that once were used as foundarions (Ger. Pfaeiler – pillar) for the viaduct itself were preserved. If you continue along “fajeri” on the roundabout forest road, you can reach the Belo Selo and continue further ahead Lič (P6).
On the main crossroads in Brestova Draga you can also turn left towards Sunger, whilst the transverse road will take you directly towards the Rudine area. A pleasant ride on the plain gravel road through a dense, dominant and respectable fir tree forest is something that you will surely remember. After less then 3 km you will arrive to the Rudine area and to the crossroads on which you turn left and continue on the gravel road for another 4 km to Kruljčev laz where, on the crossroads, you turn left again. After 1.5 km, a great terrain of the forest road will take you to the Zagmajna biathlon centre after which the asphalt road begins that will take you down to Mrkopalj. After the first Mrkopalj houses on your right, you will see the Čelimbaša ski resort with a 720 metres long ski lift and 3 slopes of a total length of 2,500 metres. From the bottom of the ski resort continue towards the centre of Mrkopalj and exit again on the Karolina road. Mrkopalj was mentioned at the end of 15th century, whilst it experienced its complete development with the construction of the Karolina road. Mrkopalj is also called the “Craddle of Croatian Skiing” as the first organized ski course in Croatia began here in the far 1913. Besides the Čelimbaša ski restort, Mrkopalj offers alpine sking in Begovo Razdolje as well as Nordic skiing and biathlon in Zagmajna and Vrbovska Poljana.
From the centre of Mrkopalj you can ride on Karolina road towards Ravna Gora passing through Stari Laz (P9) or through Begovo Razdolje (P10).
The transverse roads turns left from the centre towards Sunger where in the centre turns right and easily rises first on the asphalt and then on the gravel road towards Presika. After 3 km of easy rise follows an easy descend – first towards the large quarry after which you pass on the asphalt road and then through the Presika village to Lučice, that is, 1.5 km until you reach the connection with Lujzijana road. Turn right on the crossroads and after 2 km on Lujzijana you will reach the centre of Delnice – the most inhabited town in Croatia.
P3 (Delnice – Crni Lug)
DESCRIPTION: The P3 connection road between Crni Lug and Delnice passes along a part of the main road Čabar – Delnice so use it if you want to complete the Delnice’s trefoil – Brod na Kupi, Crni Lug and Delnice.
Instead of continuing straight towards Mrzle Vodice, in the centre of Crni Lug turn left and after 10.5 km you will reach the crossroads with Lujzijana road. Turn left and after 1 km you will reach the centre of Delnice.
Length: 11,5 km
Highest point: 770 m
Lowest point: 630 m
Total ascent: Crni Lug – Delnice: 170 m / Delnice – Crni Lug: 270 m
P4 (Gorski Raj)
DESCRIPTION: In case you just want to take a tour around the Lokve Lake or Lokve Lake together with Bajer and Lepenica Lakes, the P4 connection road is an ideal choice.
When you reach Zelin Mrzlovodički, on your left side you will see a crossroads for Lokve. The asphalt road will take you through a fragrant fir-tree forest, across several lawns, along the banks of Lokve Lake to mountain paradise – that part of Lokve in which numerous weekend houses were built to be surrounded by a real mountain idyll. Continue from the mountain paradise another 2.5 km to the centre of Lokve and connection with traverse road.
Length: 6 km
Highest point: 865 m
Lowest point: 730 m
Total ascent: Zelin M. – Lokve: 110 m / Lokve – Zelin M.: 200 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