Untold Stories

Medvednica off the beaten path

With the new cable car, it’s as easy as ever to visit mountain Medvednica above Zagreb. For those who like solitary exploration, the area around the top cable car station might not be the best choice. There are plenty of lesser-visited, unknown, and nature-immersive places on the mountain. Today, we’re going to go off the beaten path for a photo exploration of the easternmost mountain trails.

This is why it’s so worth going to the eastern part of the mountain in autumn. The colors are stunning. 

Name Hukmani doesn’t ring a bell, not even for the locals. That’s the name of a village where mountain trails number 29 and 53 start. Follow the trails and enjoy the pure beauty of the forest. After some time, you will reach trail number 1. You could then continue your hike towards the mountain lodge Lipa-Rog where you will find refreshments and good local food. The 55-year-old mountain lodge is not accessible by car, and it’s situated in a part of the forest under special protection. That sounds like a promise of a very local experience. There’s a good chance you will meet a group of merry hikers, and they might even teach you some of the typical local songs that echo from the wooden houses. Good to know: mountain lodge Lipa-Rog is open only on weekends. 

A birdhouse? How about a birdscraper?

You could also go to the area around the mountain lodge Gorščica. The restaurant is temporarily closed. But if you have your own food and drinks, you will find this a perfect spot to spread your picnic cloth. 

Be warned: some parts of the trails are wonderfully marked, but sometimes it’s challenging to understand where to go.

Along your way, you will be mostly surrounded by nature. At times, you might even be worried whether something is lurking in the bushes, and the sounds of wildlife might spark your imagination. It's not surprising to spot a deer running through the woods. However, there will also be instances when you will bump into cultural monuments. The trails eventually join the pilgrimage route that leads to the town of Marija Bistrica. That explains some forest chapels, crosses, and religious signs in these woods.

Our Lady of the Snows chapel was built almost 200 years ago!

Some of the sights have been lost. Some say there used to be 11 watermills alongside the trail back in the day. Only one of them is preserved. We can only imagine the rest of them alongside the creek, as we’re getting energized by the mighty sound of the flowing water. 

Mountain creek. 

If you reach trail number 1, know that you are at the main Medvednica trail. It’s the longest trail that covers the entire length of the mountain, and people usually pass only a part of it on a regular hike. After all, it could be challenging to cover the entire trail - do you know anyone who is able to cover 45 km in a single day? That’s how long it is. It's also the most scenic route, as most of it follows the ridge. 

One of the viewpoints at trail no. 1

In fact, once you reach trail no. 1, you could continue a long walk and get to the cable car after all. All those people who spent their day around its top station would never know about all the curious sights you discovered. For instance, if Zagreb happens to be surrounded by the mists of autumn, this is the kind of magical view you will enjoy from up there:

Above the clouds.


The forest and its viewpoints will induce almost a meditative state in every visitor. 

If you've wanted to try forest therapy or forest bathing, the eastern part of mountain Medvednica it is! That's the area for hands-on learning of what those concepts really mean. Especially on a sunny day.  

Start the hike early so you can be safe and in the city by sunset. This view from the lower part of the trail will be your reward. 


Header image credit: Iva Silla

Author: Iva Silla