020 – Zdar Hills  
Paradise of cyclists, mountaineers and mushroom pickers
1. 2. 2018

Wide valleys with pastures, stone slats with slopes and narrow ridges with gneiss rocks, this is the beautiful landscape of Zdar Hills. Cyclists can try singletracks in Nove Mesto na Morave or ride through narrow footpaths through dense coniferous forests. Mountain climbers are doing a series of "eighthundreds" - Devet skal (Nine Rocks), Ctyri palice (Four Hammers, Dratenicky (Little Tinkers) and other gneiss rocks. The ruins of medieval castles await tourists and mushroom pickers will find a lot of mushrooms in autumn here. There is so much mushrooms that you can collect them directly from the bikes.

The film is in Czech with English subtitles

Do not use official cycling paths!
The cyclist who goes to the Žďár hills for the first time can be confused. Is that the boasting paradise of cyclists? Most biking trails follow the roads! Yes, a complete amateur had to design cycling trails in this picturesque landscape. Or rather an official or politician who wanted to be rewarded for as many kilometers of trails as possible, no matter where they were heading. This is a situation that has been quite common in the Czech Republic in the recent past. So, please, if you want to enjoy a ride, especially if you bike with children, you can avoid road cycling routes in Zdarske vrchy (Zdar Hills).

Vysocina (Highlands) Arena
On the periphery of Nove Mesto na Morave in Ochoza forest there is a sports complex where cross-country skiing and mountain biking competitions are organized. On September 1, 2014, they opened training singletracks for the general public there, from children to experienced competitors. The routes are carefully marked. Purple is for young children, blue is a bit more challenging, red with orange already have a higher elevation and are recommended for more experienced bikers, black has extreme passages. You can spend the whole day just here, but it would be a pity because there is a lot of the beautiful terrain routes Zdar region. We may take red one to warm up a little in the beginnig and then we will go out into the countryside.

Sykovec and Medlov Ponds
We will take the green path around the Natural swimming pool. It is a pond with clean water and a grass beach. The narrow footpath leads us through the woods, then across the meadow to the cottage settlement above both ponds. Here we can choose to go straight to the Sykovec pond, where there is a kiosk with snacks right next to the road in the summer. After that, you can continue to Medlov along the cycle route 4346. But it is a bit of a boredom, so we prefer the terrain variation. In the cottage settlement we turn right and continue on the green along Medlov Pond shore. The terrain is impassable for bikes, but it does not matter. We can better enjoy the beautiful nature.
Sykovec pond is a private fishing ground, where you can go fishing by catch and go method. Thanks to this, you can catch trophies, as in the recent past the lucky ones who pulled 26kg of carp, 19kg of catfish, 17kg of amur or 17kg of sturgeon. The Sykovec and Medlov ponds Vilem from Pernstejn built in the 16th century. In 1934 on the shore of Medlov pond, the skiing representative Leos Stehlik built the recreation center.. It is still working, even though its best years are about to gone. The pond has a sandy beach and there is a pleasant swimming. And if you are a fan of windsurfing and do not want to go to Velke Darko, where there is a lot of people, you can also unpack your board here.

Family Pension Klokoci
From Medlov we will take yellow tourist path to Kadov. Zdar Hills are not only famous with beautiful nature, but also with several renowned restaurants. The first one, which is definitely worth a visit, is the Klokoci Family Pension. On the edge of a large garden where small children can play, there is a guesthouse built in the style of local folk architecture. Cyclists and tourists can enjoy the renowned cuisine. For example, home-made blueberry dumplings with cottage cheese and butter, roasted rabbit liver on wine and bacon, fried veal steak with mayonnaise potato salad with pickled onion, broad noodles with cream sauce from forest mushrooms and lots of other specialties. In addition, seasonal meals and venison, such as boar rolls filled with dried plums or rosemary goulash, are cooked here. A specialty is home-made lemonade or homemade chocolate. You will also find accommodation there in very nice rooms at a reasonable price.

Blatiny and Dratenicky
Zdar Hills are characterized by wide valleys and forested hills, peaks of some of them are formed with gneiss rocks. The most famous are the Devet skal (Nine Rocks), which are at the height of 836 m above sea level the highest peak of Zdar Hills. You will find another 17 "eighthundreds" there, on most of which mountaineers climb. The most famous of montaineers is the Nove Mesto na Morave native Radek Jaros, who started at the age of 18 at Dratenicky, where he has a monument and who stood without the oxygen apparatus on peaks of all 14 eight-hundreds mountains.

