Nature Parks

Soběnovská Highlands Nature Park was established by the district council on Earth Day of 1995. As the name reveals, the park is dominated by the Soběnovská Hills (popularly called Slepičí hory - the Chicken Mountains) with the following peaks: Kohout 870 m above sea level, Vysoký kámen (also Slepice) 865 m and Besednická hora 753 m. The boundary of the park runs through the towns and settlements of Blansko u Kaplice, Hradiště, Ličov, Dluhoště, Kamenice, Klení, Hamr, Besednice and Soběnov. The natural and aesthetic value of the area lies mainly in its extensive woods with remains of natural growth, rock and boulder formations, the Černá river canyon with various consructions (dams, hydro-power stations and rafting mechanisms) from the interbellum period or even older, in rich and varied forest biotopes and flowery meadows and temporary stations. On the area of the nature park, approval by an organ responsible for nature preservation is necessary before carrying out such acivities as projecting and permitting new buildings, mining minerals, carrying out landscape adjustments, changing the culture of plots, foresting plots larger than 0.5 ha, changing water streams and reservoirs, establishing dumping grounds, organising motor races, sports, touristic, recreational and social mass events in the landscape outside the built-up area, and spraying chemical products from planes.

Vysoký kámen (high stone) at Soběnov´s upland, foto: Václav Dolanský

Vyšebrodsko Nature Park was also established by the district council on Earth Day of 1995. Its landscape is dominated by the southernmost foothills of Šumava (Plešská hornatina) with the following peaks: Hvězdná 1012 m above sea level, Jezevčí vrch 865 m and Kamenná 938 m, Medvědí stěna 934 m, Uhlířský vrch 925m, Vyklestilka 887 m and others, and of course by the Vltava River, including the eastern part of Lake Lipno, which forms the nature park's north boundary. The east boundary is the road from the town of Přední Výtoň to the border-crossing at Guglwald, the west boundary runs from the state border along the stream Větší Vltavice, further along the road from the settlement of Dolní Drkolná to the town of Horní Dvořiště and to the (especially among canoers and rafters) well-known crossroads U veverek (At the Squirrels), where the Vltava makes a sharp turn to the north. The main part of the nature park's northern boundary runs along road 163 from the above-mentioned crossroads to the town of Vyšší Brod, further on to Loučovice and then to the Lipno dam. The south boundary corresponds with the state border with Austria. The natural and aesthetic value of the area lies mainly in its forest entities with remains of natural mixed woods (mainly beech), rock and boulder formations (Čertova stěna a Luč), the Vltavy River valley with historical constructions (the Huber-Lutz weir at Loučovice) and its tributaries (Větší and Menší Vltavice) with remains of a river pearl oyster population, numerous high moorlands both in and outside woods, in its wetlands and meadows and its biotopical richness. On the area of Vyšebrodsko Nature Park the same restrictions are in force as in the Soběnovska Nature Park.

view at Vyšší Brod from Hodslavský peak, foto: Václav Dolanský

Poluška Nature Park was established by the district council on 1.10.1999. This is the smallest of the four nature parks in the Krumlov district due to its location - confined in between the district's two largest cities and their urban surroundings. Its landscape is dominated by the Polušky hills with the highest peaks: Poluška 919 m above sea level and Kraví hora 909 m. The nature park's boundary runs through the towns and settlements of Přídolí, Záhořánky, Silniční Domky, Zahrádka, Omlenička, Lannovy Domky, Rejty, Střítež, Dolní Pláně, Věžovatá Pláně and Sedlice. The natural and aesthetic value of the area lies in its extensive forest ecosystem, i.e. the regional biocentre of the country planning system of ecological landscape stability and which is crossed through by the superregional biocorridor K170, joining the Poluška biocentre among others with the superregional Žofín biocentre, and further in its landscape, only scarcely touched by human activities, with its flowery meadows, numerous ridges and shelters, the wells of several tributaries to the Malše and Vltava, with typical communities and biotopes and also with well-kept traditional architecture of houses and farm buildings in hamlets or secluded places of the Šumava foothills. On the area of Poluška Nature Park new buildings can only be permitted and built, the culture of plots defined for forestry or agricultural purposes changed, if this is in accordance with the ratified country planning, on plots outside built-up area can only be farmed in technologically non-intensive manner; only after approval by an organ responsible for nature conservation is one allowed to mine minerals, camp outside a developed area, organise motor races, sports, touristic, recreational and social mass events in the landscape outside the built-up area, dump waste or chemicals, to move off and remain off the roads with motorised vehicles, to organise sightseeing or sport flights by motorised planes, to raise or grow genetically manipulated organisms or to disperse chemical products by air.

