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Risnjak National Park

 

The air distance of less than 15 miles from the sea, in the hinterland of Rijeka and the Kvarner coast stretches to the National Park Risnjak. Located in Gorski Kotar, the wooded area of western Croatia is occupied by Risnjak and Snježnik. The mountain area of Risnjak was declared a national park in 1953. and 44 years later, the park is expanded to the Snježnik range area and the spring of the river Kupa.

Most of the national park is under trees which are composed of mountain meadows Lesko, Šegina and Lazac.  The highest peak of the park is Veliki Risnjak (1528 meters), which along with a massive Snježnik (1506 meters) makes the climate and vegetation barrier between the coastal and mountainous parts of the Croatian land.  The climate of the Adriatic Sea that extends over the nearby Kvarner and  terrestrial impacts that extend through the valley of the Kupa, colide and significantly determine the uniqueness of the climate regions in the National Park Risnjak.
 
Risnjak National Park, Croatia
Risnjak National Park, Croatia


Thus, in Risnjak prevail pleasantly warm summers, rainy springs and autumns, and long, snowy and cold winters.   The valley of the river Kupa is the only inhabited part of the National Park. In this area there are only a few villages in which only about 50 people live.  Because of the very diverse climatic and geological conditions a diverse flora and fauna are maintained here. So the National Park found 30 plant communities, 14 of them forest ones. 70% of the national park is located in the zone of strict protection.

The fauna of Risnjak is particularly interesting. Ornithological research has shown that living in the park are 114 species of birds such as capercaillie, woodpeckers, peregrine falcons and others. The National Park Risnjak is the natural habitat of three large European carnivores: bears, wolves and lynxes, and also represented is other game. The last native lynx (ris) specimens after which Risnjak was named, resided in this area in the early 20th century. while today the lynx inhabits the neighboring Slovenian mountains from where it has settled down again in the national park.

The National Park Risnjak has already been for 140 years a confluence for naturalists and biologists and the place for basic natural and applied forest research. The park is now a place where visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature, engage in sports activities, and learn how to preserve nature for future generations.  A place for rest can be found in the decorated mountain house, "Dr. Joseph Schlosser Klekovski " below the top of Risnjak located on the beautiful Schlosser meadow. The lodge is open from early May until the end of October.

On Snježnik, however, located below the top of the mountain is the lodge "M. Albahari" which is currently closed for reconstruction.   In the park, at an altitude of 700 meters, there is the educational trail Lesko, 4200 meters long. Touring it requires medium fitness. The beginning of the trail is near the Board and the Pansion of the National Park Risnjak, in Crni Lug.

More information
The Tourist Board of Primorsko-Goranska County
www.kvarner.hr

The National Park Risnjak
http://www.risnjak.hr
 
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