“Traditional architecture, amazing sandstone formations, and a well-known church. Great vistas.”
— Kamen Ruskov
Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This historic route leads from an enormous and difficult to miss tree in Melnik through the countryside before coming to an end in Zlatolist and Katuntsi. The route is mostly downhill, and visitors will enjoy the scenery along the way.
Beware of washed out trail section on northern slope. It is not difficult for the experienced runner, but otherwise seek help.
Melnik is currently the smallest town in Bulgaria (villages belong in a separate category). However, during the middle ages, and actually until the turn of 20th century, Melnik was a major regional center. During the time of Despot Alexius Slav, it was a regional capital.
The trail starts at the town's center where a huge plane tree (several hundred years old) provides shade in summer. Head up the main street, cross the small bridge and continue upstream so that the stream's bed remains on your left. Keep working your way up the street until you reach the outskirts of the town, passing by the ruins of the St. Barbara church on your left.
When you reach a junction with dirt roads heading in three directions, take the right one and head roughly south. In 2 min you'll reach a small renovated church overlooking the town. There is also drinking water available at the spot. To the left of the church, the actual trail begins. This is its steepest section and you climb up for 10 - 15 minutes until you reach a col. After the col you begin your gradual descent into the valley that eventually reaches Zlatolist and Katuntsi to the south.
Flora & Fauna
Junipers, plane trees, golden orioles, warblers, many more.