Šepková Valley through a hillside
This path to Vlkolínec is not used frequently, but those who decide to take it will experience the undiscovered nature and the piece found in the woods and meadows surrounding Vlkolínec.
This trail begins at the gravel parking lot in the Trlenská Valley, below Vlkolínec. Before the trip, we can learn a few facts from the educational board situated here, as well as enjoy the view of Sidorovo hill towering over Vlkolínec as if it were a natural pyramid. We follow the gravel road by the hiking shelter. Passing along this road is also a green-marked bike trail leading to Jazierce. We are passing by a farm building and all the way to a hut with a wooden fence, after which the road turns left. We, however, get off the road running simultaneously with the bike trail (slightly to the right) and we continue along a modest path leading to a hut and to the Šepková Valley. As we follow this path, we pass by other huts and at the last one, the path disappears. After that, we follow the creek, running along which is a modest footpath. The footpath running along the creek often disappears and we have to walk in the creek, on the rocks sticking out of the water. There are many springs and resurgences in the vicinity of the creek, which means the terrain is waterlogged and muddy. To the right of the creek, we might notice the only one of the springs which has been altered and which has water running through a metal pipe. We continue further along the creek to a place where, on the right, we might notice an incision in the slope, which has remained here after an old road (sloping access road). We continue along the creek for about 100 meters further. There will be a path covered with growth (sloping access road) turning away from the creek to the right, which will lead us to a small meadow. Pay more attention here to find this footpath. We only continue a few metres on the meadow and then we turn right in the direction to the woods. In the woods, we come across a pathway which looks modest at first and which will lead us backwards in the direction of the flow of the creek. The pathway rises up the hill and we follow it. After a short downhill section of the way, we might notice a well situated a few metres below the path. The well is in a neglected condition and, during the majority of the year, water cannot be retrieved due to the poor flow rate. We continue further until we come to a meadow (“Laz”). Here we get views of the Low Tatras with Salatín hill in the foreground and Prašivá hill in the background. In the meadow, we can see two stalls (hay barns). However, our trail does not lead to the hay barns and we go to the left onto a distinct, downhill pathway through the trees, where we come across an educational board. Only a few metres after that, we get one of the most beautiful views of Vlkolínec. In this view, you can see Vlkolínec on the hillside of Sidorovo, and above in the distance, you can see the West Tatras with Baranec hill and the High Tatras with Kriváň hill. The trail leads us above an unmaintained spring, which is used mostly by the woodland animals, as evidenced by numerous footprints in the soil. We continue further along the trail until we come to a stall (hay barn), next to which there is a man-altered well, which we can use to refresh ourselves, and another educational board. The trail will lead us to a feeder for woodland animals, by which there is a dried up well. If you are thirsty, however, there is a spring rising in the woods a few metres below. The trail takes a sharp turn to the right and, after a while, it leads us to an intersection. We go to the left, slightly uphill, toward an iron fence, and passing by the stalls (hay barns) we continue to the gardens. In front of the barns (farm buildings), we take a left turn uphill by the fence. After passing by more barns, we turn right onto a pathway, which leads us past a house to a creek directly in Vlkolínec. If instead of turning right, we continue uphill, we will come to a gravel road which will lead us downhill to Vlkolínec after a short while.
Last time we took this trail was at the end of summer of 2020, we recommend good-quality, waterproof footwear, as the creek was slippery and we often stepped into the water. Along the trail, we saw squirrels and roe-deer. We also collected hazelnuts, which are abundant in the “Laz” area in the vicinity of the stalls. The trail of something under 4 km took us 4 hours, however, we took our time, taking regular breaks, taking pictures, making notes and collecting nuts. Average visitors, however, should complete the trail in about two hours. To those who do not want to take the path along the creek, we recommend going in the opposite direction from Vlkolínec (along the footpath at house no. 9043) until you reach the “Laz” area, and then returning along the same route.