Dratenicky is the only gneiss rock that we will visit today. Next time we will visit the others as well as the picturesque ruins of the medieval castles - Starkov, Zubstejn and Dalecin. And sometimes we will also look at Velke Darko - the largest pond in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. Its name was created by the trickle of the word Zdarsko. This comes from the naming of a typical way of clearance the local forests by so-called burning. In the summer the rocks are in siege of climbers. We enjoy a beautiful view of the countryside and ride to Blatiny. These were founded in the 18th century, when the High Court allowed its tributaries working in local forests and ironmongery to build their homes on the place of the burned forest. The original name Blatiny was Neustift (New Plantations).

Pub U Kosku
To enjoy another gourmet experience, visit Pub U Kosku, especially when there will be some of the famous chefs such as Pavel Sapik (Golden Well Prague), Vaclav Pstros (U Pstrosa, Prague) or Jan Horky (French and Pilsen Restaurants in the Municipal House, Prague). And if you visit U Kosku at another time, do not mind. In the family business cook mother and grandmother honest Czech dishes from local ingredients. And now we will ride our bikes across the big hill Na Vrsich to Snezne.

Japanese Garden in Snezne
When the FTVS graduate, athlete and current director of the small school in Uncin, Pavel Simon was in the army, he discovered a publication on bonsai in the crew library. The book has changed his life so you can visit now Japanese garden. in the otherwise uninteresting town of Snezne today. Mr. Simon built the garden close his parents family house on the place of the former fruit orchard since 1996. And as the garden grew, he bought later the adjacent land. Because the garden is supposed to be surprising and should never be seen whole from one place, about 100 trucks of boulders and dirt were brought to the site to create a rough terrain. The garden is divided into a dry and wet area. The dry landscape forms a mountain scenery with a river spring and a lake, wet is in the valley and in contrast to dry. One side of the plot is surrounded by a stone wall, formed by the Pratonda's dragon back, the wet part of the garden is guarded by the dragon Klotilda. As a whole, it imitates the relief of the Giant Mountains, Zdar Hills, Palava and the Lowlands. Part of the exhibition is the Zen Garden, serving for meditation.

Three gates are built in the garden. In the stone wall, Gate of Humility is so low that it can only be passed through a deep bow. This is to remind us how small we are in our universe. Tori Gate is built for birds, God's messengers to rest on their way, and the Samurai Gate is a tribute to Japanese warriors. There are a few hundreds of bonsai in the garden from the large piney next to the house to the smallest bonsai in ceramic bowls. Plants are partly of local origin, obtained by wildlife collection and subsequent shaping (jamadori), you can also find exotic Asian trees there. The bowls are produced by Mr. Simon's wife in her art workshop. There are weekly art classes for children held in the summer. The garden is open all year round, admission is free or for a voluntary contribution.

The unofficial eighthundred rock and the medieval village
From Snezne we bike along the asphalt cycle path. Close to the luxury hotel with a restaurant Lisensky dvur we will turn right and go along the green tourist mark through the narrow path across the meadow and down under Bohdalec hill. Because the way up to the top would be too rough, we will bypass the hill from the right (see the attached map). Bohdalec belongs to the unofficial, yet unconfirmed, 18th eight hundred rock in Zdar Hills. From the peak formed by gneiss rock, in the direction to Odraneca beautiful view of the ridge with Pohledecka skala is opening. We can not reach the scenc view today because our journey leads elsewhere. Along a wide route and then through unostentatious footpaths and across the meadow, we will ride bikes on the road between Kuklik and Odranec. You do not have to worry about, there are two or three cars going through the all day long.

Odranec is an ancient village from the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries with a nice village common around the pond. The big socialist cowshead in village surroundings is a little bit ugly, but otherwise the village is picturesque. Not so much because of the neglected old buildings, but mainly due to the newly built houses in the spirit of local folk architecture. The fact that we are at the heart of the Protected Landscape Area (PLA) means that there are a lot of restrictions, but because of it there aren't any satellite towns or box-like new buildings. The local village architecture is completely respected and thanks to this, the landscape preserves its beautiful character for the future generations.

Footprint of Jara Cimrman
The way from Odranec leads the blue tourist mark to the Zubersky Pond. After a long descent across the meadow, we find ourselves in a dense forest. The path leads to pleasant terrain more or less downhill. At Zubersky Pond is a recreation center, belonging to OS KOVO Zdas. You can stay in wooden cottages year round. We continue either along the green across the side of the pond, but at the beginning there is an unpleasant wetland, or we bypass this section through the Zubri and join the green. A few minutes from here there is the Jara Cimrman Footprint Monument, which created children from the Black Sheep camp as part of a whole-campus game. It was unveiled on August 16, 2006 in the presence of a Chinese delegation from Yanzhou province.

