Cycle Trails 001 - Praha, Vltava River Round, 15. 4. 2009

The city of Prague is not only covered with asphalt bike roads along busy highways. We invite you for a 38 km long journey through the beautiful countryside of the czech capital and the surrounding area, where we can take a trip along narrow forest paths and enjoy challenging downhills.

From Střížkov to Ďáblice Forest
We will start the cycling trip at Střížkov, the new metro line C station. We could get off at Ládví, from where we get closer to áblice Forest, but we would shorten the journey unnecessarily and lose sight of the interesting architecture of modern Prague. Impressive, glazed and elegant building of Střížkov station, the work of architect Patrik Kotas, is the most beautiful at dusk, when the number of lights starts to light up.

We will drive along the sidewalk to Prosek Health Center, the "jewel of the 70s" architecture, while on our left we pass a sisters' hostel, high-rise buildings yellow balconies made by another famous architect - Vlado Milunič.

On the footpath we reach the main road, cross the bridge of the highway and get to the Ďáblice Forest. Cubist cemetery, another valuable building on the way, infamous as a mass burial place for opponents of the communist regime in the 1950s.

View Up to Rip
The Ďáblice Forest extends around the Ládví peak, which is a gutter knot that rises from the Mesozoic High above the surrounding landscape. Some quarries in the forest have been used by prehistoric people to extract the gouge that served as an imperfect substitute for a scarce flint.

We drive along the northern edge of the Ďáblice Forest, where the quarries are not, but there is a beautiful path and in good weather you can see Říp Mountain and more distant peaks of Central Bohemian Uplands.

Around the Kobylisy depot before the dog training ground, we head to Čimice Forest, join the green trail at its end and reach the ridge of Velká skála. We enjoy the beautiful view and ride down to Troja Palace. We have already arrived from the quartz rock Pre - Cambrian period to the Baroque style, but the chateau tour we will enjoy another time.

Along the Vltava River, from behind the ZOO, we go on a plane. Unfortunately on asphalt road, though until recently a gravel road ran through here. Cycle path makers seem to they delight in the notion that asphalt is equal to cyclist paradise. A beautiful new smooth asphalt, however, will be appreciated by the skaters we can meet here in nice weathermeet dozens of them.

Through Drahany Ravine to the Vltava River
If we want to escape this drab trip, number of uphill rides are offered to us the right towards Bohnice through several valleys. We choose the blue sign and the path rising up to the Bohnice psychiatric hospital through old oak forest. At the hospital, which is the work of renowned Václav Roštlapil, among other things, the creator of the monumental Straka Academy in Prague-Klárov, we will turn left and head for the Drahany Gorge, througg which we descend down to the Vltava River valley.

Around the former Nobel Dynamite Factory
Do not be fooled by the tourist signposting, pointing at the field behind Bohnice to the Čimický potok valley - the downhill is nice, but you will reach so to the premises of the former Nobel Dynamite Factory from the year 1868.

The series of demolished houses in a valley along a stream with ubiquitous signs ATTENTION DOGS! looks like a horror movie. Who is not discouraged by signs or depressed by the character of the place and who hopes to walk quickly to the Vltava, crashes down to the high fence and locked gate and will come under the bark of big wolfdogs back up the hill to the junction where he went wrong.

Refreshment stop in Řež
But we did not come from the right path and we continue akong the red trail from the mouth of the Drahan Gorge below Vltava. In Klecanky except for weirs and ferry there are several refreshment kiosks, but they are only open during season of the ferry. We keep going.

In Řež near Prague, we do not visit an atomic reactor, but a pleasant pub at a football pitch with year-round operation. It's not long since they offered great ready meals there, unfortunately recently owner has changed and they have only basic snacks here.

The way back is starting. Follow the red trail to Klecánky, then turn left along the yellow trail, which we will leave after a while and we will reach Přemyšlení through the valley of the Přemyslení stream. It is worth nothing in the village except the castle from the 19th century, built on the site of a fortress from the 10th century.

In Zdiby, where there is also a fortress rebuilt into a chateau, we will underpass the expressway and we will reach the observatory in Ďáblice along field path around big Březiněves Dump.

Great downhill from Ďáblice observatory
The landfill is a very prominent landmark in the local flat landscape, but Ládví is still a few meters higher. The Ďáblice Observatory from the 1950sit stands, on the way, on the top of the quartz hill, and with a bit of luck, the view of the Ore, Jizera and Giant Mountains opens from here.

The ascent from the Vltava valley up tu here is hard, but we will be rewarded by the steep descent from the hill to the south side of the forest to the retirement home. Who's tired, heads to the Ládví station, who wants to enjoy the early evening view of the Střížkov station, follows the path we came to the forest.

Metro Střížkov - along the sidewalk and footpath along the end tram station Sídliště Ďáblice - Kubíkova street to the forest - exit to the ridge of Ďáblice Forest - along the yellow trail - then along the northern edge of the forest - past the Kobylisy depot to the Čimice Forest - a little along the green - then along the path along the southern edge of the forest - along the green to Velká skála and the descent to Troja Chateau - along the red along the Vltava - in Zámky along the blue uphill - along the blue - return to the Vltava canyon by the Drahany Ravine - follow the red trail across Klecánky to Řež - back to Klecánky - turn to yellow - through the Přemyšlení valley to Přemyšlení - along the road to Zdiby - follow the yellow trail to Ďáblice observatory on the edge of the Ďáblice Forest - along the original route around the end station return to the metro station Strizkov.

Why go there:
The route leads through beautiful countryside, in a few minutes from the metro we go through the forest. It is possible to ride in modified forms - light variant with children and difficult version with hard terrain, according to the season we can add or remove terrain, you can ride all year round. Ideal training round and sightseeing cycling.

Lenght: 38 km
Elevation: 399 m
Difficulty: middle
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