Are you also toying with the idea of running on soft and fragrant grass instead of the hard asphalt in the city centre or hiding from the sun on a forest path on hot days? During your holiday in the Donovaly Mountains, it's the perfect time to finally give it a try! If you don't run at all, or if you are a complete beginner, don't despair. Donovaly offers trail running routes for everyone, from beginners to trained endurance runners.
For starters, you can go for a run on the surrounding paths and trails, on trails with low elevation, which are familiar to you from walks or easier hikes. If necessary, you can easily turn back at any time. If you can manage such a run, you can go for a longer run in nature, when you will be able to tackle some hills. At the end of each run, you'll feel an indescribable sense of joy that you've met the challenge and may dare to do something more challenging next time. You will enjoy the birds chirping, the beautiful views, the smell of the forest and meadows in bloom, and of course you will breathe in the fresh mountain air.
Running in nature also has several benefits
One of them is definitely that you burn more energy during such a run, up to 10%. The main advantage is that you are running on uneven surfaces - so more lower limb strength is needed during impacts and bounces. You also have to dodge various obstacles and jump over hurdles while running. Every few metres means a change of rhythm, a change of pace, a change of stride length. Another advantage is that you improve your balance while running, strengthening especially the middle part of your body. You need to be ready to avert a fall at any time. You keep a close eye on the road ahead of you and peripherally you have to keep an eye on your surroundings to avoid being surprised from the side. Another benefit is undoubtedly the views you get while running. Green meadows, dense forests, blossoming trees, panoramas and views of valleys and you might even meet some animals. By changing your everyday environment you will come up with new thoughts and ideas and at least for a while you will put all your problems out of your mind.
Tips for cross-country skiing routes
Donovaly - Polianka - Mistriky
Distance: 4 km
Elevation: 160 m
This route is ideal if you are just starting trail running. You can try a higher elevation on a short distance. The route follows the yellow cycling route Donovaly - Polianka - Mistriky. It starts at the central car park in the Donovaly resort. Cross the wooden bridge over the road and continue along the asphalt road along the apartment houses to the Vrchúlka locality. Here the trail turns to the left and you will run into the Polianka settlement. There is a beautifully restored former mining waterworks here. From Polianka, you only have to run down the forest road to the settlement of Mistríky and your trail run ends at the main road.
If you feel fit, you can run from Mistríky all the way to the car park under Nová hoľa. From the car park you can follow the trail along the main road to the central car park where your run started.
Distance: 4 km
Elevation: 280 m
You can go to Brankovský waterfall from the village Podsuchá on the edge of the Low Tatras at the mouth of the Revúcka valley. The route to the waterfall starts in Podlesok from where you follow the green hiking trail. The route is not difficult and can be managed even by less fit runners. In summer it is a pleasant escape from the hot sun rays. Just before the waterfall, you will be greeted by an information board that will introduce you not only to the waterfall itself, but also to the surrounding flora and fauna. From the information board, get ready for a short climb that will lead you directly to Brankovský waterfall, where the water is flowing from a height of up to 55 metres. The way back is pleasant with a steady descent.
Donovaly - Kaliste
Distance: 12 km
Elevation: 470 m
If you have already done some off-road running, it's time to try something more challenging. The route is suitable for testing your running fitness. This route runs mostly through dense forest, so we recommend running in pairs or in a group.
Your run will start at the main car park in the Donovaly resort, from where you will run along the red hiking trail over the lifts of Záhradište, past the apartment houses to the Vrchúlka locality. Here you will turn onto the green hiking trail and continue through the picturesque village of Bully. This route will take you to the crossroads Pri Javore. Cross the yellow hiking trail and continue running along the forest path until the trail leads you to the mountain meadow Hrivková. In good weather you can enjoy nice views here. From here you can run down the meadow and then along the forest path to Kaliště.
If you need to relax, we recommend you to take a look at the NKP Kalište visitor exhibition in the summer months. From Kaliste to Donovaly you can take the same route.
The Black Stone Nature Trail
Distance: 9,5 km
Elevation: 720 m
A beautiful trail for more fit runners, which will certainly test your fitness thanks to a more strenuous climb over a relatively short distance.
The route has a challenging climb, but the initial climb will be worth it. The trail will lead you from the village of Liptovské Revúce, through the Grúň springs to the Čierny Kamen National Nature Reserve and from there to the Ploská Saddle, which is the highest point of this route. From there, you can just run back to the village of Liptovské Revúce.
The nature reserve is in the strictest level of protection and was declared for the purpose of preserving the forest stands. Čierny Kameň is an important locality of mountain flora with a large number of rare, relict and endangered species.