Along the yellow to Studnice
We climb along the green on the way below Pohledec Rock. It was originally a military area. Today rock is partly accessible, but not away from our path. We will ride at the junction with the asphalt cycle route No. 1. After that, we will take a short ride east, then we turn to the forest path to the north and join the yellow. We will do this so that to not miss two stony fords across the Chobot Stream, which are a pleasant biker diversificartions of our journey.

Cyril Musil, the rebellious
Along the newly scattered forest path, we climb along the yellow to the highest village in Highlands - Studnice. In the village there is a memorial plaque of the Olympic representative and rebel Cyril Musil. He built a center of anti-Nazi resistance during world war, hiding members of the Tungsten Airborne Group. And in 1949, because he did not want to work with the State Security, he was sentenced to twenty years in prison. In order not to receive the death penalty, he would rather admit the lawyer's advice to fictitious spying. After a year he managed to escape from the prison first in Ilava, then from the Czechoslovak Republic to Canada. There he first fed hunting wolves, then run a ski shop and a motel. He died in 1977 and has the inscription: Cyril Musil, rustic from Studnice.

Czech classics in Marsovice
After a long downhill and crossing a small ridge we will reach Marsovice. If you did not get enough food on the way, you can visit Marsovska rychta hotel. It is not a high kitchen, but rather a restaurant with classic meals of the 70s, but if you like Czech dishes such as fried cheese, fried liver, steak or kung pao, cmunda (potato pancake), sparrow or sirloin you will be happy. Well, there is a small hill to pass, followed by a downhill ride to the Nature aquapark under Ochoza and a path to the parking lot near the Vysocina Arena.

Planning of the routes
It is always worthwhile to trust the map and marked cycling routes. That's why we create our biker series. On today's ride it was confirmed that if you prefer the hiking paths and unmarked forest paths and footpaths, your route will lead to pleasant countryside and beautiful nature. And you will see and experience much more than if you were to interlace among cars on the roads. From today's road, just two kilometers leads on the asphalt road, as we drove from one route to the other, we rode the rest way across terrain. And I think that's worth it!

Refreshment on the route
Kadov – Pension Klokoci (!!!), Blatiny – refreshment U kolouska, Pub U Kosku (!!!), Hofr Café, Snezne – Lisensky dvur (!!!), Marsovice – Hotel Marsovska Rychta

Refreshment close to the route
Vrist – Traditional Tavern Vrist (!!!), Dankovice – Pension and restaurant Selsky dvur (!!!)

Points of interest on the route
Singletracks Vysocina Arena, ponds Sykov and Medlov, rock Dratenicky with the monument of Radek Jaros, medieval village Blatiny, swimming at Medlov and Zubersky Ponds, Japanese garden in Snezne, the monument Jara Cimrman's Footprint, forests full of mushrooms

Points of interest close to the route
cultural heritage zone in Nove Mesto na Morave, Horacke museum with mechanical Horacky Mill, path through the forest of Ochoza with pictures, Fairy-tale Village Podlesi, the prospect of Pasecka skala and Bohdalec Hill

Description of the route: From Vysocina Arena at the Nove Mesto na Morave on the green near the Natural swimming pool - along the green to the crossing Rokytenska near the cottage settlement in front of the pond Sykovec - along the green around Medlovsky pond to Medlov - yellow aalong Podmedlovsky Mill through Kaduvek to Kadov - green to Dratenicky - red from Blatiny to Snezne - green around Lisensky dvur to the forest under Bohdales - 800 m climb along the green, then on the crossroad to the right - along a wide forest way 1.3 km - right on the unspoilt forest footpath, after 300 m out of the forest, along the footpath across the meadow towards to the road between Kuklik and Odranc - over Odranec to yellow to the bus stop - 200 m along the road to Konikov - from the road to the right, down the meadow along the blue - along the blue through the forest to Zubersky Pond and Zubri - through Zubri on the unmarked path to the green - along the green to the crossroads with a cycle path No. 1 - 200 m to the east along the cycle path - along the footpath to the north to the yellow - along the yellow to the Studnice - to the Marsovice - to the blue around the Natural swimming pool - to the Vysocina Arena

Length: 42km
Elevation: 989 m
Difficulty: Medium
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