This walk is one of our all-time favourites and many of the paths were first chosen by my dogs ! Have no fear, it is 100% accessible to humans ; you just need to recall your sense of adventure from time to time. You will see pretty and unexpected locations on the way.
Access : By metro – Take metro to Nove Butovice station ( no escalator just good old stone steps therefore perfect for canines) and exit at the end of the platform where the steps are white and orange with « galerie butovice » written on them. Exit the door to the left then cross the bus park and follow the path down to the right. Once at the road, (Řeporyjská) cross at the zebra crossing and take the grassy path you will see to your right. When the grass verge ends, turn down the « no entry » road on your left (Prokopových) At the main road (Radlická) you will see a shopping mall across to your right ; you are going to turn left and keep walking past the bricks and concrete depot yard until you reach the zebra crossing. Cross and turn down the road opposite you (Novoveská). When you reach the recycling bins to your left, (Pod Vavřincem) you will see two forest paths and an information board (1) This is where the dog walk starts and you can set your patient pup free.
By bus : Take the 149 to bus stop Sidliště Jinonice and walk towards the crossroads Radlická/Butovická. Keep going on Radlická then turn down Novoveská until you reach the forest paths on your left, by the recycling containers.
From Na Knizenci take bus 137 to the stop Butovická, go right until you get to Radlická, then right again. Cross the Radlická and turn down Novoveská until you reach the forest paths on your left, by the recycling containers.
By car : Park for free at the foot of Novoveská street. There is space for approximately five vehicules just at the entrance to the forest in front of the wooden bin and near the recycling containers.
Tips : a) No need to carry water for your dog as there are 3 water sources throughout this walk. b) This walk takes you « off the beaten track » and rarely follows official trails. Thus you will need to pay particular and frequent attention to the description. c) One descent is difficult but there are plenty of roots, branches and even a rope to hold on to as you ease yourself gradually down the slope. It is absolutely feasible ; you just need to go slowly. d) Wear long socks which you can pull up to protect your ankles at one point. One miniscule passage is overgrown at certain periods of the year but trust me, we go there often so you will beable to follow our tracks and the stretch is only a few metres long. e) You might want to bring some crowns to buy some Czech soup or a sausage, as there is a nice stop on the way, where there is an open fireplace in Winter. Your dog is very welcome inside.
Difficulty : MODERATE to DIFFICULT (one difficult descent and two ascents). Possibility to avoid the difficult descent by choosing OPTION 1
Distance : approximately 11 Km. Possibility to end the walk at Barrandov after 7 Km.
Time : approximately 2h
Summarized itinerary : Pod Vavřincem – kostel sv Vavřince, Jinonice – Stydlá voda – Prokopský Udoli – Jaroslav Foglar staircase – Cerný Kohout – Na Rvsnicku – Barrandov– Nového mlyna – Dalejského potoka – červený lom – Opatřilka – prokopský udoli – skalni masiv Borova skala – Butovické Hradiště– Pod Vavřincem
Description : There are two paths leading into the forest. Take the higher one on your left. In about 25 metres, on the left, you will find a bin which is emptied regularly should you need to dispose of a little, green plastic bag that one has no wish to carry for the next two hours. Walk on, but as you come to the rocks which jut out beside the path, you take the rocky steep path up to your left. (2) Noone else will be heading up that way, but the path is safe. Where confronted with a choice, choose the path with rocks and protruding roots as it’s less slippery than the earth. At the top, this path brings you out at a grassy field. (3) There is no path but the grass is rarely high (apart from May – June). Cross the grass imagining that you are following the little hand of a clock that is indicating 11 o’clock. You should end up on a small path lined with thickish trees but you will be facing a path (4) which takes you straight through the trees. If you haven’t ended up straight at it, look left and right until you find the hole in the row of trees. At the end of this lovely little path, you will go straight on (5) past the wall of a small cemetry (6) adjacent to Hřbitov kaple, a little chapel in the grounds of St. Vavřinec church.Turn right. You will be walking with a cultivated field on either side. When you reach the end, you will take the middle path down, going slightly towards the right, bordered with trees to your left. (7) Go right to the end of this path and turn right. Then, follow the lowest path – i.e. the one furthest left, sloping downwards, until you reach the young, solitary oak on your right. Just after this tree, level with the rocks