Lonely countryside Poluška, foto: Václav Dolanský

Vrchovina Polušky (Poluška Highlands) is an interesting landscape between the cities of Krumlov and Kaplice only scarcely touched by human activities. Only 9 km northwest of Kaplice, the highest peak Poluška rises above extensive woods, near it the other peak Kraví hora (909 m). This massif is hardly inhabited and nearly hundred percent of it is covered with woods. There are sporadic occurrences of clearings with young growth; one of them, right on top of Poluška, serves as the location of a EuroTel public network base. Its almost 50 m high pole is unfortunately not open to the public; its surroundings, however, offer several views through the woods into the Kaplice valley, where the Malše River runs and which seperates Šumava (in its broader sense) from the Novohradské hory. From some places (the cottage Alpes, the settlement Zahrádka) the majestic mountain peaks of the High Alps can be seen in exceptionally clear weather (yet this serves as a warning for tourists: as a rule two days later a dramatic change of weather follows).

The nearest inhabited locations are on lower ground at about 1 to 3 km from the top; the secluded houses and settlements of Brusnické Chalupy, Buchtice, Horní Pláně, Malý and Velký Chuchelec, Osek or Vyšší Hodenice, often deserted in the past and renewed by cottage dwellers. In these lower inhabited places the woods are adjoined by scattered fields, pastures and meadows in use by sporadic family agrofarms.

It is the alternation of forest growth with small meadows and fields, ridges and shelters in the lower parts of Poluška that adds a special charm and destines the landscape to the reintroduction of certain protected animal species (e.g. the black grouse) that used to live here but were pushed out by landscape changes as a result of intensive large-scale farming. Some of them have already come back (the presence of lynx has been proven), others have assumably never left the area (hazel hen) and may be seen by visitors of the Poluška massif, if luck is on their side, at the silent break of dawn or in the evening twilight.

Novohradské mountain Žofínský virgin forest, foto: Václav Dolanský

Despite its outstanding beauty and well maintained nature the Poluška hills do not yet rank among the places of touristic importance. The cause can be found in the proximity of more famous and more sought after areas in southeastern Šumava, such as Lake Lipno, but also in the little developed structures of tourism services. However, higher interest has recently been shown by so-called soft tourism such as hiking or biking, which is not so demanding of services and is satisfied, for example, with accommodation at a family farm. Several marked hiking routes cross the edges of the Polušky Highlands (the blue, green and yellow), but the real gates into the area are the towns of Omlenice and Věžovatá Pláně, connected by the red route which also winds its way to the immediate vicinity of the Poluška peak. It is very impressive to enter the blue route through Rožmitál na Šumavě, majestically showing itself to visitors on the slope of Jelení vrch, and continuing up north through the valley of Močeradský brook to the settlement of Zahrádka, already on the parks boundary.

 Novohradské mountain, Terčino Valley - artificial waterfall, foto: Václav Dolanský
Novohradské Mountains Nature Park was established by the district council on 1. November 1999. It is the largest of the four nature parks in the Krumlov district, containing the entire part of the planned Novohradské Mountains Protected Landscape Area, which local conservationists have been proposing to central administrative organs since 1970. Its landscape is dominated by the Novohradské mountains with the highest peaks: Kamenec 1072 m above sea level, Myslivna 1040 m and three nearby peaks (already inside the district of České Budějovice): Vysoká 1034 m, Kraví hora 952 m and Kuní hora 924 m. The park's boundary to the West runs through the towns and settlements of (some of which do not exist any more) Cetviny, Janova Ves, Bělá, Malonty, Meziříčí, Velíška and Benešov nad Černou, the boundary to the North runs along road 154 from Kaplice to Benešov nad Černou and further to Rychnov u Nových Hradů, from this road the parks boundary diverts to the Southeast and coincides with the district border to the state border with Austria, and along that border line back to Cetviny. The natural and aesthetic value of the area lies in the landscapes relief, alternating wooded and unwooded highland moors and spring fields (the Pohořský brook rises in the park and the rivers Lužnice and Černá, rising in the Austrian part of the Novohradské Mountains - Freiwald also flow through the park), wooded valleys of streams and reservoirs (Kapelunk, Huťský rybník and Zlatá Ktiš) and a rich variety of biotopes and stations, remains of natural forests (Žofín), a system of superregional and regional biocentres and biocorridors and the natural elements of harmonically maintained traditional architecture of local settlements as well as technical construction on the streams (such as rafting mechanisms), especially on the Pohořský brook. On the area of Novohradské hory Nature Park the same restrictions are in force as in Poluška Nature Park.


Further information :
Description of Natural Conditions in the Český Krumlov Region


© Sdružení Oficiálního informačního systému Český Krumlov, 2000
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