RISNJAK NATIONAL PARKNational Park Risnjak is based in Crni Lug near Delnice has 6,400 hectares of forest areas. With over thirty specific plant communities, a 4.2-kilometers long trail, a mountain lodge, a restaurant and accommodation capacities, it represents a special attraction and value of Kvarner and Gorski Kotar - a wide, heavily forested, karst plateau rising to jagged peaks. Easily accessible, owing to the proximity of the main Zagreb–Rijeka road, the area is a popular destination with Croats for walking, climbing and mountaineering. Risnjak National Park is at the northern end of the plateau and covers over 30 sq km rising from the tableland at 620m to the main peak, Risnjak, at 1,528m.
The park’s varied climatic influences – the sea from the south-west, the Dinaric mountains from the south-east, the continent from the north-east and the Alps from the north-west – have enabled over 4,000 plant species to prosper. Accompanying these are over a hundred brown bears, lynx (ris in Croatian and after which the park is named), wolves, wild cats, wild boar, deer and chamois, as well as 500 species of butterfly.
There are also notable sights outside of the park itself. Lokvarska is one of several caves open to visitors in the summer. Over 1,000m long and dropping 140m in depth, the cave features an impressive array of stalactites, stalagmites and calcifiedway through it to the 90m Zeleni vir waterfall at the far end. The Cicarija mountains are just to the west of Gorski Kotar. A 40km long barrier that blocks Istria off from the rest of Croatia, the chain peaks at Platnik (1,273m). Being nearer to the sea the climate is considerably milder than at Risnjak, although there is often still snow on the summits in May.
Hotels around Risnjak Nature Park
For the serious walker there are four major long-distance routes in the area. One of them, the Rijeka mountain traverse, is a six to seven day walk taking in all the important peaks. Starting from near the Cicarija mountains in the west, the route passes through Risnjak and then turns south over Velika Kapela to finish at Crikvenica on the coast. Paths are well marked and mountain huts provide overnight accommodation. An authorised guide is recommended. (© Walk Europe)
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