protruding from the grass, turn down the steep, almost hidden path to your left. (10) This short path bears yellow trail markers. Be careful on your way down as some of the rocks are polished and can be slippy in damp weather. There is a handrail on your left and you will pass a trickling water source, known as pramen stydlá voda. Pass under the railway. Tricky dogs will try to cross the railway track as apparently it’s just too tempting compared to the spooky tunnel, so you should put your dog on the leash here for a couple of minutes. The other reason for this is that the path brings you out directly onto a cycle path (12), which although pretty desolate on weekdays, can get very busy at weekends. You must walk to the right but only for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to miss the little bridge on your left. (13) Once over the bridge, you can release your dog again and he/she can enjoy a refreshing drink, even swim, in the river below. Before you start the ascent of the long flight of steps, you will see a commemoration plaque on the rock face above you, to Jaroslav Foglar. Foglar was a Czech author, born in Prague in 1907. His father died when he was very young therefore he was brought up by his mother in modest surroundings. Highly influenced by nature and boy scout type hiking activities, he worked as an editor for youth magazines, in a well-known Prague publishing house, Melantrich. His best known novels involve groups of male youths having adventures akin to those of Blyton’s Famous Five. So now that you have reached the top, you have a path going left, one going to the right almost behind you and another to the right just in front of you. This is yours. Go right until you reach the wooden fence with a house beyond. Follow the path up to the left. You will see a monument set among bushes above you, to your left. (14) At the end of this path go around the low-roofed building on your right. Walk right around the whole building to your right (so do not go down towards the road), and you will find yourself in Bublavska street, facing a ranch-like arch reading « Cerný Kohout ». (15) This is a typical Czech hospoda (bar/restaurant) where you can have a drink or small meal. In Summer there is an outdoor terrasse to the rear, indicated zahrada and in Winter, your dog is wecome to join you inside where there is usually a warm atmosphere and a blazing fire. If you are in no need of refreshments, put your dog briefly on the leash here, as you will turn down the narrow lane on the left. Beware exiting the lane as it joins a steep road where cyclists literally race down the tarmac towards the cycle path. (If you do go into the restaurant, naturally the lane is on your right as you exit the archway). Cross this road carefully and your path is slightly to your left. I know, it looks bizarre ; the bridge has decidedly collapsed…(16) but you can still cross ; it’s perfectly safe. Go straight on up the little steps. I know, it seems like you are tresspassing ; you are not. You will find yourself face to face with the most delightful little chata (country hut) with creeping ivy all over the barriers (17). There is a tiny path to the left of the chata, which you must follow. Keep following this narrow, peculiar little path. Take a peep into the grounds of the magnificent home on your left. There is a huge pond. Keep winding upwards, following the path. When you get to the forest, keep going straight on. (18) You will arrive at the top, facing an open field with modern appartments constructed in the distance to your left. (19) You have arrived at Barrandov. If you wish to end your walk here, it is possible ; the following directions will lead you to a tram terminus. Take the path along the edge of the field to your left, keep going straight on into the next field. You will pass a beautiful entrance to a secluded, private home. When you reach the end of this field, turn up to the right and as you emerge onto the road, you will find yourself directly at the trams 12 and 20 terminus in Barrandov.
However, if you wish to continue, you are more than halfway through your dogwalk when you arrive at the open field and the best is yet to come ! Go right towards the bench (20) and keep going straight on (as the main path dips down to the right, you must leave it, choosing a minor path going straight on. Keep following the path. When this minor path joins a wide, main path again, you have two options. Option 1 allows you to illiminate the difficult descent however you miss seeing an old archeological site. Option 2 includes the difficult descent, crossing a stream and the archeological site.
OPTION 1 : Go left and follow the path until the road. At the road, turn right. Keep following the road until you arrive at the railway tracks (Praha-Holyné station), cross the tracks, cross the wooden bridge then head up the steep path ahead and keep walking until you pass the path on your right bearing a green trail marker. Go to (*) now, and keep following the walk description details.
