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Stinice – Roški slap – Oziđana pećina cave walking trail

 

The forester’s path from centennial forests to a millennial cave

Forests have always played a special role in the imaginary world. It is sufficient to mention the cult status in popular culture of Sherwood Forest, the home of Robin Hood, Mirkwood from the Lord of the Rings, and the Forbidden Forest from the Harry Potter series, as well as Stribor Forest in Croatian fairy tales. The ancient forests of downy oak and Oriental hornbeam on Stinice are symbolic of the beginning of the magical middle course of the Krka River. With trees more than one hundred and fifty to two hundred years old, it is also the beginning, or rather the end of the educational pedestrian footpath of Stinice - Roški Slap - Oziđana pećina Cave.

From centuries old woods to the prehistoric cave, through the emerald-green gorge and across the silver cascades of the Roški Slap, once walked a forester, whose duty was to guard the forests and its contents. Foresters were in charge of given areas – called lugarias, which usually also contained a forester’s lodge, where they lived alone or with their family. This was once what the Visovac House “Kuželj” at Stinice was used for, while today it is a Visitor Center, where a permanent exhibit of “A Forester’s Lodge” is displayed.

At the other end of the trail is the home of prehistoric man, Oziđana pećina Cave, which can be reached by 517 wooden stairs laid vertically on the rocks of Roški Slap. Archaeological excavation confirmed the presence in the cave of all the Neolithic cultures of the Adriatic region, followed by the Eneolithic and the Early and Middle Bronze Age. Man was constantly present in the cave in the period from 5000 to 1500 BC. An archaeological collection is displayed in the cave, in situ. This means that visitors have a chance to walk in the footsteps of Neolithic man.

Walking along this path, a person seems to walk from one world to another: the landscape constantly changes – from the wetland terrain, one of the most important European ornithological areas due to the number of bird species during their migrations, to the narrow canyon with views of the Šuplja Stina Cave, the remnants of the medieval fortress of Kamičak, and the cliff on the right side of the canyon where the fortress of Rogovo once stood. The trail crosses the Roški Slap, with its pearly necklaces, climbs up to the cave and ends at Bogatići, at an altitude of 234 m above sea level.

Stinice – Roški Slap – Oziđana pećina cave, biological, geological and educational walking trail, 8500 m, with 200 steps in the wetland area, 517 steps to the Oziđana pećina cave and another 99 steps above Oziđana pećina cave (towards the parking lot)

  • There are four possible ways to enter/leave this trail: at Stinice, Brištane Gornje, Roški Slap, Oziđana pećina cave (Bogatići Miljevački)
  • All entrances/exits are on the left bank of the Krka River, between the trail towards Visovac and Roški Slap; though Roški Slap can also be reached on the right bank
  • This is a more advance trail including earthen and gravel sections, wooden bridges and stairs, and many inclines and descents, including the highly strenuous ascent up the 517 stairs to Oziđana pećina cave
  • Plan your return to the starting point, as this is not a circular trail