OPTION 2 : Go right. The path slopes slightly upward. JUST BEFORE the path starts going downwards towards the right, you must take a very small path to your left. Keep going along this grassy, wild path and eventually you will find yourself standing at the top of a high hill, over-looking the valley towards a lone light brick-coloured roofed house on the hilltop opposite. (23) Once you are in this position, start going down, slightly to your right. Your dog will probably lead the way, slipping and sliding on the loose earth : Better to have the gentle avalanche happen in front rather than behind you. You will need to go down carefully, watching your step, steadying yourself on tree trunks, using the rope, crouching down to hold onto roots, following the horizontal trunks on the ground (24) etc. You will arrive at the train tracks. Cross quickly and pull up your socks, literally ! Between the two reddish trees photographed, (26)
you will go down the embankment (once more holding onto the strong branches of the overhanging tree) and make your way through the vegetation to the river. (27) You will beable to follow our tracks through the thick vegetation (which includes some nettles). Cross the river. There are convenient rocks ! Once across the river, you will see a few interesting termite-hollowed remnants of trees that were once struck by lightning. Go onto the wider pathway above and follow the path along to the right for about 25meters. You will find yourself at an archeological site, known as Červený lom. (30) The man photographed on the information board is a Frenchman, Joachim Barrande(1799-1883) who was educated at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris, who although an engineer, found himself employed as a tutor to the grandson of Charles X. He followed the family, once in exile, to England, Scotland and finally ended up in Prague. Attracted to the fossils in the Bohemian rocks, over ten years, he made detailed geological and palaeontological studies, employing manpower, to an estimated cost of £10000, to excavate over 3500 species of fossil. In 1884 these rocks were named after him and then in 1928, so too was the district Barrandov which you spotted earlier across the field. So, that was just to take a peek at Barrande rocks. You must retrace your steps back to the left again. You will notice green trail markers. (32) Keep going until you reach the signposts for cyclists. Follow the signpost indicating Velka Ohrada to the right. (*) Once on this wide, water damaged path, after only a couple of meters, take a very small path to your right which cuts through thickish trees. Keep following the path and just before it ends, branch to the right and climb to the top where a huge electricity pylon is located above you to your left. You will find yourself on a grassy path just below the pylon, which you must follow to your right. At the end of the field, follow the dirt path slightly to your right, which dips into a hollow and up again. (35) You will arrive in a grass passage way with pretty gardens on your left. (36) There is a road ahead, but just before the road, right at the metal barrier, you will follow the dirt track to your right. (37) Here, you will pass in front of an unexpected homestead, with a dairy cow, a couple of goats, a beautiful horse, a braying donkey, a huge pig and about 5 dogs in the family. In case you have time to read a novel in Czech, in Summer, there is a shelf of books set out for passers-by and a nice little bench overlooking the cliff and valley. The location is quaint, peaceful and unexpected. I like it very much. Keep going down the path into the forest and you will arrive at a crossroads. You will go left and keep going left along the tarmac cycle path. Beware of cyclists here and unfortunately there is even an unwelcome car from time to time. Your dog can drink at the stream then you may want to take him/her on the leash for a few minutes or walk on the left hand side of the cycle path where there is a wide grass area. However, you are not going to be walking along this cycle path for long, and here you must be very careful not to miss your next indication. You will walk for about 3 minutes and you must look out carefully for (38) a stripe of orange spray paint and the letters YOLO in blue spray paint, on the grey metal barriers, bordering the stream. You Only Live Once (YOLO) indicates precisely where you must go over the barriers and cross the little stream. Please do this when noone is looking. It leads to a peaceful, very isolated location that few locals know is there. You will need to let your dog off the leash to get over the barrier as he/she will have to go underneath. (If you cross further to the left, you will end up on the wrong path and will miss this hidden gem entirely). Discretely climb the path up to the right. You will go under fallen tree trunks (39) and find yourself in an entirely unexpected zen clearing where a couple of climbers may be scaling the rock face, bathed in sunshine. (40) If you are a climber, this place is a hidden paradise. (41) The difficulty of the climbs are variable and you can access the top in order to let down your rope. Once you have had a look at this marvellous little niche, you will take the path to your left, (42) which starts with a couple of steps then becomes a smooth dirt slope where you will have to ease yourself upwards by the aid of a slanting tree trunk then plants growing to the right. Keep going up and you will come to stairs in the rocks. (43) Go all the way up to the top and you will find yourself on a vast, wild, grassy plateau. Follow the path round to your left until you are walking along a narrow path with the forest on your left and the wild, grassy area on your right. You will pass a sign post indicating that you are at Butovické Hradiste (47). Keep going and when you reach the end of the second field, go left. There will be a fence on your right as you walk. When you arrive at the field with a bench to the right, you must keep going straight on towards the signpost directly opposite you. (48) Here, you have several paths and you must follow the one, sloping down to the right, almost directly behind the signpost and tree. Keep walking and you will arrive right back at your starting point. We sincerely hope that you thoroughly enjoyed this walk.
Can you believe that you are right in a capital city, in the heart of Prague 5, 100 meters from a shopping mall, between two metro stations and next to the Humanities faculty of Charles University ? Isn’t Prague just amazing ?!!